Keith Hartnell is the guide for a scenic 64-mile long walk along the Northumberland coast (part of the North Sea Trail, which includes the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway), with occasional detours to offshore islands and a couple of inland villages. This DVD offers spectacular views of near-empty beaches, old smuggling coves, ruined castles, picturesque towns, country lanes, seabirds, grassy sand dunes, rocky cliffs, the gardens at Howick Hall, and remnants of a World War II coastal defense network (tank traps and gun-emplacements). The walk is divided into six official stages, from Cresswell in the south and the border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed in the north, and includes stops at Warkworth, Craster, Seahouses, the Farne Islands, Belford, Fenwick, and Holy Island/Lindisfarne. Archival film footage and still photos provide fascinating historical perspective on these places, and for additional insights on the area's attractions Hartnell interviews local historians, marine biologists, archaeologists, and historic estate managers.
Highlights: the castle at Warkworth, where, during the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, the Scottish King James III proclaimed himself King of England; the Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands, from which in 1838 the lighthouse keeper's daughter Grace Darling spotted a shipwreck and then rowed out with her father to rescue several survivors (a feat for which she was celebrated throughout Victorian England); the splendid gardens near Howick Hall, home of the Gray family (as in Earl Gray tea); the processing of herring into famed Craster kippers at the L.Robson smokehouse in Craster; St. Cuthbert's Cave, a dramatic sandstone overhang near Fenwick, where St. Cuthbert's body was taken by monks after the Viking raids on Lindisfarne in 875 A.D.; and Lindisfarne itself, Holy Island (an island for only 5 hours twice a day, depending upon the weather), where in 535 A.D. Saint Aiden built a monastery that was to serve as a center for Christian missionary work throughout Britain and Europe.
This region has been designated an official British AONB--an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty--and the DVD shows why.
Larry B | Ventura, California | October 2018