Bardsea to Newbiggin
17th February 2010
late start sometimes has its benefits. Had we
set off to catch the bus that I discovered last week
we would have left the car at Roa Island and arrived
back tired and cold and failed to do the place justice.
But through being too late for that bus, a more
modest excursion proved to be one of the better legs
of the journey.
plan was to drive to Bardsea, then walk along the coast
until around 4:30 by which time the bus from Barrow
would be approaching on the coast road so wherever we
happened to be, we would catch it. This meant
we had plenty of time for exploration. The map
showed alternative routes- one on the coast and the
other a little inland on the coastal road- presumably
in case of high tides. We decided that we would
mostly stick to the coast but take the opportunity to
explore the villages as we passed by.
fact, exploration kicked in even earlier. In CCP09
I bemoaned the fact that we had not seen more of the
Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre, better known as
the Conishead Priory. However, on our way to Bardsea,
we saw its gates and decided to call in for a look around.
There is a strange juxtaposition of the Victorian
gothic priory and a very modern Buddhist temple.
were able to walk around the grounds. I was hoping
we might be able to visit the café for a bowl
of hari-soupa but unfortunately it doesn't open until
March. We did see a saffron gowned monk, who looked
very serene if a little odd, being a young Caucasian.
reaching Bardsea our slight fear of that part of the
coast being overcast was allayed. It was a superb day
with what clouds there were being in the distance. Even
better, the visibility was good, but not so clear that
you could see Heysham nuclear power station!
far as we could recall, this was the first time on the
Path that the tide was fully up, albeit on the turn.
We set off along the beach but once round the
bend we found some comfortable rocks on which to have
stretch of coastline must be a treat for twitchers.
There were all sorts of sea and wading birds.
Unfortunately I don't know what most of them were.
the distance we could see two bushes on the beach with
strange adornments. On closer examination the
"fruit" turned out to be litter, gathered
first village we explored was Baycliff. The climb up
to it was a bit of a shock. It looked a pleasant
place where a lot of development was in hand. The
Fisherman's Inn seemed no longer to be open but the
Farmer's Arms was and the village presumably can't support
two such establishments.
to the coast, Margaret made friends with a couple of
donkeys. She likes donkeys.
on the beach
was such a lovely day that we thought there would be
pleny of washing for Margaret to paint. That was another
reason why we thought we would detour via the villages.
However, the only worthwhile washing that we saw was
at Maskel Point, right on the edge of the beach.
into the sun
at Maskel Point
notice said that cockling was prohibited- I think it
is the close season. There was plenty of evidence
that when the law permits, cockling is actively persued.
into the sea were several ancient wooden structures.
But for what? I thought they could have
been used for fishing but Margaret is of the mind that
they were for erosion control.
are these for?
Baycliff is Aldingham. This is just a hamlet but
has a beautiful church right by the edge of the beach.
It is called St Cuthbert's because two hundred
years after his death, his coffin was carried around
England by six monks until he reached his final resting
place in Durham. Wherever the coffin rested on
Journey, a church
was built in his name.
view from the graveyard
building dates back to Norman times as can be seen by
the thickness of the pillars on the north aisle. It
has lots of interesting features like a squint window
and a hole in the wall so that lepers could receive
communion bread pushed through to the outside by the
priest using long tongs. See Visit
Cumbria and its
related links for more photos and information.
Cuthbert's Nursing Home
up the lane is another fine building, Aldingham St Cuthbert's
Nursing Home, specialising in looking after elderly
patients with dementia.
on a visit in 2017 we were told that the church was
renovated in 1846 by a very wealthy man called Stonnard,
a pal of Queen Victoria. He died not long after
and left all his money to his butler. The lucky
chap spent £30,000 on building a modest home for
himself- Aldingham Hall, now St Cuthbert's Nursing Home!]
on the beach, a lone horse rider was well out on the
sands. Given all the warnings about quicksands,
why don't horse hooves sink into the sand?
lone horse and rider
next village is Newbiggin. By the time we reached
it, the sun was getting low in the sky and a cold wind
had sprung up, coming directly off the sea. There
was about half an hour before the bus was due so we
hoped that there would be a bus shelter with a seat
where we could have a coffee and finish off our butties.
There was a bus shelter. But the seats were
little more than bum perches and the wind was blowing
right through the shelter so we decided instead to have
a look round Newbiggin. It didn't take long. It
is an untidy little village, the only thing of note
being a trough of crocii getting ready to bloom.
returned to the bus stop, grateful that we were not
having to plod onwards in the cold dusk to Roa Island.
In fact the bus was almost on time and whisked
us back to our car where we did have that coffee and
finished off the butties. The flexibility had
17th February 2010
5.1 miles covered brings our CCP total to 68.1 miles.
was also 375 feet of climbing.
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