The Forth Bridge was a major engineering achievements of Victorian times .Designed by Sir John Fowler and Benjamin Baker, the bridge was based on the cantilever principle, with three diamond shaped steel towers 104 metres high carrying a double railway line 46 metres above the River Forth.
The bridge took seven years to build, and contractors used 55,000 tons of steel, 194,000 tons of stone and concrete, and 7.5 million rivets to complete what is a world known landmark. Opened 4th March 1880.
Back to the coast today at South Shields following the coast to Whitby. Raining all the way to Whitby then the sun came out.
Most odd ? Slug People
Highlights today were some odd sculptures at South Shields which were totally lost on me,(looking like something that should be on an old series of Dr Who.) The now owned by National Trust Scouter lighthouse and large lime kilns by it are a must see plus the new sculpture by artist Ray Londale at Seaham of a WW1 Tommy next to the war memorial on the seafront.
The old part of Hartlepool is interesting which was bombarded on 16th December 1914 by the German Fleet killing some 114 civilians. This was the first time British civilians had been in the line of enemy fire during a major conflict (probably since the civil war.) There were similar raids on Scarborough (and then Whitby).In the port of Hartlepool is HMS Trincomalee a frigate built in 1817 which is still afloat.
Old Part of Hartlepool
This afternoon we found a campsite and used the park and ride down into Whitby. Fish and Chips for lunch and a couple of hours in the sun.
Back to the coast and our 1st stop at Newbiggin-by-the Sea and although the coast is starting to reflect more of an industrial history the beach are wide and sandy. Newbiggin has invested in its Heritage with a newish Heritage centre. Telling the history of line fishing when the village had some 100 open fishing boats being launched off the beach (as the one pictured in my previous blog with a canvass front cover) Much of the old village has been lost into the sea only the Church remaining. Newer Victorian House now line the sea front. New rock breakwaters protect the village from the sea on one of these is a statue named the couple.
St Mary’s Lighthouse
Newbiggin by the Sea
Blyth seemed just industrial with pockets of holiday areas. Then we arrived at Seaton Slice with pretty harbour and around the corner St Mary’s Lighthouse. Whitley Bay obviously a large and popular Victorian resort runs into Tynemouth with large harbour and breakwater but empty of any boats. Standing on the headland above the harbour is the Castle and Priory with large WW1 gun emplacement pointing out to sea
No connection to the net on Monday so a day late in the upload
Another wet and windy night due to limited facilities at the camp we decided to go into Berwick. Finding Morrison’s we repaid the use of their toilets by having a cooked breakfast. We continued down the coast, Holy Island will have to wait until September as the tide was in. Familiar landmarks such as Bambrugh Castle, Views of the Farne Islands and Seahouses. After the nice lady at the car park at Alnmouth let us park for the rate of a car rather than a motorhome we had a cuppa and a walk on the beach. Lots of families enjoying the sun. It never surprises me to see how local fishing boats differ around the country’s coast. The little pot boats off the beach all had a canvass cover at their bow I guess to protect the one man pulling his crab pot up. On the sands I spotted a flat fish swimming in about 3 inches of water. It saw my camouflaged crocs and thinking it was seaweed swam towards me and tried to hide under my foot. Took some pictures but not that clear due to the light reflecting. Now time for an Ice Cream before a fully serviced camp site at Bellingham. Now heading back to the coast at Newbiggin-by-the sea.
A FISHY TALE
A day at the seaside
an ice cream at last
Down to the Forth Bridge again, this time crossing the Forth on the road bridge and down to the south side of the Forth rail bridge (hopefully it will be soon a world heritage site) A large cruise ship was anchored in the Forth close to the Bridge and hundreds of passengers were being ferried ashore heading for lines of coaches. So much for our quiet Sunday morning by the Forth Bridge.
We headed down to Berwick on Tweed (as we are returning to this coast later in the year and we have followed this coastline before) we travelled from South Queensferry to Berwick inland across country.
On the way, we stopped at The Polish Map of Scotland at the village of Eddleston http://www.mapascotland.org/visit-the-map/
I it saw the BBC and thought it was worth a visit.
Polish Map of Scotland
not easy to photograph from ground level
THE POLISH MAP OF SCOTLAND
The House & grounds of Barony Castle were requisitioned by the MOD for the Polish Army during WW2. From June 1940, Polish troops were being evacuated to Britain as allies in the fight against Hitler’s Germany. The map was The brainchild of Polish war veteran it was built between 1974 and 1979 and is claimed to be the world’s largest terrain relief model sculpture it is a listed building. It fell into disrepair later being found hidden in undergrowth it is now being slowly restored by a group calling itself Mappa Scotland. The aim is to repair and fill the sea areas with water.
Rain at St Andrews Beach
It started raining hard early Friday evening and continued all night. It was still pouring when we left the campsite. Stopping at St Andrews beach it continued to pour down.
We decided to follow the coast and return to our campsite by then going inland doing a large circular day out. The coastal villages reminded us of Yorkshire seaside villages around Staiths. The building styles and use of and the style of red roof tiles.
Villages on the coast
We also went to Scotland’s secret bunker. A 100ft below ground level under a ordinary farmhouse was build a 24,000 square feet Government command centre to be used following a nuclear attack. Only decommissioned in 1992..
Scotland’s Secret Bunker
On leaving the bunker the weather was drying up. Heading for a close look at the Forth rail bridge and the construction of the new road crossing. Before heading back we sneaked a quick look of Britain’s new aircraft carrier under construction at Rosyth.
more off shore operations
new road crossing under construction
new Aircraft Carrier under construction
the product our lunch
the old signal tower Arbroth
Again rain overnight but clear blue skies on leaving Johnshaven. Not long until Arbroath. Stocked up on their famous smokies and a walk around the harbour. A longer stop at the city of Dundee to visit Broughty Castle and Scotts R R Discovery. First class visitors centre of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s exploits ( all around the ship work is going on to improve the setting of this piece of history). On to St Andrews on a small Camping & Caravan club listed site just to the West of the town. Only room for 5 just us and another van. Have booked 2 nights here. Tomorrow local pottering around and around of golf expect I would get kicked out of town if I mentioned I was after a game of crazy golf.
Last week coming up we crossed the River Tay when we visited the cotton mill, today at Dundee we crossed it again much wider here near the sea.
Discovery at Dundee
Camping near St Andrews
Our camping spot Fraserburgh
At the end of yesterday the coast drive became simpler as the Scottish Tourist Board had developed a coastal drive with large brown sign’s with a blue anchor making navigation of our planned trip sign reading rather than pure map reading. The van withstood a heavy thunderstorm over night at one time we wondered if the roof tent on the pop top may end up in the North sea. On leaving Fraserburgh we started heading South rather than East as the coast had changed direction. Little harbours gave way to Peterhead with its deep sea industrial fishing boats. As we reached Aberdeen the noise of helicopter flying over was an indication of the off shore oil industry. Fishing had now changed to oil and gas for men to make their livings. The harbour in Aberdeen had many oil platform support vessels. Before finding a camping place we visit the harbour at Stonehaven and Dunnottar Castle. Tonight 1 week in to our East Coast tour we are at Johnshaven looking again out to sea.
Lighthouse just South of Peterhead.
Todhead Point Lighthouse
Buchan Ness Lighthouse
near St Combs
pots at Johnshaven
Support the Lifeboats
Oil rig support ships at sea
Gardentown founded 1720
Fraserburgh lighthouse and Scotish lighthouse museum
Moving on from Lossiemouth in bright sunshine we were aiming for Fraserburgh for our next stop. Again following the coastal roads as close to the sea as possible without getting our wheels wet. Several very picturesque harbours and old fishing villages hugging the hillside Some of the most challenging 6 point turns undertaken. The only village seen from a distance was Crovie as the road was being repaired. Fraserburgh’s lighthouse is open to the public and is the site of Scotland’s lighthouse museum.
Fishing Boats Buckie harbour
War Memorial Buckie