Seaton Sluice and the Oiled up Cormorant, Northumberland, England.

This jaunt of ours was specifically to go somewhere near the coast and go for a walk, so when we both agreed to venture round Seaton Sluice to blow off some steam it felt like the perfect location to do just that!

Seaton Sluice is literally a couple miles South of Blyth and only a few miles North of Whitley Bay. Seaton Sluice have their own beaches which are lovely and there’s also a nice walk which flows inland with the river.

We parked in the Melton Constable car park and followed the steps down to the river. From the river we continued to walk further inland away from the coast, as the plan was to go full circle. As we began to walk further, we came across an old boat which had capsized and there appeared to be a Cormorant which looked like it had oil on it, so we rang the RSPCA and reported it.


Either the Cormorant was ok and it was just chilling or it really was covered in oil, but it seemed as though it was struggling to flap its wings and motivate itself to take off. However, RSPCA were informed and after we had done our full circle, we decided to walk back and check on it, and by this point it had disappeared. However, one of the other pictures does suggest that there might be diesel or oil trickling out from somewhere and going into the River.


I particularly enjoy this photo where the light is hitting certain spots on the field and the Cow’s continue to roam free until the sun goes down.

As you keep walking, you end up practically on the road, we turned left in the direction towards the coast, where the views of St.Mary’s Island were clearly visible from Seaton Sluice. St.Mary’s Island has a beautiful lighthouse and has been renovated so many times over, and is one of Whitley Bay’s major landmarks.


St Mary’s Lighthouse.


This horse in particular appeared to enjoy the photo shoot and stuck around for a few minutes before trotting off.

As we nearly completed our full circle round Sluice, we passed a few more landmarks on our way before it was time for FISH AND CHIPS. We hadn’t had any for such a long time, and as a small treat and reward for completing such a “long” walk we both agreed it was much deserved.


The Harbour View is where we chose to have our Fish & Chips, and we didn’t regret it one bit, the portion’s were generous, staff were lovely and it tasted absolutely fantastic. I’d recommend this place to anyone who might be driving through and need something to eat.


There’s nothing more comforting than being sat outside with a box of Fish & Chips and watching the World go by.


Cragside, Northumberland – Part Two

As we continued our journey towards the gardens, we initially encountered a small protected woodland as i said before which appeared untouched. The grass looked so lush and green, basically a cattle’s dream! I could’ve had the grass myself it looked so good.

Above are a few pictures illustrating the calm stillness of the walk and the odd piece of art which has been finely crafted to entertain passers-by. Before approaching the Iron Bridge, you get a real sense of how each tree and plant has been carefully placed and has been allowed to grow and express itself in its own space. I can imagine how good this walk is in the depths of Autumn too when the season has changed so we might be back for a bit of that action when it comes round.

As you approach the Iron Bridge it’s clear to see how much has gone in to strengthen the beauty of Cragside House and the surrounding area. With the flowers in full bloom, I’m sure if Monet was alive today he’d quite happily paint Cragside House, it can only be an inspiration to many who see it at this time of year.

After a brief interlude at the bridge it was time to get our skates on again, but we were given a couple directions, but after settling for the gardens it was ‘off we go’.


Once we arrived at the gardens, everything from the flowers and careful positioning of plants only enhanced our way even more. It was great being there to appreciate the hard work and effort which has gone in to make it this good.

Everything exudes beauty, and hopefully these pictures do some snippets of the gardens a bit of justice. Admittedly, i’d taken pictures of tree’s and plants close up as i was testing both my lenses out, so I’m still trying to get to grips with them.

As i sat near the bird feeder, i realised i had my macro lense still on and rushed quickly to take some snaps of the finches and blue-tits close up.

Even though it was quite overcast the colours of the flowers were strong enough to shed some light in their own special way. I was trying my best to capture the low misty clouds hanging over the hills.


Now, this picture, it really is a ‘Where’s wally?’ but replace it with the ‘Where’s the Great Spotted Woodpecker?’. I’ll give you a clue, if you look really intensely at the middle of the picture you’ll be able to make it out, perched on quite a thick branch. Although, the picture of it is extremely minute, i was happy to even have snapped it. I’ve never seen one before and was lucky enough to have had the reactions of a hawk whilst it flew quickly into the tree’s.

Part Three will be coming soon.

Cragside, Northumberland – Part One.

There were a few options available to us during May Bank Holiday and we opted to feast our eyes on what Cragside had to offer us. One reminder, and it is quite important, ensure you have cash as they only accept cash unless of course you’re a member then you’re fine. We both wanted to experience Cragside outdoors and chose the ‘Gardens and Woodland‘ which was reasonably priced, please click on link to reveal current prices.

When you get to Cragside, parking is ample, enough for everyone and you can enjoy the variety of walks the site has to offer many of which provide their own stamp and personality. You can also pay extra to set foot inside Cragside House which can offer more in terms of entertainment for families and the walks are also fantastic too!

We tried to experience everything we could but in the time slot we had, we managed probably 75% which was a good effort and the main thing, i got to test my new lenses, one of which i probably need to learn how to use before i go snapping away in public. This also goes to show how much you probably need to plan before you go so you know which routes to take beforehand as there are many.

One thing to remember about Cragside this time of year is how beautiful it looks when all the tree’s and plants are in full bloom. Rhododendrons were out in force, as were the bluebells too.

The walk which led us through Cragside House and on our way to the gardens led us through a path which meandered through a patch of woodland which was beautifully preserved, almost untouched, of which the only things capable of touching and reaching were the birds.

The pump house has also been restored inside to reveal how hydro electricity works and how the water is pumped, and this can also be interactive, and especially for families who are going with children.

With one of my new lenses i was able to get within reach of things you wouldn’t often see with the naked eye, for example, this Robin flying close to the stream catching flies.