My Blog List

Sunday, 18 July 2010


B is visiting from Oz. She has travelled north on the bus, from the Metropolis (well, Ealing to be exact) and is spending a few days with us. We did a bit of Teesdale...namely Eggleston Hall, home of the "Ladettes to Ladies" series and, indeed, once an old Finishing School in real life.
Then we did Durham City. Truly lovely as usual and B fell in love with it as visitors do.
So the next day was a trip down the Durham coastline from north to south. We stopped first for a coffee at the Marsden Grotto. The pub itself was always a visual disaster on the gorgeous beach below the cliffs, once a historic smugglers cove and now an eyesore. The coffee was as bad. Freshly made, on a lovely tray, with jugs of milk etc, it failed to taste anything like coffee should. Great service, great view , no taste!
It is the tail end of the nesting season. Parent gulls hang off the cliffs, taking it in turn to fly out to sea to fish and return to stuff the catch down the throat of their offspring, which are now nearly as big as them.
If you want to play on the beach you need to be a few metres away from the cliff to avoid falling guano and putrid smells. It's County Durham so you also need warm clothes. B had a paddle but the sea has the temperasture of freshly melted ice. It's a beautiful area but tourism is thwarted by the weather.

As you can see above, guano stalagmites hang down from the rock shelves which are home to the gulls for another week or two. The young will be able to fly soon and explore the North Sea.
On our way back we stopped at Latimers in Whitburn for cockles and mussels ( sing chorus now if you know it) for lunch and fillets of halibut and haddock for tea.
Great days.
Cheers Gillian

1 comment:

carol said...

"Alive, alive o-oh!.."

You'll be glad you can't hear me singing!

It's just a bit satisfying to hear that we're not the only ones staying nice and cool. Shame about the tasteless coffee - a crime really. They should be charged with something.