Just south of Nose’s Point at Seaham, on the north east coast, lies a stark, uninviting stretch of beach. I’ve walked along the cliff top, looking down on it, many times. On a warm and hazy May day, I was somewhat surprised to find myself descending steps that led directly to Blast Beach.
It was a day of surprises. Up on the cliff top I had already met Devon sculptress, Louise Plant , watering her P’s in a Pod. The art installation was being newly installed and my first thought was that she was reviving the grass surrounding the P’s. Not so! The pieces were being watered to enhance their patina. You can read the story of the P’s and their journey on the link.
They represent a new approach to exhibiting art in County Durham. The cast iron structures will be displayed at 4 different sites in the region, the idea being that a different backdrop will enable us to respond differently to them. The reclaimed coastline at Seaham is the start point for their adventure. After chatting to Louise for a while, it was on with my own mission- to seek out a few orchids. Around this time of year wild orchids sparkle in the long grass of the cliff tops like incandescent fireworks.
It’s always hard to find the first of the orchids, but many follow in its wake. Continuing along the cliff, I noticed a pathway I hadn’t previously taken much notice of. It could only lead downwards to the beach. Why not take a look?
It’s not an inviting stretch of beach but the stacks do add interest, and close to the shoreline the rocks begin to develop an iron colouration.
Blast Beach was once the scene of coal production on a massive scale and the waste from that process defiled this beach and much of the surrounding area. Bleak though it may still look, huge efforts have been made to clean up this stretch of coast and restore it to nature.
End to end, this is a long beach. I circle both stacks and head back slowly towards Nose’s Point.
Ahead lies a steep climb up to the cliff top. Let’s take a deep breath and go for it.
Made it! I bet you’re in need of a cuppa now. Actually it’s a good place to bring a flask and a picnic, but if you’ve come unprepared you can head into Seaham. There are a couple of good cafes. Back at the cliff top a young man was busy taking photographs of the P’s. I moved aside to be out of shot but he waved me back in. He was taking promotional shots and wanted a willing admirer or two. Myself and husband duly obliged, but so far I’ve been unable to track down his work. Maybe just as well…
I wrote most of this post while watching the concert in aid of the victims of the terrorist attack on Manchester. It gave me hope for our future. The love was palpable and I was proud of our young people. Just 24 hours before I had been watching as horror unfolded at London Bridge. I feel blessed, because my son had been at London Bridge station at 9pm that evening, but was out of range and blissfully unaware when the nightmare hit.
Many thanks to you all for your continued support. I love sharing walks with you. Details of how to join me can always be found on my Jo’s Monday walk page. Definitely time for a cuppa now!
Becky goes her own sweet way in the Algarve this week :
A double dose of delight from Drake, in the beautiful village of Èze :
Fun and beer with Lady Lee :
All singing, all dancing, with Jackie!
And something a little more exotic from Indra :
Say hello to Gina! She takes us walking in one of my favourite parts of the Lake District :
And if you’ve been waiting for Susan, then Part 2 is definitely worth the wait :
A bird watching walk next, from Mari- Becky, are you paying attention?
An amazing dawdle or two with Meg. I just can’t choose :
Three friends and so much more! The delights of Venice, with Paula :
Then a very English stroll with Carol. Such cute bunnies!
Yesterday I came across a lady called Anne-Marie and a series of walks you may not have heard of. Please say hello :
And we’ll finish with a rather interesting sculpture trail, from Cady Luck Leedy :
That’s it for another week. I hope this one brings you some happiness. Take care, and God bless!