Monday, 25 April 2016

Low Newton

Monday saw us out on the road to Low Newton along twisty country roads lined with clumps of daffodils and that was after I'd taken Tim for a walk along the lane that runs away from Bilton Farm toward Bilton Mill. We were the first car in the Low Newton car park by a short head, but not the first dog walkers on the beach. It was my first visit.

An offshore reef creates a natural harbour, and shelters a sandy beach backed by dunes. The hamlet - it is hardly big enough to be called a village - is a quaint square with one side open to the sea, with a collection of old fishing boats and old trailers in a field to one side.

Small fishermen's cottages on three sides, with the Jolly Fisherman pub facing the sea. Such a pity  that the clouds rolled across the sun at that moment and made the place look dour and uninviting, because it is just the opposite!

 One of the loveliest beaches in the country is Embleton beach with its pale sand, high dunes and a view of Dunstanburgh castle across the bay. The squeaky sand reminded me of Whitehaven Beach in the Hamilton Islands off Australia. There's a collection of thirties summer houses splattered along the top of the dunes, their windows staring out to sea and some of them glaring across the bay at the Castle. There's little of it left now - in fact, the view we had today it made me think of a crown roast, which is very unromantic. The only other time I've visited I approached from Craster in the south, and walked to it along the cliffs. The wind that day was so strong I could lean against it and not fall off the wall. It was built in the fourteenth century by Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, who was executed in 1322. The castle then became the stronghold of John of Gaunt.

Low Newton is a dead end  - ie the road stops at the beach.    There is a large, clear police notice at the top of the hill stating that there is no public parking beyond that point. When we had a quick lunch at the pub after our walk, along with  a great many other dog walkers, we noticed several cars creeping down and then having to turn around - with difficulty - and go back the way they came. A delivery van had great trouble getting in and out to make his delivery.  When we left and walked up the hill to the car park, big posh cars were still swooping  down the hill, having ignored the notice.  Do they think the notice was telling them lies? Wasn't meant for them? Anyway, they all had to turn round as best they could and creep back up the hill again.

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