Castles and Holy People

These last seven days have been accompanied by the East Coast main railway line, the A1 and the Whin Sill. The Whin Sill is an outcrop of the
igneous rock dolorite (very resistant). Today the train and the A1
are speedy means of communication between England and Scotland, but
in former times the Whin Sill was a godsend for those building
castles for protection and domination. Berwick changed hands between
Scotland and England no fewer than fourteen times with the
accompanying bloodshed. Once we were told that the English king order
the slaying of everyone in Berwick!  Castle spotting this week has
noted Warkworth, Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh and Lindisfarne. And Berwick.

Dunstanburgh castle
Warkworth castle



Bamburgh castle




We did not make it over the causeway to the Holy Island this time –
the tides were wrong – but we saw it from 3 miles afar and it
blessed us on our way.

Aidan is named frequently as the saint of B&Bs, car-parks, laying
fields, leisure centres and suburban streets here. But St Oswald has
his own pilgrims Way as does St Cuthbert, which seems more fitting in
this land of important local saints from the past.

We met living local saints at Beadnell, Seahouses and North Sunderland
who welcomed, fed, prayrd for and even housed us as we passed by –
Bless you John and Hilda for your hospitality – Pauline and Jane for
inviting us to meet your congregations.

An important milestone was passed on our walk this week. We not only
crossed from England to Scotland, but we notched up two thirds of the
mileage. The coast north of Berwick has been spectacular new walking
for us both and the weather (once the border was crossed) has
exceeded expectations.

Entry into Scotland

As the Scottish schools have finished for the summer already and July is moving on, there have been many more tourists to meet as well as local people helping to make their stay a happy one. So this week we say ‘Hello!’ to Elizabeth met in Warkworth, Neil (see his tale) and Norma and Tony (in Craster), Neil and Helen and baby Charlie in Embleton, Tony and Deirdre (from Osbaldwick York!) met at Dunstanburgh castle,  Alistair and his family staying at Beadnell caravan park, Harry and Marion on the beach south of Seahouses, Louise selling ice-cream in Seahouses, Clem and Christine doing a coastwalk in Seahouses, Josh and Summer and their mum and dad and also Liz and John on the beach north of Seahouses, Paul met on the road near Waren Mill; plus all the lovely people we met at the Friday BBQ at Seahouses Methodist especially Alan and Sophie and those at St Ebba’s and St Paul’s especially Ruby and Denize.  Hello to John in Berwick, Keith and Margaret in Berwick, to Joycelyne and David met on the Scottish border, to Sue and Ian who walked with us to Eyemouth, to Bruce met near Barns Ness lighthouse and Jo in the John Muir Centre in Dunbar.

Red cliffs in Dunbar

Week 15 Statistics

Scrabble:  Nancy 1    John 3

Trig Points  0

Kissing Gates  51

En route donations  £424.71  (Includes generous donations from Seahouses Methodist church, St Ebba’s Beadnell and St Paul’s church North Sunderland)

Mileage  83 miles

Craster kippers 2 pieces

Berwick cockles  100 g (local variety of humbugs!)


2 thoughts on “Castles and Holy People”

  1. I’m pleased you’ve had a good journey up through Northumberland. You know it really: it is the best part of the UK (don’t tell anyone in Yorkshire… we’ve just had the Great Yorkshire Show so people are somewhat full of self importance, Yorkshire Tea and organic biscuits). The castles and the coastline take some beating, especially when you consider that Lindisfarne (along with Jarrow) were, for a time, the centres of learning and history for much of Northern Europe. Good work on the scrabble, though John – good to see you taking a few more wins! Enjoy Scotland. Sam.

    1. So, Sam, If you think Northumberland beats Yorkshire, what are you doing with a Yorkshire birth certificate and living in God’s own county?!!
      We really did enjoy it though

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