Guided walks to celebrate 10 years of Northumberland path

The Northumberland Coast Path at Howick. Picture by Gavin Duthie
The Northumberland Coast Path at Howick. Picture by Gavin Duthie

The Northumberland Coast Path is ten years old this July and, as part of the celebrations, there will be a guided walk along the entire length.

Each Friday between July 1 and August 5, Iain Robson will lead a walk along a section of the path in the company of a coastal expert, maybe a botanist, geologist, ranger or birdwatcher.

You can choose to do one section or them all, it’s up to you, but all will be in the company of Iain, from the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, who originally developed the route with colleagues from Northumberland County Council.

The concept of a continuous path was realised through a European Union Interreg project called The North Sea Trail, which provided funding to implement the trail on the ground. The Northumberland section was one of 27 coastal paths in seven different countries around the North Sea.

The 62-mile trail from Cresswell to Berwick was officially opened on a glorious summer’s day on July 17, 2006, in Boulmer. Since then, the path, which passes through some of the finest coastal scenery in Europe, has attracted thousands of walkers from around the world.

The guided walks are free to join, but booking is essential as places are limited. Contact coastaonb@northumberland.gov.uk or 01670 620306.

The six stages are as follows: July 1, Cresswell to Warkworth, 10.5 miles, five hours; July 8, Warkworth to Craster, 13 miles, 6.5 hours; July 15, Craster to Seahouses, 9.5 miles, five hours; July 22, Seahouses to Belford, 10.5 miles, 5.5 hours; July 29, Belford to Fenwick, seven miles, four hours; August 5, Fenwick to Berwick, 12 miles, six hours.

Iain said: “The Northumberland coast has an excellent bus service which runs parallel to the coast path.

“To encourage walkers to leave their cars at home, the start time for each walk coincides with the arrival of a bus and we will return to our starting point by bus.”

As well as the guided walks, there is a new website for the path – www.northumberlandcoastpath.org – and a new passport scheme for walkers.

Coun John Woodman, chairman of the AONB Partnership, said: “Walkers undertaking a long-distance route such as the Northumberland Coast Path are good for the local economy. Because they are travelling light, they buy everything that they need along the way; other than the money they spend in local businesses and their footprints in the sand, they leave nothing behind. But they take away memories of a landscape, a heritage and a welcome that is collectively unsurpassed.”