Embleton Bay ~ April 2019

Sophie and I are both members of English Heritage and the National Trust (saves a heap of money as we visit so many of their places) and so we receive emails from both advising us of events and so forth. Consequently we were quite excited to get an email from NT exhorting us to visit Embleton Bay and see the bluebells that festoon the dunes there. Wow, we thought, bluebells next to the sea, how cool, lets go! So off we went on a sunny spring day to shoot the flowers.

To get to the bay you drive past the village and up to Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Club where there’s a free car park. You then walk past some sheep in a field and then across the golf course.

We are noticing Northumberland flags everywhere we go this year, this is a new thing!

A little trout stream, known as the Embleton Burn, begins in the inland moors, makes its way through an area of the old barony, woody denes, and channels, before reaching the centre of the bay.

Embleton Burn

We were not the only ones out with our cameras, and we stopped and had a nice chat on with this lady who had come over from the west coast to shoot Dunstanburgh Castle. But she wasn’t happy that there were no clouds so the sky was too boring.

Found some interesting seaweed that wouldn’t look out of place in a sc-fi/horror movie!

Codium Fragile (Deadmans Fingers)

A couple of lovey dovies

or maybe The Embleton Strangler!

The bay itself is really long and beautiful.

Looking North

Those little dark boulders at the bottom of the photo above are whinstone. Whinstone is a term used in the quarrying industry to describe any hard dark-coloured rock. Examples include the igneous rocks, basalt and dolerite, as well as the sedimentary rock, chert. There is also a whinstone reef which you can’t see as it’s under the sea πŸ™‚

Looking south there is the rear side of Dunstanburgh Castle,

Dunstanburgh Castle and the boring sky πŸ™‚

Apparently there is a large sandstone rock known as β€˜The Vanishing Rock’. As the tides come and go and the sands shift to and fro, so this feature moves into and out of view, as befitting its name. Nothing unusual in that, you may think; but this particular rock has the name β€œAndra Barton” chiselled into its surface, in rough but distinct lettering. Sir Andrew Barton was High Admiral of Scotland around the turn of the 16th century, who, acting under the protection and in the name of the Scottish Crown, made something of a nuisance of himself to the Portuguese and the English upon the high seas. In short, he was considered a pirate by non-Scots, or a privateer, at best. He was defeated in battle with the English in 1511 – some reports have him slain in the fight, others that he was captured and beheaded. The loss of Barton did not go down well with the Scots – one of many grievances which led, eventually to the clash at Flodden in 1513. I have no idea why his name is on the rock.

However the rock was last seen in 1974 and it didn’t reappear this day!

Visible rocks

You may have registered that the last three photos are taken from a high point of view, and that’s because we were walking the length of the dunes looking for damned bluebells which had also vanished, if they ever existed.

We did see other things of interest though.

Peeping WW2 pillbox
A pillbox is a defensive concrete dug-in guard postΒ with slits for guns to poke through (known as loopholes). About 28,000 pillboxes and other hardened field fortifications were constructed in England in 1940 as part of the British anti-invasion preparations of World War II. About 6,500 of these structures still survive.
Consolation flowers!

Some of the dunes were really steep, this chaps two mates had run down before him whooping and hollering, but he made a right meal of it!

Sophie and I went the long way round πŸ™‚

Apart from the disappointing lack of bluebells it was nice to be beside the seaside πŸ™‚ . We only did an hours walk but then went off to see Embleton Church which has some interesting features and we’ll visit that next time, so stay tooned peeps!


41 thoughts on “Embleton Bay ~ April 2019

  1. I went there when I was staying at Seahouses, around 1990. I got onto the beach to take some distant shots of the castle, and discovered I had forgotten to change the batteries in my Canon T90, (It used 4 X AA) with the new ones stupidly left at the hotel. I had always intended to go back there, but never did.
    Shame about the bluebells, but all your shots are first-rate anyway. πŸ™‚
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lol…that picture of the seaweed definitely looks alien. It might even be…THE THINGπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    Seriously though, some terrific shots! As always I loved the history part, being as you know a bit of a history buff.
    Here in Holland in a place called Schoorl, we have a very steep dune called The Climbing Dune….it’s fun to climb it, and then run back down, almost breaking your neckπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Look like you had a really great day! πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You were scammed! No bluebells? I did think it sounded strange though considering that bluebells like damp woods! Perhaps they got mixed up with thrift or something πŸ˜‰πŸ€”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. …um…is it just me or do bluebells come up and flower in spring in the UK like they do (and are doing) in my garden in NZ?…..(Dee suggests I send pictures when they do so that you can copy and paste them to this post)…..

    ….(we both loved this post…the pictures, the informative commentary….the boring sky….the lack of bluebells in autumn….)….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful shots, Fraggle (Do you take any other kind? I think not.) I have never managed to make Embleton on the various occasions I’ve visited Dunstanburgh; it looks even more lovely than I expected. The story of the vanishing stone is great – I’ll try to remember that – and I had no idea about whinstone!

    Liked by 1 person

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