Established in 2011, Footsteps in Northumberland offers guided walks for visitors, schools, businesses and residents along the Northumberland Coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in Northumberland National Park, in the Border Country and on the Berwickshire Coast too. Patrick holds the Hill and Moorland Leader Award (HML) and is working towards the Mountain Leader (Summer) Award, both nationally recognised qualifications awarded by Mountain Training (England). The HML allows us to lead guided walks in the Cheviot Hills, a place we love as well as along the Northumberland and all points in between, which of course we love too.
With a background in countryside management and a long family association with the Border country, attending school in Lockerbie and Carlisle and a career in the Royal Navy, he's now back living and working in Northumberland and guided walks is his business.
Footsteps in Northumberland operates throughout the year and if we have a booking and as long as the weather is good, (which it nearly always is) we will lead the guided walk. We can assure you of a great day out, discovering the landscape and what it makes it so special and we never get lost, guaranteed.
Martin is the Director and Senior Guide at Northern Experience Wildlife Tours (NEWT) and a Director of Astroventures. Fascinated by everything in the world around him since a very young age, Martin divides his time between leading wildlife, landscape and photography day tours and package holidays for NEWT, delivering sessions on a range of astronomy topics for Astroventures and coordinating the ground-breaking North East Cetacean Project, which has extended and refined our knowledge and understanding of whales and dolphins off the Northumberland coast. In his ‘spare time’ Martin is a British Cycling Level 2 Road and Time Trial coach.
Before you enter any other media pages let me tell you a little bit about myself:
Along with my brother we operate a small family run business that takes people out to the Farne Islands to see all the seabirds and grey seals. We have only been operating tours to the Farne Islands for 12 years now so we are relatively new but we think our passion for the area shines through.
We are both born and bred in Seahouses so we love the area so much that we have decided to raise our family here too.
On a personal note I can’t get enough of the Farnes and if I could be on the water every day I would be. My love for Northumberland is the reason I started my blog. I wanted to let everyone know how beautiful the area was and also show off the Farnes. I get a buzz every year when the seabirds start to arrive and I thought to be share this with more people than me. As Sir David Attenborough once said “it’s his favourite place in the UK to see seabirds during the breeding season”. Now if this man can say something like this then you can understand why I want other people to see it too. My blog just gives you a taste of what you are about to see and what’s happening at different times of the year.
Over the last few years we have changed our boats to catamarans and there are a few reasons for this, and one major one is the stability of our vessels. This helps people who do not have sea legs enjoy the trip along with the family and friends. The other reason is that they are perfect to viewing the Farnes and along with our wildlife guide we try to make the trip as enjoyable as possible. The other big reason is that we designed our vessels, so we could get a little bit closer to the wildlife. This gives you that extra insight into their world, along with the smell.
Hopefully you will enjoy my blog and other media pages, and then someday we might see you on our boats for a tour of the Farne Islands.
When I was on holiday visiting my grandparents who lived on the Jurassic rocks of the North Somerset coast, I discovered the fascination of fossils. This sparked a fascination with geology which took me to many amazing places including to the Isle of Mull where I researched an extinct volcano. After escaping from a career in the Telecommunications industry in 2006 and moving to Northumberland I started up Northumbrian Earth to share my enthusiasm for rocks, fossils and the landscape with visitors and the local community.
Since then I have been working with the Northumberland Coast AONB amongst many other partners to tell the fascinating stories about the rocks and landscape of the area and have become more and more interested in the way that geology connects to so many different subjects. From volcanoes to the first amphibians, mining and industrial archaeology to little terns, and poetry to continental drift there is so much to explore within this beautiful landscape.
Andy Craig is a full-time photographer and musician who has lived on the Northumberland Coast for over 9 years where he also teaches photography and leads history and archaeology walks. Andy's blog www.northumberland360.com is "The Photographic Diary of a Dog-Walker on The Northumberland Coast"
Born and bred in Seahouses with a father and grandfather who served on the lifeboat and with Scott Shiel, my grandfather, starting a boat trip company as far back as 1918 it was inevitable that a love of the sea and the history of our village would be in my blood.
I have sailed the waters around the Farne Islands ever since I was a young lad, working on the tourist boats and fishing boats before obtaining the licence from Trinity House to be the keeper for the three Farne Island lighthouses.
As well as a love of the wildlife a fascination of the history of these islands has always been with me and I feel both honoured and privileged to be the owner of the only boat to have access to Longstone Island and Grace Darling’s childhood home in the lighthouse.
I still carry on the tradition of Grace's father William as besides taking out visitors to the islands I can find myself moving the Trinity House engineers between the islands when they are carrying out maintenance work.
When all is said though the biggest kick I get is when picking visitors up from the bird sanctuaries on Inner Farne and Staple and seeing the smile on people’s faces after having seen their first puffin!
Steve and I moved to Market Cross Guest House in Belford in 2012 and was a new venture for both of us. I have always had a interest in food but after retraining to be a chef in my forties I began working at Swinton Park Cookery School in the Yorkshire Dales for a number of years. It was there that I really developed a passion for where our food came from and the use of seasonal produce being lucky enough to have access to a real kitchen garden and excellent local suppliers. While working at Swinton I discovered the delights of fine dining, the amazing talent and passion that goes into creating menus and dishes. Within my role at the cookery school I met some fantastic food producers and I came to understand what amazing produce was on the door step in North Yorkshire.
When we moved to Northumberland I doubted I would find the same level of produce here on our door step. How wrong was I!
Here in my blog I will share with you some the producers we use here at Market Cross as well as the best local restaurants and maybe a few of my favourite recipes.
I hope you enjoy!