Walking is something I’ve grown to enjoy recently. The roads are so busy it has turned out to be quicker to walk places than drive, that’s what I found when I visited Northumberland. The British weather has been pretty sunny this year (first time for everything). Making it quite enjoyable to be outside.
My photographer still won’t allow me to drive for some reason, so I was in charge of the sat-nav on this trip. Starting in the car park in Amble I followed the river from the ocean all the way up a slight incline ( which was a mile long!). It took about 35 minutes to get from one end to the other. I may have had a slight break to wave at a heron part way up the river path. I’m surprised to announce this was still faster than some cars. The river coquet begins in the Cheviot Hills on the Scottish border and finally meets the North Sea in Amble. The lower part of the river is dominated by the incredibly preserved Warkworth Castle.
Instead of staying on the river path, I decided to walk up into the medieval village. Well, the village is even older than that. I remember when it was first built back in 737AD, it was a gift from the dinosaurs to King Ceolwulf of Northumbria and the monks of Lindisfarne. The main features of this quaint village are the castle, a 12th century church and a beautiful double arch bridge which marks the start of monks walk.
I walked along the main street in the village, which I found to be quintessentially English. Tiny stone houses, tea rooms and even a couple of pubs. Sadly, due to coronavirus both my photographer and I are still a bit dubious about eating out. Instead we brought a picnic and another one of my photographers childhood memories of this area. After taking a couple of wrong turns, getting lost and walking in a circle. We made it to a picnic bench near the church, with a great view of the river. I had heard rumours of a family of otters sighted in the area so was hoping to spot one. I had no such luck, instead I was given some entertainment from ducklings racing each other down the rapids.
The village has some lovely shops and eateries but was rather busy so I visited the public toilets (which are free and very clean) then headed up to the castle. Warkworth Castle is one of the many castles in Northumberland to be owned by the Percy Family, they live in Alnwick Castle nowadays. The castle is nearly as old as I am, it was built in 1160 (ish). Its a pleasant surprise how well the castle has survived over the years. Surviving numerous wars, a few Scottish invasions, played host to nobility and achieved literary immortality in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 2.
I didn’t go inside because a certain photographer I travel with finds history boring (angry glare). Though you are able to walk all the way around the castle via the moat and some secret paths. I really enjoyed this because it gives a really unique insight into the castle. Especially, from the moat. I also liked looking through some of the windows but I will admit I was a bit anxious about seeing a ghost!
There is a beach at Warkworth, though it isn’t one of my favourites I find it too busy. But, it is a great place to enjoy the occasional piece of British summer. Instead I headed back to Amble via the same riverside path and thought I would visit the beach there. It turns out I confused Amble with Alnmouth, home to probably the most picturesque beach in the UK. If you don’t believe me google it! I had a short wander around the pier at Amble before calling it a day and heading home. After 15,000 steps I decided it was time for a snooze in the car.
Where else in England should I visit? I’m hoping to get out of the North East soon, if it is safe to do so!
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