New books

Just received advance copies of my two most recent books:

St Oswald’s Way and St Cuthbert’s Way, published by Cicerone Press
Istria. The Bradt Travel Guide, published by Bradt (co-author with Thammy Evans)

Both published February 2013

cover-istria cover-stoswaldsway

Northumberland Coast (3) – land defences

During the Second World War, the long, low, open expanse of the north Northumberland coast was considered one of the most likely points of a projected land invasion by Hitler’s Germany — and a system of land defences was rapidly set into place along, and just inland from, the coast. Many of these survive. Pillboxes (gun turrets) in various states of preservation are a reasonably familiar sight – there are 37 of them within the Northumberland Coast AONB alone – and large concrete anti-tank blocks can still be seen lying along or just above the beach in a few places. In some instances they have been incorporated into the existing landscape – anti-tank blocks at Boulmer for example were used as building materials in the harbour wall.
Despite their incongruity with the surrounding landscape, their presence is strangely appropriate for a county which can boast some of the finest defensive architecture anywhere in the UK (Warkworth castle, Dunstanburgh castle, the Elizabethan walls at Berwick-Upon-Tweed…).
The following images were taken on St Oswald’s Way, St Cuthbert’s Way and the Northumberland Coast Path between 2011 and 2012.

Concrete anti-tank blocks and the remains of a small bunker made from concrete sand bags, on the beach between Warkworth and Alnmouth

Concrete anti-tank blocks near Holy Island Causeway

Pillbox in a field near Pauperhaugh, on the River Coquet
Photos © Rudolf Abraham. No unauthorized use.

Northumberland Coast (2)

I’m expecting to receive the proofs from my Northumberland book (St Oswald’s Way & St Cuthbert’s Way) from Cicerone within the next few days, so here are a couple of shots taken on or near Holy Island (Lindisfarne) that I haven’t posted before.
Northumberland Coast Path, just north of the causeway to Holy Island

Walking the ‘Pilgrim’s Route’ across the sands to Holy Island (Lindisfarne), only possible at low tide

Refuge box for those caught by the tide…

The ruins of Lindisfarne Priory, Holy Island

Sculpture of Saint Cuthbert, 7th century saint and hermit (and Bishop of Melrose and later of Lindisfarne), by Fenwick Lawson, in the ruins of Lindsfarne Priory

A well preserved group of lime kilns behind Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island. There was an important lime industry in Northumberland during the 19th century, and kilns survive at various spots along the coast and inland

Cairns left by pilgrims just beyond Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, with the big, bad and bleakly beautiful North Sea beyond

These images were all taken over several trips to Northumberland and the Borders in the second half of 2011 and early 2012.
Photos © Rudolf Abraham. No unauthorized use.

St Oswald’s Way, Northumberland

A few shots from my most recent visit to Northumberland (last week), walking/re-walking some sections of St Oswald’s Way for my new Cicerone guide, due out later this year.

Morning light on Warkworth Castle (built from the 12th to the 15th century), Warkworth, St Oswald’s Way / Northumberland Coast Path, Northumberland

Victorian postbox in the wall of what was formerly the village school, one of the oldest buildings in Great Bavington, St Oswald’s Way, Northumberland

The remains of Whittington Mill, an 18th century windmill near the village of Great Whittington, St Oswald’s Way, Northumberland

Whittington Mill

Looking towards the Simonside Hills (a SSSI, or Site of Special Scientific Interest), Northumberland National Park, from the edge of Harwood Forest, St Oswald’s Way, Northumberland

18th century stone bridge over the River Coquet at Pauperhaugh, St Oswald’s Way, Northumberland

D700 + 14-24/2.8 (#2, 3, 5 & 6), 24 PC-E (#1) and 70-200/2.8 (#4).

All photos copyright © Rudolf Abraham. No unauthorized use.

Northumberland coast

Just back from a few cold, wet and windy days hiking in Northumberland, working on a new Cicerone guidebook to St Oswald’s Way, St Cuthbert’s Way and the Northumberland Coast Path. On this visit I started from Alnmouth and followed the coast up to Craster, then from Seahouses to Bamburgh, and around Budle Bay (a very long day with an enormous detour inland) to Beal. Crossed the sands to Holy Island (Lindisfarne) at low tide and spent the day there before returning on the next low tide, and on the final day followed the coast up to Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Seaweed on Harkess Rocks, with Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands in the distance, Bamburgh, St Oswald’s Way / Northumberland Coast Path, Northumberland, UK

Rocks arranged in the shape of a horse, behind Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island, Northumberland, UK

View of Goswick Sands from Cheswick Sands, site of some of the tallest dunes on the Northumberland coast, Northumberland Coast Path (part of the North Sea Trail), Northumberland, UK

First and last images shot on a D700 with 24mm PC-E, plus Singh-Ray ND graduated filter (2 stops, hard edge); second image D700 with 14-24mm f/2.8.

All images © Rudolf Abraham. No unauthorized use.