I am not a morning dinosaur. Snoozing until 10am is an early start for me. Unfortunately my photographer likes to be up at the crack of dawn, or sometimes way before that. Recently I decided to try and change my routine, so I can get up earlier so I could tick a few things off my British Bucket List. I’ve wanted to watch the sunrise for the longest time and have only ever managed this when I’ve been on an airplane. Luckily winter in England makes it much more possible to achieve this goal. The sun rises around 7:45am for most of the winter months stretching to 8:30am in mid December.
The coastline has been teeming with wildlife throughout lockdown. I’ve seen several seals on the beach but somehow I haven’t managed to spot any dolphins. My photographer has been searching up and down the coastline with no avail. So I decided to do some research about dolphins, turns out they, like my photographer, are up as soon as the sunrises.
Days turned into weeks before curiosity finally got me to wake up nice and early. 5am is a time I only thought existed when you have to go to the airport for an awful early morning flight. Turns out my photographers alarm clock knows how to find 5am too.
One tired dinosaur, a fully charged camera and a very strong coffee jumped into the handbag of doom ready for the mornings antics. The best thing about not driving meant I could have a 30 minute nap on the way to our destination. I woke 30 minutes later feeling disorientated as it was as the saying goes “its always darkest before the dawn”. Surprisingly, I wasn’t the only one at the coast, even at this horrendous hour.
Dog walkers, treasure hunters and photographers were already enjoying the half a mile stretch of sand. Heading to the waters edge, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The beach was not sand but beautiful glass and stones. Anyway, I digress. The sky was starting to change colour so I found a nice boulder to sit on. It was the perfect spot to:
a) watch the sun appear over the horizon.
b) watch my photographer get soaked by the waves (humans never learn).
c) wave at the huge boats floating by.
The sky wasn’t as colourful as some of the Instagram posts I had seen but it was beautiful. The sheer number of boats made it better, as did the wildlife. My photographer commented on something in the water, but we decided it was either a stone or a bird. Turns out we were both wrong. Dolphins were swimming about, I was so excited that I had finally spotted these creatures who like to hide from me. Ironically, this time it was me who didn’t notice them (oops).
With the sun rising higher in the sky, I decided to jump over the walls along the beach before heading onto the promenade. Not before searching for some of the infamous beach glass of course!
I was beginning to feel the cold (my toes even turned blue). So I decided it was time to return to the car for a well earned cup of coffee.
I visited Glass Beach, but my photographer tells me the best places to watch the sunrise in North East England are:
- Bamburgh Beach – Northumberland
- South Shields beach
- Chemical beach – Seaham
- The Quayside – Newcastle upon Tyne
- Steely Pier – Hartlepool
- Durham Train Station North Platform – Durham.
There are plenty of beautiful spots to watch the sunrise, though for me it will always be from a plane window.
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