258. Beal to Budle Bay (and on to Bamburgh)

July 2015

For this walk I was staying at the Newcastle Airport Premier Inn on a “gap filling” trip to do the various parts of the Northumberland coast I had not previously done as day trips from home.

For my first three days I had hired a car, due to the limited transport I needed up to the Northumberland coast and the very expensive train fares to Berwick-upon-Tweed from Newcastle. This was my last day with the hire car and as I mentioned in a previous post I had booked it on line and specified a return time of 8pm which was listed on the website as an acceptable drop off time (it says 24-hour drop off was available). However I had been told when I collected it, the office closed at 6pm so I needed to return it before then. After some discussion I reached an agreement that if I could not get it back to the branch I had rented from in central Newcastle by 6pm then I could drop it off at the airport branch instead for no extra charge. However I still had my doubts that if I did that I wouldn’t be charged extra and have to get into an argument. So I was keen to try to get back by 6pm anyway.

This meant I had to make an early start and I was keen to avoid the rush hour traffic in Newcastle. So I set off before breakfast at the hotel (since breakfast was not included anyway) for the drive up the A1 to Beal. This went well with no hold ups and took a little over an hour. As I’d missed breakfast, I stopped at the petrol station at the end of the road to Holy Island. They had a fairly limited choice so I ended up with an egg sandwich and a cereal bar as breakfast. I also bought lunch whilst I was there because I suspected (correctly) there would be little chance of getting food on the way.

I then drove on along the road to Holy Island to the little car park marked on the map just before the road becomes a tidal causeway out to the island. I was irritated to find half of the car park had been blocked of with concrete blocks so it could not be used. Of the spaces left half of them had been blocked by a huge Belgium camper-van that had parked sideways across several spaces, filling up half the car park. So there was just a single space free meaning I had got the last place in the car park – and it was only 8:30am – I hadn’t expected the car park to be full at that time and it was lucky i had not left any later.

I stopped to eat my breakfast in the car, watching the tide on the causeway which was still partly underwater.

Beal and the Holy Island Causeway

I suspected many of the people in the car park were waiting for the tide to go out. In addition several tradesman were waiting right at the start of the causeway rather than the car park and as I stopped to eat my breakfast sandwich I saw some start to drive out, stopping each time they came to water. I think the official clear crossing time was not for an hour or more, it must be frustrating if you have a job to do there or even deliver the mail! There is a refuge too, part way along in case you get caught out by the tide and have to wait it out.

To begin the walk I could follow St Oswalds Way and the Northumberland coast path, which followed the same route at this point. This was initially a pleasant path between some old World War II tank traps.

Tank traps near Beal

The long grass was wet, as it had been raining on my way up and very soon my feet were wet through as were the bottom of my trousers from all the moisture still on the wet grass.

Unfortunately the route along the coast did not last long. Indeed, the Northumberland Coast Path heads miles inland here (at times 3 miles or more) so is not really a coastal path at all here and also misses out the beach of Ross Links, which I was keen to visit, so I was planning my own route instead.

Initially I stuck to the coast path as it then turned inland after the first field and ran along the edge of the field, where there was more wet grass. At the end it turned left onto a track which was easy going but soon emerged into a grassy field. The field had sheep grazing and the path headed diagonally over it. At the end there was a little bridge over a stream (Beal Cast) and here there were two paths, on the map, at least.

Near Fenham

The Northumberland Coast Path now took the one that headed more inland but I had spotted another path marked on the map keeping closer to the coast, which I intended to follow to Fenham. The field I entered was being used as a campsite for “a private rally” but the path was easy to find, but reached by climbing over a fence. The path was soon overgrown and very tricky to follow. I know other coastal walkers had had problems with the path, so I was not surprised by this. In fact I soon realised I was on the wrong side of a fence. I think I was meant to be north side of it . Over to my right, trains passed on the nearby railway line.

Near Fenham

At the end of a couple of fields I could see the building marked on the map and this confirmed I was on the wrong side of the fence, but there did not seem to be a path on the other side either, so I continued along the field edge on the side I was on and turned right at the end, the path now visible the other side of the fence, as it follows a track into Fenham. I soon startled a deer, which made for a nice sight as it ran away.

Deer near Fenham

At the end I climbed over a gate onto the road at the village (hamlet, really) of Fenham. I think the building here is a bed and breakfast.

On reaching the road I turned right and followed the road around the corner to some woodland where the I could leave the road onto a footpath marked on the map, crossing the railway line and heading for the hamlet of Fenwick Stead. I was expecting another difficult and overgrown path, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a well maintained (and well signed) path around the field edge to the railway line. The railway had been a regular companion on this walk with the land very flat and the tracks running close to the coast. I would watch the view again from the train the next day, when returning home. On reaching the railway I crossed the track taking care, as the sign warned that the track was used by 100mph+ trains. I checked I couldn’t see any train coming and so crossed.

Crossing the East Coast Main Line near Fenham

On the other side there were more arrow markets on posts, but they didn’t match the route of the footpath – I think there were some additional paths here as a result of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. I tried to follow the official right of way which crossed a little stream on a bridge and was then overgrown up to above waste height with long grass and various other plants. I was soon soaking wet almost up to my shoulders, from all the moisture on the plants. I was tempted to go back and try and follow minor roads, but I was already going to have to walk beside the A1 for a time and if I went back on the minor roads, that would mean even greater distance to cover on the A1. So I stuck to the “path” such as it was.

The path on the map is shown as crossing two fields and then heading diagonally south east. In fact the first two fields are one large field, and reaching the point the path was meant to cross into the next field and head diagonally over that field to Fenwick Stead, there was a hedge all the way along and no gate or stile – so no way across. I instead turned left and followed alongside the hedge to pick up a farm track and then the public road. I passed the farm house on the right and continued on the road until it turned half right to head for the A1. A couple of hundred meters before it reached the A1, there was a footpath signed off to the left. Despite my bad experiences with the paths so far, this was a wide track, wide enough for a car and firm underfoot, so I decided to follow it, as it meant less walking on the A1. Sadly about half way along this wide track turned to the left, but the route of the footpath was ahead. It was, once again, an overgrown field. So just as I was beginning to dry out I was soon soaking wet again.

I could see I was approaching the A1, but there was no obvious route to the road. Thankfully as I neared the road I spotted an overgrown style. I stopped on it to put on some sun screen (the sun having now made an appearance) and have a drink, before I braved the A1. The A1 of course being the main trunk road linking London and Edinburgh, so I knew it was likely to be very busy with traffic, particularly as the sections of the A1 in Northumberland are mostly single carriageway when most of the rest of the road is dual carriageway (or more), making it something of a bottleneck.

Soon I could put it off no longer, I crossed the stile to the A1. I was hoping for a pavement, but I was out of luck. But for the most part there was a wide grass verge and in places the road had a white line painted along the edge, but more tarmac beyond it, so I could walk along this a bit away from the traffic. It wasn’t pleasant but the traffic was not as heavy as I had expected. At times, it was even peaceful, as the traffic seemed to catch up with something slow, then a row of vehicles behind it, then a brief respite before the next convoy. I only had around 500 metres along the A1 as I planed to take the turn off on the left to Fenham-le-Moor, a dead-end road.

I soon saw the sign for it and could thankfully leave the main road again and follow the quiet lane to Fenham-le-Moor. Here I hoped to follow the bridlepath marked on the map from just before the farm, which turns east and then south, it being the nearest route to the coast I can follow.

I headed along the road towards the old crossing keepers cottage at the railway line. When I was about 10 metres from the railway line, the beeping of the level crossing started so I had to wait for the barriers to come down and then the train to pass. The barriers were down for a while before it came, but it soon whizzed past and the barriers lifted again. The road turned slightly to the left after a while and then I could see the farm house at Fenham-le-Moor ahead and a man wandering about beside it. As I neared the house I could see the man, the farmer I presume, had his tractor on the bridleway. You can never tell with farmers. Some are rather unfriendly to walkers and begrudge footpaths on their land, often trying to make things difficult by blocking paths or removing signs. Others are pleasant. So I was a bit apprehensive as I approached, not knowing if I’d be welcomed or not, given he seemed to be working in the field where the path went. I decided to ask him as I approached if the way I wanted to go was indeed the path (I knew it was from the map), but I was more wondering if he was about to drive along it and wanted me to wait. As it turned out, he was very friendly, confirmed it was and asked me where I was going and showed me the route of the path.

The path I planned to follow briefly reaches the coast, but then turns inland away from the coast. A mile or so further south another dead-end bridleway runs from Elwick to the coast. I wondered about these and if it would be possible to walk along the shore between them so I asked the farmer.  He said it was and also said there was a bridge there (not marked on my map) but he pointed to it’s location on my map, and wished me a pleasant walk. What a nice chap!

So I soon set off along the path and was pleased to find that it was a pleasant mowed grass path, plenty wide enough. What a change from the bad, overgrown paths I had come across before this point. At last, I was back at the coast with a lovely view of Holy Island (Lindisfarne) ahead.

Holy Island near Fenham

Soon I reached the bridge, not marked on the map, exactly where he had told me it was. I wondered why it was here, but it soon became obvious – it crossed a drainage channel but then headed out onto the mud and sand of Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve.

Near Fenham

Near Fenham

Where the north coast of Lindisfarne is exposed to the sea, the area behind is sheltered and the land between it and the mainland  is a mixture of sand and mud flats (and sinking sand too, I’m told). It is also a nature reserve. I was pleased to see that as well as a path ahead, there were steps down to a feint path along the shoreline. I figured if someone had built steps down from the bridge, it must be meant to be walked. So I stopped on the steps of the bridge for a drink, then set off. It was a mixture of shingle (and brick) beach, mud and salt marsh.

Near Fenham

The salt marsh was the most problematic, with water channels between the area of marsh making it hard going and with the grass high it was hard to see where you were putting your feet. The places where there was a beach were easy going, but much of it was on thick grass and salt marsh, making for hard going. I was also glad the tide was out (and still going out), so I didn’t need to worry about getting wet from the tide.

Near Fenham

Near Fenham

I passed the little metal mill marked on the map at Whitelee Letch and then just ahead I could make out a building which I suspected was the end of the bridlepath I had seen on the map. The “path” I had been following was quite hard to spot and not really a path at all, but as I approached it became a more obvious path and then I realised the structure was a bird-hide, which would explain why the public bridleway from the road simply ends at the beach, as it must be there to provide access to the hide. I was pleased to see this, as it would mean I wouldn’t need to turn back now being at one end of a legal right of way again – always a relief! On reaching the bird hide I went and sat in it to have lunch, mainly because I could sit down and it was somewhere dry to sit, all the ground nearby being wet. There was no one else inside. Once I’d had lunch (and battled with a wasp) I formed a plan for the rest of the walk.

My original plan was to follow the bridleway south to Elwick then the road out to Ross Links, but this would involve quite a lot of extra distance and doubling back inland. Buoyed by my success of trying to get along the shore, I thought I might see if I could continue to Ross Links along the shore instead, there seemed to be another feint path and the signs only said no dogs, not that you couldn’t walk (and I didn’t have a dog, so that was OK).

In fact east of here there was a low sea wall. I decided to try and follow it which although it did not have a footpath marked on it, had short grass and looked to be well walked. This went well for a while, but it soon had gorse etc over it and got higher, so I dropped down to the shoreline below it once more. Back to the salt marsh now then, but after a while it began to get a little sandier and easier underfoot. I started to get bracken and heather on the right and soon I was walking on sand. Eventually I reached sand, and a few footprints visible in it, too. I continued along the shore soon coming to a sign. The sign was facing the other way. Once up to it, I looked back to see what it said.

Fenham Nature Reserve

It said that the area I had just walked though had been designated a wildlife refuge and not to pass this point. Ah. Well I wouldn’t have done if I’d have known this, but really there should be such a sign at both ends to inform you (strictly speaking it is always legally permitted to walk along the shore if below the mean high water line, as I had been, so I don’t think I was technically trespassing, except for the brief stint on the sea wall).

Still I was pleased because it meant I had an easy route ahead to the sands (or so I thought), as there was no such sign for anyone turning right, as I was. I was following an area of sand which I think is covered at high tide, meaning the area to my left is an island at low tide called Old Law Dunes leading to Guile Point at it’s northern end. Here there are two tall chimneys or at least that is what they look like. I remember seeing them from Lindisfarne and I’m told they are to aid navigation. The problem was all of this area of sand dunes seemed to be roped off (perhaps they were also part of the nature reserve, though there were no signs). I couldn’t see a way to the beach without going through the roped area, so I’m afraid that is what I did, but at the coastal end part of the ropes had already been trampled down onto the ground, so I suspect I wasn’t the only one to have come this way.

Having now reached the open sea again I now had the gorgeous sands of Ross Links ahead of me.

Ross Links, Northumberland

It had been a challenging walk to say the least so far, so I felt this was just rewards, a beautiful sandy beach backed by huge dunes and not a person in sight.

Ross Links, Northumberland

Ross Links, Northumberland

It was quite windy here however but I didn’t mind I was so glad to be on a beach! The views too were stunning, with Lindisfarne Castle (and the village) visible at the end of the beach looking like it was attached, rather than an island whilst to the south, the mighty Bamburgh Castle was visible. It was lovely.

Ross Links, Northumberland

Ross Links, Northumberland

I walked south for a while on the beach and soon stopped for a rest in the dunes to take in the view. I could see a few people ahead, who I suspected had walked here along the road and would probably help me find the path if I needed it (there is a footpath leading to the beach from the end of the road, but I was not sure where to find it from the beach).

Ross Links, Northumberland

At the south end of Ross Links is Budle Bay which is crossed by a river (Budle Water) and forms a sort of estuary, the landward end of which is all marked as mud on the map. The south end of the bay was a little over half a mile away as the crow flies, but to walk around via the one short bit of path and the roads was 5 miles! Just beyond the south edge of the bay is Bamburgh, my destination for the day.

But heading south, as Bamburgh got closer, I wondered if it might be possible to walk over Budle Bay and ford Budle Water. It would save me a lot of miles along roads, inland from the coast, if I could. I had read reports of others doing so and it was now more or less low tide. I decided to investigate so I continued south passing dunes, as I could see the area closer to the coast became salt marsh and the beach underfoot became a little softer. I took my shoes off and soon saw some water ahead. It was not deep and I was able to walk through it easily, only ankle deep.

I was initially pleased thinking I had done it and already made it across and so the rest of the way was easy. The beach was still sand rather than mud but soon I could see more water ahead, which had been out of sight before. It looked to be similarly deep, but as I got closer, I could see it was actually quite a bit deeper and really, a proper river, so I hadn’t made it across at all. Although it was fairly deep for most of it I could clearly see the bottom. It looked about 1-2ft deep enough I could ford it – I hoped. I rolled my trousers up, carried my shoes and having put my camera in my bag to keep it safe, took a few steps towards the water. As I did so, the sand began to gave way, I was sinking up to my ankles in the sand before I even reached the water! I hoped the sand under the water might be firmer though. I took a few steps into the water. It was not that cold, but it was deeper than expected and no matter which way I headed, I kept hitting more areas where I began to sink into the sand. I could see the water was deeper ahead. If I continued I would be at least waist deep. That was bad enough, with the force of the water likely to make it a struggle to cross, but any sinking sands would send me deeper still and if that happened the current might be too strong and I was at risk of getting washed away. I was also at risk of my rucksack getting full of water too!

I came out of the water and walked up and down a bit to see if I could see any places where the river got wider and hence shallower, but I couldn’t. In addition as I headed further towards the shore the sand gave way to mud (as the map showed) and I was worried about sinking sands and I could also see streams inland. The tide was now at it’s lowest and so was about to start coming in and it could fill up this shallow bay very rapidly meaning I could also potentially get cut off if the streams inland began to fill. It was not safe to try to cross, so it was time for Plan B – I had to head back and do the 5 mile walk around on roads, no matter how much I’d have liked to avoid it.

So I turned directly back to the closest land behind me. The beach was a bit wet mud in places, but thankfully not sinking and I was pleased to reach the grass and then head north to the dunes of the beach, via a few shallow streams and back to safety.

I stopped for a drink then headed back inland from the beach. The path where the footpath went was well worn and turned out to be easy to find and indeed there were other people walking it. I was quite surprised how many people were here because the road ends more than half a mile from the coast, with the route onwards being a footpath and usually you don’t see many people if they have to walk that far from a car – so I wondered if the footpath might also be a private toll road or something like that.

Either way, the path was easy to follow, initially over sand and large dunes. Soon it became grassy underfoot, albeit sandy in places. The path went through a couple of gates (well signed) and then became a private road through the village of Ross. It was tarmac now and after passing the village (or hamlet, really) there was then public road. There was only room to park about 15 cars and even on this windy weekday it was almost full. I imagine this must be a lovely peaceful beach in the summer, because of the difficult access – I’m pleasantly surprised so many people had made the more than half mile walk to the beach – most people seem to regard more than 100 metres from the car as a long walk!

It was now a fairly tedious walk along the road for about a mile to the junction with the Elwick Road.

Budle Bay

It started to rain lightly, I hoped it would not get heavier. Only a few cars passed me on the way. At the junction with the Elwick Road I turned left. Whilst it was a but busier, it was a wider road and part of the cycle network. More cyclists passed me than cars initially. I now followed the road south for a little over a mile to the junction near Cragmill Hill. This was still cycle route 1, but close to the A1 and I was disappointing to see it was much busier (the road is unclassified) and I frequently had to head onto the grass verge to avoid the traffic. Thankfully the rain had stopped, but it was unpleasant and there was no refuge from the road.

After about 1 mile there was oddly a car park marked on the map. I say oddly because it didn’t seem to serve anything – not even any footpaths. This turned out to be a grubby layby with a few seats and a bin and not much else. But I could follow this to briefly get off the road. As I did so I spotted a footpath sign for a permissive path off to the left (perhaps that is why the car park is there). I hoped this would avoid the road down to Budle Bay, so I followed it, parallel to the car park but it soon became overgrown. At the end of the field there was a hedge, and no way through ahead. So I had to turn back and return to the road as this path had turned out to be a waste of time.

Back on the the road, it climbed for a while and then I had the view down to Budle Bay ahead. I was aiming for the bus from Budle Bay at 15:18. With the shortcuts I had made along the shore I had made good time and realised I might be able to make the 14:18, which would give me more time. It went only to Belford and arrived at the exact same time the next bus (X15) would take me to Beal. It is a shame the buses don’t connect but I hoped I might be lucky and make the connection. In any case if I didn’t I could pick up the bus I originally planned at Belford and I could have a look around the town whilst waiting. I hurried along, keeping an eye on the main road for the bus coming, but did not see it. I made it down to the road at Warren Mill at around 14:20, 2 minutes after the bus was due. It must be late – I had not seen it come along the road, which I had been able to see for some time. As I did so I was distracted by a couple of walkers on the other side of the road. They were looking for the coastal path but had got last and wondered if I was following it. Sadly not – I showed them on the map that they needed to head inland to Warren Mill and pick up the path from there. They thanked me and went on. By now, still no bus so I assumed either I had missed it, or it didn’t run.

It was a pleasant spot, with a low wall overlooking Budle Bay.

I was ending my walk here, as I had walked from Bamburgh to Budle Bay the previous day, I was now back where I had walked yesterday and as a result had now completed walking all the coast of Northumberland (though not written it all up yes, as I’m writing it up in order, even if I did not walk it in order).

Budle Bay

Budle Bay

So back to the bus to get me back – I could not see a bus stop. I checked Google Maps on my phone, which showed a stop, but there was nothing marked on the ground where it was supposed to be. I needed to catch that bus and didn’t want to find I was standing somewhere it wouldn’t stop.  Just north of the bay I spotted a footpath heading inland to a minor road and a second path just past it down to the road near Bamburgh. I could then walk into Bamburgh and pick the bus up from there. This route was shorter than the route via the coast (which I had already done) and I reckoned it would take about 45 minutes. I had 50. I decided to do that, I could always head back if the path was difficult, and then I would have the certainty of catching the bus somewhere I knew it would stop.

The path was easy to find and a clear path over fields. It went uphill giving fine views over the bay.

Budle Bay

At the minor road I could easily pick up the next path ahead, which was also easy to follow and I made good progress to the main road. I was slowing down now, getting tired, it was a long walk and I got up early. On reaching the road I had a little under a mile into Bamburgh. But there was a grass verge I could walk on rather than the busy road. I was soon pleased to see beautiful Bamburgh approach ahead and the imposing castle. It was lovely. In the end I reached the bus stop 10 minutes before the bus was due and the bus was 10 minutes late, so had a 20 minute wait.

Once on the bus it was a pleasant enough journey via Belford and soon to the A1. My walk wasn’t done though. As we approached Beal I became a little concerned as I didn’t remember a bus stop on the north side of the road and this was the A1. I rang the bell as I saw the petrol station where I had turned off the A1 in the morning hoping the driver would be able to stop close by (I was sat upstairs). Thankfully there was a bus stop and the bus did stop.

I now had to make a rather hazardous crossing of the A1 back to the petrol station on the other side of the road and had nearly 2 miles to walk back to my car at the causeway. I stopped at the petrol station to buy a warm pasty and a sandwich, I was very hungry after the long walk. I ate the pasty in the bus stop on the east side of the road and then followed the road. I didn’t notice when driving it this morning if it had a pavement but there was one, soon passing a pub on the right. The pavement continued all the way to the railway line where there were a few houses. Bang on cue, as I neared the railway line, the bell started and the gates came down, I was not having much luck with level crossings today and so once again, I had to wait. Once it passed I could follow the road into Beal, but I was pleased to see rather than the road, a new (I think) path had been made parallel to the road into the edge of fields, so I didn’t have to walk all the way on the road, there was a pavement all the way, or a path in fields.

I reached my car about 40 minutes after getting off the bus, I stopped to eat my sandwich, not wanting to get crumbs in the hire car and a bill for cleaning it. I then had to drive back to Newcastle. It was about 16:20 when I set off. It had taken me a little over an hour to drive here, so I was hoping to make it to Newcastle for 6pm to return the car. It all went well until on the edge of Newcastle on the A1, it all ground to a halt. It was stop start traffic for a mile or so, taking about 15 minutes to do 1 mile, before I reached my exit. I then followed the road but managed to turn off too early by mistake. This worked out well because I ended up by a Morrisons, so I could fill the car up (a requirement that I returned it with a full tank, or I would be charged more than £2 a litre by the hire company instead). Getting out of the Morrisons and back onto the main road was a little tricky but this time I managed to find the right road. I pulled into the hire car companies car park as the clock showed 17:57. Result! I handed it back and I think the lady on duty just wanted to go (she looked like she was locking up as I arrived). She gave it a quick glance, asked me for the keys and I took my stuff out the boot. I asked if she wanted to go over and check it but left with a breezy “no I can see it’s fine”.

I then headed to the station and took the Metro back to my hotel. I had not been on the metro this trip, it had been a bus replacement from the stop nearest my hotel at the weekend (another of the reasons for hiring the car), but now it was a weekday and the service was the usual train again. I managed to get the seat at the front where you can look ahead over the track and pretend to be the driver. It was good fun.

Overall it had been a good day and I was pleased to get to Ross Links and find a more coastal path than the coast path even though it had been tricky. This is not a classic walk by any means, with a lot of road walking, but what bits are on the coast are lovely, it was just a shame there was so much on road.

Here are details of the public transport needed for this walk. Route X18 runs direct, but it is also possible to use route 418 and connect onto route X15 in Belford, if they are both running to time:-

Arriva buses route X18 : Berwick-upon-Tweed – Scremerston – Haggerston – Beal (A1) – BelfordBudle Bay – Bamburgh – North Sunderland – Seahouses – Beadnell – Embleton – Craster – Longhoughton – Boulmer – Alnwick – Alnmouth Station (only some buses) – Alnmouth – Warkworth – Amble – Broomhill – Red Row – Widdrington Station – Pegswood – Morpeth – Regent Centre (Tyne & Wear Metro) – Newcastle (Haymarket Bus Station). Between Beal and Budle Bay/Bamburgh the bus runs roughly once every 2 hours Monday – Saturday and 3 times on a Sunday. It takes a little under 20 minutes to travel between Budle Bay and Beal (A1).

Travelsure service 418 : Belford – Warnemill – Budle Bay – Bamburgh – North Sunderland – Seahouses – Beadnell – High Newton – Embleton – Dunstan – Craster – Howick – Longhoughton – Denwick – Alnwick. Some buses continue to Alnmouth Station, Alnmouth village and Alnwick. This bus runs once every 2 hours Monday – Saturday (no service on Sundays). It takes a little under 10 minutes to reach Belford, where it can be possible to connect with service X15 (below).

Arriva bus route X15 : Newcastle – Regent Centre (Metro station) – Morpeth – Felton – Shilbottle – Alnwick – Warenford – Belford – Beal (A1) – Haggerston – Scremerston – Berwick-upon-Tweed – Berwick-upon-Tweed railway station. Roughly once every 2 hours Monday – Saturday. There is no service north of Alnwick on Sundays (the bus does run between Newcastle and Alnwick on Sundays). It takes around 10 minutes to travel between Belford and Beal.

Finally if you are lucky with the timings it is possible to avoid the walk on the road from Beal on the A1 back to the start of the Holy Island causeway by using this bus, but it has a very complicated timetable because it varies with the tide, due to travelling along the causeway to Holy Island, which is only passable when the tide is out. Generally on days the bus operates there are two departures each day.

Borders Buses route 477 : Berwick-upon-Tweed station – Berwick-upon-Tweed – Scremerston – Haggerston – Beal (A1)Holy Island Causeway – Holy Island. Generally runs twice per day each way on Wednesday and Saturday only during the winter months. During the peak summer months the bus generally runs daily except for Sundays.  It will take about 5 minutes from Beal to the start of the causeway.

Here are the complete set of photos for this walk : Main Link

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2 Responses to 258. Beal to Budle Bay (and on to Bamburgh)

  1. Ross Links looks gorgeous! Shame the rest was so tricky.

    • jcombe says:

      Yes I was very glad to have made the effort to get there. It made the rest of it more bearable too, knowing I had that good beach to enjoy near the middle of the walk.

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