Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Sharon Cain
Time for Life Correspondent
3:00 AM 29th January 2022

Sensational: Sunrises, Sunsets, Seafood

Winter wonders: Cresswell beach.
Images by Steve Hare.
Winter wonders: Cresswell beach. Images by Steve Hare.
Northumberland’s enchantment includes knockout sunsets, promising new dawns and delicious seafood.
With around 2,000 stars, the area also boasts Europe’s largest area of protected night skies thanks to minimal light pollution and a passionate commitment to conservation.

As our Time for Life Correspondent Sharon Cain reports, every season brings wondrous delights for locals and visitors alike.

Sharing a bird's eye view
Sharing a bird's eye view

Settling into this enchanting county with its abundance of sea life and wildlife was our easiest move to date.
This includes copious house and continent relocations, the quirkiest of which was a tree house in the Philippines where neighbours included an enormous hungry rat seeking sustenance and trying his best to get up close and personal while we were asleep under our mosquito net!
That’s not to mention three moves in Hong Kong and to areas in England including London, Cheshire, Shropshire and Yorkshire.

The North East’s heart stopping coastal sunsets.

The North East, blessed with an abundance of coastline, countryside and the vibrant city of Newcastle, boasts stunning sunsets around every corner along with fascinating folklore.

Almost three centuries ago, visitors to the picturesque seaside village of Cresswell are said to have include the devil himself who tried to entice a reputable local tailor to commit a sin of pride. Determined not to be stitched up, the tailor called on the local vicar for urgent assistance who obliged by casting out Satan who vanished in a spectacular fireball!

The area abounds with tales of witchcraft and the supernatural, with records claiming how over 20 witches were executed.

Serving through the seasons: The Drift Café.
Serving through the seasons: The Drift Café.
Perfect Pit Stop

The stunning Northumberland coastline attracts cyclists and walkers in all weathers. A 64-mile coastal path starts at Cresswell and stretches to Berwick upon Tweed, a border town between England and Scotland packed with a rich history of Roman invasions and Viking attacks.

Beachcombing, dog walking and exploring invariably work up an appetite. At Cresswell walkers can refuel at the fabulous Drift Café which is open all year round. Friendly staff serve up an all day breakfast menu to satiate hearty appetites. Dishes include pizzas, luxury sardines on toast, which are divine, and corn beef and potato pie. An outside marquee with a heater caters for our four legged friends.

Seafood to warm the cockles of your heart!
Seafood to warm the cockles of your heart!
Seafood Paradise

Seafood aficionados like us are in our seventh heaven savouring the local produce. At the Northumberland Seafood Centre at Amble harbour we can buy a feast of fish sourced directly from local fishermen. There are two places that sell fish at the harbour.

Fishing has played an instrumental role in the town’s development since the harbour was built and we can take home a wide variety of seafood including pollock, squid, red fish, whiting, ling, monkfish, red mullet and a variety of flatfish. The upbeat team also dish up great advice on freezing and cooking the fish.

Fishing trawler at Amble harbour.
Fishing trawler at Amble harbour.
The Seafood Centre is an integral part of the Amble Harbour Village development which help to sustain the area’s wider economy of the area. It aims to boost local jobs, attract new visitors and transform Amble into a visitor destination excelling in seafood.

If you fancy treating yourself to seafood delights and being waited on there’s The Old Boathouse, Seafood Shack and Lily’s Landing restaurants located within a five minute walk of each other on the harbour front.

Making a North Sea Splash

Invigorating: roaring waves at Druridge Bay.
Invigorating: roaring waves at Druridge Bay.
Although we’ve experienced some dramatic waves in Europe, namely Nazare in Portugal which featured in the ‘100 Foot Wave’ documentary, the roaring North Sea rollers are a sight to behold at this time of year.

Our local beach at Druridge Bay is also the destination where hundreds of nude bathers plunge themselves into the freezing sea every year. The admirable challenge raises money for the charity MIND which advises and supports those experiencing mental health problems.
The charity venture with a difference started in 2012 and takes place on the final Sunday before the Autumn Equinox. This year it’s September 22, watch this space to see if we’ll take the plunge!

Feeding the senses as the sun sets:
Feeding the senses as the sun sets:
The anticipation of our first spring with carpets of daffodils in full bloom around the county’s castles brings excitement and great expectations.

We’ll also be treated to wonderful Japanese Taihaku Cherry Blossoms bloom at The Alnwick Garden which spans 12 acres of gardening excellence, a cascade with 120 water jets along with the world’s largest treehouse restaurant.

Birdlife’s new beginnings will include newly-hatched pufflings on Coquet Island and The Farne Islands.

Our experiences in this land of legends and landmarks never cease to fire and inspire us as we continue to unearth new treasures in this area of outstanding natural beauty.