Craster and Howick – 4 July 2020

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The Craster and Howick walk is stunning. It has so many different parts to it. It starts off with a little nature reserve and then crosses fields, some with animals in. Eventually it returns to the coast, with smells of the sea and the sound of seabirds.

The start

We started by parking in the car park next to the Tourist Information Centre. As a few of us had got there early, we took the opportunity to breakfast on the famous Craster Kipper in a bun, from the Pipers Pitch stall, whilst waiting for the others.

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Pipers Pitch

It was fantastic to welcome more of our regular walkers back. We really have missed everyone. Martin had brought some of his new bake, Millionaire’s Shortbread, for everyone to taste. It went down very well.

Warm up finished, the group split, following social distance rules. We walked  through the Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve, on the way to Craster South Farm. 

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The Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve

Hips Heugh

We crossed a few fields until we reached a gate to cross a field with cows in. The gate was being guarded by a big bull. Martin made friends over the fence and stroked his nose. Whilst we were deciding an alternative route to take, Bob went into the field and guided the bull back to the herd.

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The friendly bull

We walked below Hips Heugh. An outcrop of Whin Sill. One of many in this area, even the car park is in an old quarry in a Whin Sill heugh (rocky escarpment).

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Hips Heugh

Howick Hall

We walked past Howick Hall and Gardens. Howick Hall was the family home of Earl Grey.  This is the Earl Grey of tea fame.  The Grey family lived there from 1782 until 1973, when the 5th Earl died.  It is currently the home of Lord Howick.  

From here we walked up the road to Seahouses Farm where they breed Limousin cattle. They are beautiful animals and there was a calf which had obviously only recently been born.

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No picture of the little calf but here is a Limousin cow

Snack time

Luckily the weather held off for our mid walk stop at Iron Scars, close to Sugar Sands. On a sunny day (of which this was not) Sugar Sands has a Mediterranean feel, owing to the white sand that gives it its name and the rock outcrops.  We stopped for a small snack, admired the view and watched some seabirds which were diving into the water.

Martin had brought some of his Bakes and Brownies Shortbread to share. Kirsten and Paul had brought American goodies (Twinkies, Reeces biscuits and Bourbon) to celebrate America Independence Day. Most of us enjoyed the Twinkies and biscuits but only Martin, Rob, Kirsten and Paul enjoyed the Bourbon.

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Group photograph

Always on the look out for a different group shot. The bridge at Sugar Sands was to be the prop for it. Half of the group went onto the bridge and the rest of us were underneath. Chris decided to hold up the bridge to show her grandson her super strength.

The second half of the walk

From Iron Scars, the scenery changes dramatically. Where we had walked through fields we now walked along the coastal path, along the cliff edge. We came up to Rumbling Kern.  An odd name for a small beach.  It is said to have been a favourite for whisky smugglers in the day.  It is a sheltered beach between inward facing cliffs and is usually busy but because of the weather it was deserted today.

Paul and Chris were enjoying taking some arty shots of the stunning rock formations.

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Rumbling Kern

The Bathing House

We walked to the Bathing House.  Earl Grey built it in the 19th Century , to provide a location for the family to go bathing in the sea.  It is now a holiday let. Everyone agreed they would love to stay there.

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The Bathing House

Back to Craster

We got back to Craster and whilst we were doing our cool down and stretches, we noticed a couple whose car had broken down. Bob, Rob, and Chris went over to give them a push to bump start the car. Never let it be said that we aren’t a helpful bunch.

The end of the walk

Pipers Pitch was the choice for our post walk food and drink. Rob had been thinking about an Auchtermuchty sandwich all morning. Martin had his second Craster Kipper in a bun of the day. Chris decided on the Chicken Royalle and Julie enjoyed a bacon cheese burger.

Thank you

Thank you everyone for coming along. It is as if we have never been away. Thank you to the two Chris’ for their fantastic photos.

We hope you enjoyed the walk and see you all soon

Julie and Martin x

If you enjoyed the Craster and Howick walk, why not take a look at our other walks.

Gallery – Craster and Howick

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