Contact Details

Northumbrian Earth
The Old Reading Room
NE71 6XE

T: 01668 216066


Storm and Stress; Howick

From September 08 10:00 am until September 08 1:00 pm
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Wednesday 8th September, 10:00 am to 1:00pm. The walk is run as part of the Northumberland Coast AONB series of geo-diversity walks.

Walk summary: The massive forces unleashed as the earth's continental crust moves around driven by mantle convection are made all too obvious when events such as the Nepal earthquake or that around Amatrice in central Italy happen. These forces do seem rather distant on the geologically quiet and beautiful coast around Howick with not even the smallest earth tremor to disturb the butterflies feeding on the sea campion. The evidence in the cliff face here at Howick tells a different story though, with massive slabs of rock moving many tens of meters and igneous rock being injected into the cracks between them. Signs that in the Carboniferous period some 300 million years ago that the Northumberland coast was in closer proximity to continents colliding. 

This walk will explore the sequence of sedimentary and igneous rock which make up this beautiful coastline and paint a picture of what was going on here about 300 million years ago.

Do I need to book? To follow continuing COVID guidance this event has to be booked in advance. The walk costs £10 for each adult (children free). The walk will be limted to 20 people. To book a place on this walk please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and telephone number and I will send you bank details for Northumbrian Earth. Once you have made the payment I will confrm your place. If you aren't able to come on the walk for whatever reason please let me know, send me your bank details and I will refund the cost of the walk. Refunds will only be given if you get in touch prior to the walk.

Where do we meet? We meet at the parking spot on the bend by Sea Houses Farm just south of Howick. Grid refrerence NU258173Please can participants gather, socially distanced, unless in support/family groups).

How long is the walk? This walk will be approximately 5 km and will involve some scrambling across rocks on the foreshore. Strong boots are recommended and some may find walking poles helpful. 

What else do I need to know? Full details will be sent out on email to everyone who books. This will include what to bring and how covid guidance will be followed.


01668 216066

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Interesting items

  • In Praise of Pentagonal

    In Praise of Pentagonal

    A sharp eyed walk along the beach at Cocklawburn or on Lindisfarne and with a bit of luck you may find a small disc, shaped like a tiny petrified polo mint.

  • Where has Hadrian’s Wall Gone?

    Where has Hadrian’s Wall Gone?

    Before I answer that question, here is a little bit of background information from a manuscript fragment recently discovered in an obscure roman outpost at Ecclesia Novum-Oppidum near to the Fluvium Collegium (surprisingly close to where I live!) and published in the journal Falsus Nuntium. 

  • Northumberland Coast Rocks!

    Northumberland Coast Rocks!

    This project, which was completed during 2015 organised by the Howick Heritage Group and supported with HLF funding, delivered a book, some educational work with a local first and middle school and a series of walks and talks. In this section of geo-diversity resources you can have a look at the presentation given for the walks and talks as well as much of the material which was used in the educational work including lesson plans, activities and exercises.  There is also a handy guide to fossils to be found on the beach at Seahouses (and elsewhere on the coast).


  • "Ian Kille is an absolute authority on the geology of Northumberland. His knowledge is unmatched, his presentation is perfect and his enthusiasm is unbridled. Ian has lead a series of walks for us along the Northumberland Coast AONB over the last two years and every walk has been immensely enjoyable, thoroughly entertaining and incredibly educational. He is able to explain complex geological sequences across enormous timescales to young and old alike and has piqued a geological interest in many that has kept the audience coming back for all of his walks."

    Jessica Turner
    Historic and Built Environment Officer
    Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership


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