St Cuthbert’s Way Trip – Day 5 (Summary – Part 2)

St. Cuthbert’s Way – Resources and Index

This is getting towards the end of our adventure, which is the walk onto the Holy Island where, for a time, St. Cuthbert was buried. I’ll do some posts relating to the history behind this pilgrimage route later on, but best I finish the story of our walk first. There are a lot of photos on this post as the scenery was spectacular in terms of the openness of the environment.

The first part of the walk is along the road onto the island, which is the only way in and out for traffic.

Susanna and Gordon playing by the sign. Looking back on this crossing, we should perhaps have spent a little less time faffing around here.

There is a danger for cars as the water sweeps over the causeway when the tides change and there are some videos on YouTube when drivers ignore these danger signs.

We continued to walk along the road for a little bit and this tower is used as a lookout and safe place to hide for anyone who does get a little bit trapped by the water.

We were then able to walk the rest of the route directly across the sand and here’s Gordon cheering at that thought.

Some walkers took their shoes off, but Gordon and I stood at the back thinking that was a bit decadent for us.

Walking across the sands, which was very easy to do at this stage as the water had entirely receded away.

Steve climbing up a tower. I noticed the missing step and decided that would be a bit too brave for me. I didn’t want to have a falling accident here, partly because it would be a faff for the emergency services and also because Steve and Andy would have a perfect spot to take photos of my little incident and I couldn’t be doing with that.

Steve and Andy up the tower thing.

Here I am about by one of the tall wooden posts that marks the route of the original causeway and is a guide on where walkers can safely cross.

Gordon posing by one of the posts.

We continued across, although the mud was a little slippery in places and so we had to take care. Susanna nearly went flying over on a few occasions and it was noted that I successfully saved her at one point by being in the right place. I quite like some of these photos, the big open skies and the sight of the island that we were walking across to. At this point, it was Susanna, Gordon and I all at the back, whilst we had lost the others somewhere in the distance.

Sarah did send a text saying that we might want to hurry up, but we thought she was just complaining that we were taking too long enjoying our crossing, rather than it being a serious warning we did genuinely need to hurry up.

We had been told by Steve (not that I’m casting blame here) that we were well inside the safe zone time and that the danger zone time was over half an hour away. Susanna and I were a bit muddled up here, as all we could see was the ocean crashing in quickly. For anyone who clicks on the photo above, they’ll see two confused cyclists, one person in the far distance following the poles (Andy) and two people in the water (Steve and Sarah). The cyclists commented that the tides had been coming in exceptionally quickly, which was most certainly true.

This whole situation caused some concern to Susanna and I, because there are Sarah and Steve in the water and we hadn’t quite expected to see that. It’s now clear that there’s no mirage or mysterious way of walking on water, we were a bit blocked by the incoming tide. The cyclists furiously cycled back to the mainland, their route to the island now being blocked, whilst I have to tell Gordon that we need to walk through water. He immediately worried about his blister plaster, but bravely continued on really without many complaints (other than about Steve).

This is the water we plodded through, which was cold, but rather refreshing. It was clearly moving in relatively quickly, but to be fair, there was never much danger here as the water didn’t get that high. However, care does need to be taken on these crossings, but Gordon and I are trained professionals and we never put ourselves in danger. Others should be more careful, as we consider risk in great detail to ensure that we don’t make any mistakes.

Gordon being brave. He commented at one point “Steve will have to take care, he’s quite short”, but I didn’t say anything as I didn’t want to cause our walk leader to be annoyed.

After our short walk through the water we were rewarded with the sight of land and safety, which was much appreciated. I did an interview with Gordon to capture the moment forever, I’ll upload on here at some point (since I’ve already posted it widely across social media anyway).

Looking at the scene of “what could have been a murder charge for Steve” as Gordon put it. We stuck together over the danger zone, conscious that our bravery had been exceptional. Andy had been quite adventurous too (or stupid, whichever way you look at it) as he was up to his waist in the water at one point with the route that he had chosen. Certainly not ideal if you ask me, but I think that he rather enjoyed it.

This photo is taken from the road which we safely got onto. The others were up ahead having a rest on the bench and we were all delighted that six started the crossing and six finished it.

The welcome sign. This meant we could then walk just a little further along the road onto the Holy Island, our adventure drawing to a close. Congratulations to everyone for their bravery here, especially Gordon and I.