Category: photos

A quick snap of the Aurora Borealis

We dont often see the Northern Lights this far south as a rule… but two weeks ago we got a treat.

Aurora Borealis over Bamburgh Beach

This shot is via James Cummings – good work young man.

Sadly I missed this wondrous sight as I was out of the country, sliding down an Alp. Hopefully I will get another chance to this this sight at home. :)

Surfing in the North – It’s no secret…

The first rule of surfing in Northumberland is; … you DO NOT talk about surfing in Northumberland. The second rule of ….

… but its just been too good recently to not talk about it.. sorry.

And its not like its a well kept secret anymore… Northumberland is fully OUT in surfing terms. Read on.

September THROBBED with swells, we had big southerlies, big northerlies, and just about the best conditions you can get up here. Now, as every surfer will tell you, when its good, you go. You just do. There are plenty of onshore days to sacrifice when you need to. That sentiment works even harder up here in the deep north. Our swells have short windows and can be gone the next morning after being perfect. It was ‘good’ alot in September.

The photos in this post are all mine taken from the swells in September, but there are a lot of shots here that look similar to those inside the articles of Carve and Wavelength this month. That’s as mainstream as it gets.

The crews had arrived form all over the country, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland – with Pro riders – Tow-teams with Jetski’s – photographers and video-guys – the place was buzzing for the surf.

You see, we have a secret here in Northumberland, and it attracts surfers form far and wide. Its not the clean water, empty beaches, stunning backdrops, or miles of coast to choose from. No, it’s a piece of rock, that collects swell and creates a truly great left-hand wave, unlike anything you will find on the beaches in the vicinity. This is why I keep bumping into the cream of UK surfing at 7am in a field next to a farm..

This piece of rock has attracted the cream of the UK Pro riders, Eugene Tollemache, Alan Stokes, Russel Winter, Spencer Hargreaves, Matt Capel… these guys have all been sat in the lineup in the last months.

So, you can understand how the mags got the lead – Cornall is a small place, and when the surf is flat everyone is looking further afield, and how the Welsh boys arrive on cue each swell – forecasts are pretty good and easy to read these days, and why its special – this is a legitimate, heavy, barreling wave… and its on our doorstep.

Anyway, this is not a magazine article, so I don’t have to justify anything, Im not here to talk about the good or the bad. I’m not naming the spot, but if your reading this then the chances are you know where it is.

Just think about it like this : Being up here – we’re all very lucky – and even luckier when we get that one morning with no-one else out and its perfect…. and gone an hour later…that’s the North for ya… appreciate it. :)

Icons of the area…

September. That time of year when normality returns once more and village life in Beadnell, Seahouses and Bamburgh returns to a mellower pace.

The weather is still pretty fantastic, blue skies, sunshine and warm water. The road are getting quieter…  you can feel Autumn approaching.

I love September. I revel in it.

As the summer passed, I thought about what defined this area we live in.. not easy to do. Not as an answer to that, but as a visual exploration, I collected these images, which hopefully begin to paint the picture.

Coxons Ice-cream

Coxons Ice-cream

The Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands

The Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands

Fish and Chips from any of the various chippy's

Fish and Chips from any of the various chippy's

Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle

Lobster Pots - working or decorative

Lobster Pots - working or decorative

Billy Shiel boat trips to the Farne Islands

Billy Shiel boat trips to the Farne Islands

Of course there are many other things I could have included, and everyone has their own vision of what this special piece of coast means to them, but you have to draw the line somewhere… We could talk about Kippers, Grace Darling, Dunstanburgh Castle, Beadnell Harbour, Golden Beaches… but these are the ones that work most visually – and they work for me.

Summer-time… all systems are GO.

Some times its difficult to use a camera to good effect, other times its easy to take good photos. A walk on the beach a couple of nights ago yielded some pleasing results.

The villages are buzzing with the various visitors and summer activities, and as soon as this un-seasonal weather leaves us July and August will be upon us and gone in a flash. The summer has been a blur of football, work and surfing. All good then.

I never write here with a political agenda, its not what this site is for. This space is for documenting and celebrating the village of Beadnell and the surrounding area. That said, I do want to mention the current plans for the village. The new housing estate behind Harbour Road is progressing its final stage with another batch of twenty plus houses to be finished by the year-end.

Along with this the Duke of Northumberland has plans currently with the Council for a large holiday park development right next to the car park for the bay, adjacent to the Long Beach development. These plans have come under much scrutiny and objection within the local community. The village has an ever-growing number of visitors and second home owners, and a local economy that is shrinking with no new facilities to support the new homes.

The Duke of Northumberland

The Duke of Northumberland

The Duke plans a seasonal holiday park, with basic facilities to service its own users. This copies the format he has used elsewhere, such as Alnwick, where he corners his market and peripheral local business lose-out and fail.
Its easy to imagine that the Dukes plans will be passed – they usually are – but the point of this being highlighted here is to raise awareness for the need for more local facilties to support and maintain the local community, rather than line-the-pockets of the Duke.

Documentation detailing the plans is hard to find currently, but should be available through the planning website eventually..

The Journal covers the plans here.

The Dukes plans get the Daily Mail treatment – here.

Locally, the feeling is that people would like to see the Duke doing more to support local communities rather than profiteering from them. Being that he and his wife have earned so much from the County, its time he started to repay the communities which he lord’s over…

… time will tell.

May-Day Bank Holiday

Well, summer is genuinely upon us. We have had some warm days, and the visitors have returned in full-force.

The General Election is days away and the country is alive with talk of the next government.

Beadnell, meanwhile, is plodding-on with charming predictability.
The only real changes, which I’m sure will cause a wave of discussion, is the new menu about to be released at the Beadnell Towers, and the semi-permanent marquee that has arrived at the Craster Arms in preparation for the World Cup next month.

The end of April gave me the opportunity to take a trip up to Thurso for the most prestigious surf contest in the British Isles, the Oneill Coldwater Classic / Highland Open 6 Star Prime WQS.

The surf was mediocre, the wind was strong, but the backdrop and area was stunning, and we got to meet some childhood icons along with way. All in all a good trip. Some photos below.

The surf here has been pretty decent in the last two weeks, much better than the previous months, and we’re crossing our fingers for more of the same.

I even managed to make a quick edit for the San Sebastian Surf Film Festibal in Spain. :)

More as it happens form the shores of Beadnell…

Surfboard, wetsuit and bike hire in Beadnell, Seahouses and Bamburgh, Budle, Embleton, Newton, Northumberland
Hire surfboards, wetsuits and bikes in Beadnell, Seahouses and Bamburgh