Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Coastal Challenge - photography commsion for Shepherds Walks

Nordic Walkers take part in this 26mile challenge.

Photographing Long Distance Challenge Walks

The Coastal Challenge - May 4th 2014 - Budle Bay to Alnmouth

I have been photographing events for Shepherds Walks (based in Rothbury) for two years now but I always get the same feelings of anticipation and excitement each time. The first Challenge of the season was along a beautiful stretch of Northumberland's Coastal Path, from Budle Bay to Alnmouth, some 25 miles. A long walk, which cannot be done without considerable forethought and hopefully, some training. 

Having photographed the same event last year I  it was a little apprehensive as I hope the photographs would be as good and that the weather would present the right conditions to show Northumberland at its very best. This time I had to take my son with me, who got roped in to help out, and therefore due to teenage lie ins, I did not leave in time to catch sunrise on the beach. By the time I reached Alnmouth after an hours drive at 6am, Jane and Jon Monks were already setting up the check in tables and the participants had begun to arrive. No time for porridge and tea! The day started beautifully fresh, and promised to be dry. Phew!

Check in - the participants are issued with a numbered tag and punch card which gets punched at each check point. Afterwhich they board a bus to the drop off at Budle Bay to start their walk. The 26mile route follows part of St Oswald's Way (96miles) the route taken by St Oswald from Linesfarne to Heavenfield near Hexham.

The route does not follow the beach but laps behind the famous Bamburgh Castle which sits on the Whin Sill sock that spans Northumberland and was effectively used by the Romans to make that famous wall. 

The young cows were a little curious at times of the dogs, which had to be kept on leads during this section through farmland. 

A glimpse of the dunes and the photographer.... yes you've been togged!

The challenge welcomes runners who do the route in about 4 hours. 

Another famous Northumbrain coastal castle. Dunstanburgh took on a ghostly look in the slight sea fret at this point.
Near the delightfully named Sugar Sands, a lesser known and rarely frequented beach!

The route between Craster and Boulmer is a beautifully varied stretch with secret coves, rocky outcrops. Great for rock pooling!

Taking a rest and dealing with sore feet!
A stunning location for a holiday rental new Boulmer, its called the Bathing House House!

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