We went up to Howick bay on the Northumberland coast last weekend to watch the high tide. We (my husband and I) enjoy the “long walk” that leads down to the sea on the Howick estate. I thought it would be interesting to compare an account of the same walk that I posted in a different blog on 15 Jan 2012. This year (2017) we went to Howick on 14 Jan.
Howick Northumberland 15 Jan 2012
It was a lovely day so we drove out into Northumberland and up to Howick Hall. This lovely old hall was once home to Earl Grey of Earl Grey Tea fame.
We like the Long Walk, a wooded valley that leads down to the sea, today it was quite enchanting. There was a heavy frost that covered almost everything. The rays of the sun had broken through the cloud in a few places. Here the frost had melted leaving spots of bright green grass. The holly and yew were a colourful contrast against the sparse expanses of leafless trees. It was a pretty picture against the backdrop of the whitened landscape. Where the sun had reached the twiggy branches the frost had melted and on the underside of each branch tiny glistening water droplets were hanging. Buds were already forming in readiness for spring.
We wandered through the little valley. At times we could feel the warmth of the sun on our faces, the Howick Burn flowed along beside us, moving silently over deeper stretches and gurgling pleasantly over the shallower. The “Narnia scape” was spotted with patches of gold, some leaves still hung glowing warmly on the beech trees. Walking was easy because of the frozen ground, not the usual squelchy mud we have often had to contend with.
We walked down to the bridge over the burn where it widens noisily and runs onto the bay heading towards the sea. When we reached the top of the bay the sand was patched with frost, which had spread over the driftwood and blackened seaweed.
Howick Northumberland 14 Jan 2017
Last weekend there was no frost but it was bitterly cold, there were also patches of ice in the mud that crunched when we walked over them. When we arrived at the mouth of the Howick burn there was an hour to wait until high tide. Seaweed and large pebbles pushed up on previous tide, showed that the sea had come right up onto the path. In summers gone by we used to come here with our children. Every time I come I remember the same thing. A sunny day when the tide was way out and two little girls running with bare feet across the wet sand. I couldn’t see their faces because they ran away from me towards the sea. However I imagine them laughing.