Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A day in Alnmouth

The pearl of a recent "family and friends" holiday is finally found after a series of rather damp, rainy "stay indoors" sort of days. When the dry weather arrives, with the sun even threatening to pop through the clouds, we head for the village of Alnmouth, situated on the beautiful, unspoilt Northumberland coastline. Ours is not the first visit by Northerners. Previously named a new town under Norman rule in 1150, it was apparently destroyed by Scottish invaders in 1336. Hopefully our brief sojourn will not do too much damage...

There are few signs of destruction as we take up position on the golden shoreline, stretching for miles as far as the eye can see, with the postcard-friendly Coquet Island standing stage right of the horizon. A cool breeze pulls the children into the fast approaching waves: over and over as if being rewound, then fast-forwarded, their brightly coloured wetsuits hop in and out of the lolloping white breakers.

I am holding a "Thomas the tank engine" kite and the strength of the wind provides a constant tug on my hand. The pull is reassuring, as if I'm somehow plugging into nature via the kite's string. I imagine a surge of natural energy, as the wind's current pulses through my body and transfers back to earth via the icy, lapping waves that I'm kicking through. The buffeting sound pounds relentlessly on the kite's plastic. Waves trip to shore and the refreshing smell of seawater is somehow reassuring.

Away from the water's edge, one man is having trouble breaking in a black pony. Like a bronco in a rodeo, she fusses and swishes her tail, unwilling to let nature take its course.

After more paddling, some stone collecting and the important discovery of a snail, we are ready for a simple beach lunch. Sharing sandwiches, we pin down our travel rugs in the face of an increasingly blustery wind as clouds are sent spinning across a clearing blue sky.

Soon the sun is shining as we indulge in a spot of  beach cricket, where the main challenge, at first, is to ensure that the stumps remain upright. We wedge a red boulder against them to keep them intact and soon the ball is free-wheeling away from the bat as a youngster hits a crisp cover-drive across the flattened sand.

A short stroll around town is next on the agenda. We head down Pease's Lane towards Dandelion Cafe, whose bright yellow logo has lured us magnetically away from a more traditional coffee shop. Straight ahead of us as we walk is Alnmouth Village Golf Club. A golfer professionally sizes up, then sinks a long putt on the beautifully manicured green. As if he's just won the Ryder Cup, he collects multiple high-fives from his playing partners.

Sitting in the bright conservatory of Dandelion Cafe, we sip lattes and munch through some large slices of cake, comparing notes on how relaxed we feel. The children are happy to mix cake, ice-cream, water and sachets of sugar into one stupendous, scientific experiment, whilst the "grown-ups" reminisce and mull over  bygone days.

In the bar, local artwork, all vibrant blue skies, remind us of the present and we head back outdoors to catch the rest of the day. As we walk back along the gravel track, dissecting beach and golf course, the swell of the breakers provides a perfect soundtrack.

Soon our cars are swallowing us back into the pace of modern life and we are heading back to complete the last part of the holiday, but the day spent in Alnmouth has been one to remember.

posted on theme thursday- recollections.


  1. Wet suits, not bathing suits. Down here in the summer the water is warm. Very pretty area.

  2. I haven't been there but you described it well ~ Those are cherished family memories ~

  3. A very nice picture of a summer day! God is good! :-)

  4. I could feel the cold water, see the island, hear the kite, taste the lattes, and smell the sea.....a treat for the senses!

  5. I can see and hear everything as you describe it, and I like the kite especially. The pony--is nature the tamed or the untamed? I love the scene in the coffee shop--I can imagine the children's concoctions. Unfortunately, though, what is most real to me is "Soon our cars are swallowing us back into the pace of modern life"!

  6. Oh that sounds like such a great day to have experienced. I am not so sure about the children's experiment with adding water to the cake. I still like to eat cake and ice cream but just not so much to mix it up and adding sugar would totally give me the shakes.

    I love how you describe how holding the kite made you plug into nature. Nature is amazing and to experience it as if you are feeling a part of it is pure wonder.

    Thanks for sharing your day with us at Theme Thursday and I hope you will have been recollections of this day.

    God bless.

  7. This would also fit the topic of dVerse's prompt this week in that it is incredibly descriptive in an impressionistic way and makes me think you are having a perfect family summer...

  8. poetic prose about your beautiful visit, love many ways you have put things, ending with..."our cars are swallowing us back into the pace of modern life." The photos are lovely. I like the connection to nature through the kite. Thank you for sharing your vacation. I will google Alnmouth and also share with my English neighbor.

  9. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to stand in a certain spot in a different time period. As stressful as 2012 is, it could be worse.

  10. what a wonderful place - thanks for taking us along sir

  11. nice...your vivid descriptions really took us there...sounds like fun times....thanks for the birthday wishes....


Thanks for leaving a comment. Have a great day :)

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