Another Saturday with no hockey. This time a result of snow still covering the pitch in Whitby rendering it unplayable. As I was up and dressed anyway, I decided to throw my walking boots in the car and head out to a nearer stretch of coastline for a walk and some fresh air. I chose a circular route I’ve done before from Whitburn, over the Cleadon Hills and back along the coast via Marsden Rocks and Souter lighthouse.

Strava map of walking route.

It’s on odd beginning through a housing estate, across a farmyard and then out into open fields. I was glad I’d done it before otherwise I would have thought I’d gone wrong somewhere.

The walk across farmland was very sticky and in places slippy - I almost went over a couple of times. The views across the fields were peaceful and I could forget that if I turned a little to the left the urban edges of Sunderland were visible in the distance.

Muddy field.

As I came out onto the Cleadon Hills, there was a freezing wind and I was grateful that I’d finally picked up a Buff in the sales this week. Until the approach to Cleadon Windmill I’d barely seen anyone, but then I was reminded it was a Saturday morning, and the open common was filled with dog walkers.

The route was pretty busy from then onwards, across the golf course and back onto the coastal path where I met a large group of parents screaming at their kids (probably an under 10s football team) to keep away from the road. I chose to pause and let them get far enough ahead that I could return to my quiet thoughts.

There are some great stacks and arches that have been eroded from the cliff edge along this stretch of coastline. I paused frequently to watch the waves crash around them. I didn’t spot any smugglers though. The sea was probably a bit too rough.