SEATON CAREW TO HARTLEPOOL HEADLAND 20TH JAN 2011 9 miles
A cold morning with a heavy overnight frost, but the prospect of a beautiful day was high, as we parked up in the free car park to the South of Seaton Carew. Just below the car park is a little gem – the bus station which is a great example of Art Deco (Streamline Moderne) with its sweeping lines and Deco clock tower.
In the distance to the south are views of Industrial Teesside and at sea ships at anchor waiting to deliver their cargoes.
The holiday town part of Seaton Carew is a little run down, with the worst eyesore the Longscar Centre.
There is though quaintness about the place on a quiet winter’s day. This was evident as we strode northwards and passed the Marine Hotel and then came to the green. This was the heart of the old village and is surrounded by early eighteenth century houses. On the corner is the Norton Hotel.
North of here are great views of Hartlepool Headland.
The promenade has been revitalised along with the sea defences. Here we cut down to the beach to look at the Petrified Forest. Not much sticking through the sand today, as it all depends on tides and storms, but it dates from 5000 BC and the bases of the great trees can be clearly seen. Richard and I always spend a bit of time here to look for Mesolithic flints, although we have never been so fortunate to find any. The sunlight was brilliant as we walked along and cut back up from the beach and the sea defences.
Now we headed towards the great masts of HMS Trincomalee, which was restored here in Hartlepool and resides in the Historic Quay museum. Just before it in dock is the PSS Wingfield Castle; entry to this steam paddle passenger ship that crossed the Humber is free and there is a nice little cafe aboard to satisfy the demands of the hungriest of sailors. Here you can imagine the thumping of the crankshafts and the whistling of the stokers as she carried her passengers across the Humber to New Holland. (Eventually she was put out of business by the Humber Bridge)
Yes, there are a few busy roads to walk along on the next section, but following the signs soon takes you into the heart of the historic Hartlepool Headland. Here there is far too much to see in an afternoon so we chose to look at the architecture and walk around St Hilda’s church.
It was here where The Time Team discovered parts of the old 7th century Saxon abbey and bones. There was also a great pub called the Cosmopolitan.
Looking out to sea it looks so peaceful, but was just the opposite in 1914 when Hartlepool was shelled by German warships killing 117 people. Walking around the Headland was very pleasant and we cut back in through the houses. Here I was determined to get a picture of the famous ‘Hartlepool Dummy’ in action, but it was not to be. (Needs to be Googled!) We left the historic headland to eventually re-trace our route back to Seaton Carew and a fish and chip supper. The sun shone all day. A great place to be!
The final view to the industry near Redcar.