Jo’s Monday walk : sea glass at Seaham

The outlook at Seaham Beach

The outlook on Seaham Beach

This week I’m taking you back to the north east coast of England, with a bit of a purpose.  I’ll explain more later but I need you to keep your eye open for sea glass.  The beach at Seaham is one of the best locations I know for finding it.

Between 1853 and 1921 Seaham was home to Europe’s largest glass bottle works, supplying millions of hand blown bottles.  Enormous amounts of waste glass were left at the end of each day, and this was generally thrown over the cliffs and into the sea.  More than a hundred years later, scrubbed smooth by the power of the water, we have sea glass in many shapes and colours.  Are you ready to hunt?

With more pebbles than you could ever want

With more pebbles than you could ever want

And among those pebbles, the precious bits of sea glass.  You can follow the beach round to the small harbour and the lighthouse, if you like, but I’m going in the opposite direction- north towards distant Sunderland.

There's a lot of beach to examine!

There’s rather a lot of beach to examine!

Rusted groynes litter the shore

Rusted groynes litter the shore

Filling up with pebbles too

Filling up with pebbles

Incongruously, some have been mended

Rather incongruously, some have been mended

Overhead, the cliffs menace!

While overhead, the cliffs menace!

Let’s get up close and personal with a few stones.  You never know what you might find.

We're looking for a hint of glitter

We’re looking for a hint of glitter

Unconcerned, a man walks his dog

Unconcerned, a man walks his dogs

What's this?  Look at the shimmer!

What’s this? Look at the shimmer!

I simply love the textures

I simply love the textures

You might remember we did something similar just south of here on Crimdon beach, a while ago, and ventured into some caves beneath the cliffs.  I’m drawn on along the endless beach, intrigued by my surroundings.  Dog walkers pass me by, with a nod and a smile, and occasionally children ferret on the beach.

Mindful of the dangers these crumbling cliffs can pose, still it’s hard not to be lured closer.

The cliff formations fascinate

The cliff formations fascinate

Torn and twisted as they are

Torn and twisted as they are

And here a table, nicely laid

And here a table, nicely laid

You know that I’m not going to be able to resist some close ups, but I treat the cliffs with due caution and the respect they deserve.  So should you!

I know that some of you are claustrophobic so I won’t linger.  The fascination of the shapes and vistas can keep me endlessly there on the shore, forgetting my purpose.  That morning a lady was standing, her dog patiently at heel, gazing out to sea.  After the briefest of smiles, I carried on my exploration.  As I turned to retrace my steps, she spoke to me.  “Did you see the dolphins?”

Crestfallen hardly describes it!  I would have loved to see them and wished she had spoken sooner.  We stood a while, hoping for a return, but they had gone.  And so I climbed, regretfully, back up the steps.

Depending on the tide, this walk can be as long or as short as you want to make it.  If you are free the next few Sunday lunch times, you will assuredly have company on the beach.  My husband, who designs gardens, does most of his work with CAD (computer aided design).  He was more than pleased to be contacted recently by Stuart Langley, a local artist, in connection with a light installation to appear at this year’s Lumiere, in Durham.  It’s an imaginative and exciting event, and Stuart has been a previous contributor with his Stained Glass Cars.  The project he is working on requires a substantial quantity of sea glass, and so he’s hoping for some help in gathering it.

If you can help in any way the Lumiere site gives details.  The event itself takes place from 12-15th November, and if you can be there I can promise you a delightful evening.  It takes place on alternate years, and this was my post for 2013.  It was a magical occasion.

walking logo

No putting the kettle on today!  I will still be in Bristol for the Hot Air Balloon festival when you’re reading this, and not back till very late in the day.  As usual, I will catch up with you all as soon as I can, and apologies to all those who are sitting unattended in my Inbox.  There’s plenty to keep you busy till then because once again I have some wonderful walks to share.  Many thanks to all of you who have joined me and, if you would like to do so next week, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just hit the logo above.


Gardens with rhodies have always been irresistible to me.  Bogs, not so much!  Thanks, Anabel!

Geilston Garden and Tom na h’Airidh

Hitting the heights with Drake!  Don’t we always?

Mountain high

A revelation for me about Toronto! Totally changed my thinking…  thanks, Jackie!

Monday walk

More city madness with Pauline!  The inevitability of change :

Gold Coast Icons

If you’ve come to expect beauty from Amy, you won’t be disappointed here either!

Monday Walk : Banff Rocky Mountains

One of the best things about blogging is sharing magical posts such as this.  Many thanks, Suzanne!

Killarney x 2

Too good at speaking my mind, sometimes!  Hugs, please, for Jude :

The Levant Mine

A little bit of fairy dust, anybody?  Sure to find some with Violet Sky!

Wishes and dreams 

While anyone seeking inspiration should surely make a visit to Lucile :

The Quest for Inspiration

And anyone wanting to recapture childhood only needs to visit Gilly!

I Wish I was Ten Again

Debbie’s back from exotic Singapore with some cracking good sights!

Arty Stroll along Orchard Road

And to finish, from Laia, what could be better than?

A beautiful, pleasant walk in Abel Tasman National Park

Fantastic, aren’t they?  Nothing more to say than ‘have a great week’.  Hope to see you on the beach at Seaham, or failing that, at Durham in November.




  1. I see I missed this exciting post Jo! What a lovely beach and such stunning captures! I would look for sea glass all day long for sure! And those pebbles are just to die for! I love pebbles, especially ones with lovely textures like the ones you saw. Amazing walk darling! Thanks for taking me. 😀 ♥

    1. Hi sweetheart! 🙂 Looking back there have been a lot of walks, haven’t there? Sometimes I worry about being repetetive, but then whoosh- off I go again. 🙂 Thanks, darlin’ Have a great week!

      1. Totally Jo and I am sure I missed some more, but I do hope to catch up. I love your walks. 😀

        I don’t think you can be repetitive, even if you try. LOL!

        Thanks, and you too! ♥

    1. It’s quite a beach, this one! I don’t know if you saw my recent Lumiere post and the result of collecting all that sea glass? 🙂
      Sorry for my delayed response but I’m barely just home and will feature your walks next Monday.

  2. Wow. That’s a beautiful walk Jo. We’re on the West Coast in Lancashire and our beach has pebbles too but no cliffs. We have miles of sand dunes instead. I’m following your blog and looking forward to reading more about your travels and walks. Thanks for the info about Jo too.

    1. Many thanks for that, Gillian. 🙂 Do you need a link to Jude? You’ll find her in my comments 🙂 I’ll come and play on your beaches a little later but I need to get started on this week’s walk or it won’t happen!

    1. Oh no! 😦 Hope you’re both still in one piece? Sunday dinner and most of the ironing is now completed so I’ll pop over soon for a look. Many thanks, Pauline 🙂

  3. The Stained Glass Cars are fascinating, so I am very curious to see what develops from the sea glass. Sorry I can’t send any from NZ. The only place I have found sea glass was in Maine, USA. Haven’t looked for any here.

    1. Oh, Ann- you do disappoint! 🙂 🙂
      I hope you’re feeling more chirpy these days? Mick thinks improvisation may be called for as a huge quantity of sea glass will be needed. Whatever the outcome, Lumiere will be fabulous. 🙂

  4. I always loved beach walks as a child Jo and my 2 girls did as well. We always came home with lots of wonderful stones and treasured objects – am sure we still have some hidden away somewhere! On a personal note my mother in law was born in Seaham – have never been there so am interested to see what it looks like. Hope you’ve had a good trip to the West Country 🙂

    1. It (Seaham) is much improved these days, Rosemay. It has transformed itself from a scruffy little mining town to a place of bistros and a smart hotel (Seaham Hall, should you ever get the chance to stay- very swish!). And it goes without saying that the beach is great fun 🙂

  5. Oh no! You missed the dolphins? Anyway, judging by those fabulous photos, I’m not really surprised that you were too busy concentrating on the beach and cliffs. Great post – thank you.

  6. I love hunting for unusual pebbles on the beach and then coming across one that shimmers and glistens like the one in your photo. It’s very theraputic I find! Looking forward to hearing all about your trip to Bristol Jo, and wishing you a very Happy Anniversary. Big hugs lovely lady 🙂 xx

  7. Another lovely walk along the beach with you, Jo. Story of the sea glass is interesting. I wonder if the glass bottle company knew they’d be creating a treasure hunt for years to come. I look for sea glass on the beaches by me and have collected some unique and pretty pieces. Blue is always a big win! Happy Anniversary. Enjoy the rest of your week.

    1. Could well be! It’s our wedding anniversary today so maybe later. Sitting in the garden recovering from Bristol. Bouquet just arrived so I’d better go and find some vases. Eating out later xx

  8. You’ve written about two of my biggest obsessions here, Jo – glass and stones. When I walk through the creek every afternoon I’m constantly picking up and examining stones. Sometimes I bring them home so my bag can get very heavy! I’m also going to do a stained glass course with a friend this year so I can do some windows in the RUC – I’m very excited about it.
    Sorry you missed the dolphins – maybe next time 😉

    1. I’ve had the photos for some time, Indah, but Mick just recently got involved with the sea glass sculpture and I thought it was a good fit. He said it was hard work looking though 🙂 I was busy looking upover, and when I came home he complained of a sore back. 🙂

  9. Now that’s is a gorgeous outing, Jo. Those cliffs are beautiful. We don’t have these pebble beaches. When away, I always take pebbles home with me 🙂 Thank you for sharing this beautiful place!

    1. If it’s a choice of somewhere to sit, Francina, I’m not a huge fan of pebble beaches, but for a good ramble and explore they’re great 🙂 Thanks for your company!

  10. This is my favorite walk in some time, Jo, as I just love beaches and rocky coasts. I really enjoyed this one and could almost feel the salty spray! 🙂

  11. I wondered if we might be seeing some balloons in the walk today J. I shall be patient. I love those cliffs and promise to behave myself and not crawl all over them, well at least not too much. 🙂

  12. I’ve heard that bottles and such thrown overboard transatlantic vessels back in the day is still washed ashore. It would be nice to find some.

  13. This walk reminded me of one my husband & did a few years ago when we were on vacation in the East coast of Canada. We could have spent hours wandering along checking out rocks, in fact, I think we did just that!

  14. I was going to ask if the cliffs are any more stable than down here! Apparently not. The pebbles are very varied, I do love a pebble beach as long as they aren’t too big because then walking is hard on the knees. What a lovely lot of entries this week Jo. I hope Brizzle was good, grt lots of photos? G xx

  15. I am a great admirer of sea glass. We very rarely find it on the southern U.S. Gulf coast of Texas, but when we do, it’s an event! There used to be a lady around here who made jewelry out of sea glass…wonder where she found it all. I also have always loved rocks…my children were always bringing me rocks and pebbles they thought were particularly interesting and some of them I have never been able to part with (the rocks, not the children…although I still have them too!). Wonderful walk – thanks for sharing!

  16. What a walk…..I love those pebbles, but am glad I had my shoes on! Awfully sorry you missed those dolphins, but a great excuse to return!

    Lovely pix again…..gorgeous cliffs..I wouldn’t have had as much restraint as you…might have had to have a peek inside.

  17. Thanks for the shoutout Jo. And for taking us for another beautiful walk. Fascinating story and place. I guess that years ago many people may have cut their feet. How crazy to simply throw it from the cliff.
    I am still very curious about the hot air balloons!
    Have a beautiful week, Jo.

  18. This looks like a fantastic place to linger Jo. I know my girls would love to search among those pebbles for sea glass – and they would bring home the pebbles too!

  19. You’re really restless , Jo….!
    Sensational post and photography , not to mention the notes you added taking us through this incredible walk…
    Thank you so much!

  20. Thanks, as always, for the mention. Another garden stroll for you this week – Dawyck. That’s the last of my stock-piled walks from before the holidays. I now need to get blogging about Orkney and Shetland, I just don’t know where to start!

    I enjoyed your post – I love reading about the NE – and will catch up with your other walkers through the day.

  21. Another lovely beach walk Jo, hunting for sea glass, though I didn’t see any? Did you find some? And I notice that I have a serious challenger in the geology department in you. I was mesmerised by the rocks and the pebbles, wanted to pick one up and touch it smooth surface. You are such a kind lady, I am sure no-one, not even me, felt claustrophobic in the caves as you ensured there was always some light shining through 😀

    Hope your Bristol trip has been fun – enjoy the last day though it sounds from an earlier comment you have the rain that has just hit us here 😦 Hopefully you will find an interesting coffee shop to take us to! See you later 🙂

    1. I bet Sue Slaught gets more! 🙂 🙂 Not that I’m in competition- just trying hard to keep up (and looking forward to forgetting you all while I’m in the Algarve 🙂 )
      I was going to give you a nudge about the promised roses the other day on your flowers post for Nalini, so I’m very grateful you’ve kept them for a walk. So far today I’ve watched Rafa ( 😦 ), zumba’d, done a food shop for James for while we’re away, and am on to the 3rd wash. I think I’ve earned that cuppa. Be right over 🙂

  22. Ohhhh it is a pity you missed the dolphins, but the cliffs and pebbles are great too! By the way I did not see the sea glass in the photos… did I miss them? How do they look like? I need to train my eye 🙂
    Happy week!

  23. What a lovely walk today, Jo. I love the close ups of the patterned and textured rocks. I would also enjoy searching for smoothly weathered sea glass and wandering among those spectacular archways and windswept cliffs. Congratulations to Mick for getting to contribute to the installation in Durham. That sounds like a great opportunity! I’m glad you’ll have more opportunities to go back to that beach.

    The hot air balloon festival also sounds exciting! I can’t wait to see pictures from that. 🙂

    1. Yes, I’m back and the washing’s on the line 🙂 I would have been quite happy to just sit next to it, Cathy, but the warm sunshine didn’t last long. My get up and go has got up and gone today! I’m sure you know the feeling 🙂 I’m just starting catch up visiting. On my way 🙂

  24. Those cliffs are indeed tempting and fascinating. The pebbles and the views through openings delight this beach starved old woman. I love the way you’ve taken us on the hunt and then revealed the purpose. My particular favourite is the table and its background. My son has made a few mosaics of waves from sea glass he’s found. Good luck finding enough for Stuart! Thank you for catering for the claustrophobic too – I ally like the way you are so conscious of your readers as you write.

  25. Beautiful walk. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the rock formations and cliffs at the very end. Stepping in between some of them, it looks as if you were wandering through a cave, dark shadows and all. Pity you missed the dolphins but I’m sure when you go back, they will be jumping up and down again 🙂

  26. Ne’er mind Jo, we always miss the dolphins too. Splendid images and walk as ever but the stained glass cars are fantastic – how else to make a Reliant Robin desirable 🙂 I have been to Seaham but once – we stayed at Seaham Hall and never left the hotel.

      1. Our only excuse is that it was December and the weather diabolical 😦 A one time stay to celebrate an anniversary, not our usual sort of haunt. I would go back though 🙂

  27. It has been a while since I joined you on a walk and I enjoyed this one very much. I used to love sifting through the rocks and pebbles at our local swimming hole, such amazing shapes and colours, we even tried making paint out of the softer and more colourful ones. Thanks Jo!

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