Shutterspots No. 4: Chemical Beach, Seaham

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Chemical Beach, Seaham is a beautiful little cove just South of Seaham town centre. It’s not the main visitor beach so it’s always very empty, just the occasional beach fisherman or dog walker.
The beach was at one point a tipping area for spoils from nearby Dawdon Colliery, and it’s the ‘Chaldron’ wheels from one of the colliery wagons which makes this location so famous. Along with the famous chaldron wheels, there are many other natural structures and man-made items along the shoreline to photograph. There is also an aspect of Seaham harbour to the north but you’ll need a telephoto to take a shot of it.

Photography Subjects

Long exposure, water, waves, breaking waves, chaldron wheels, cliffs, sea life, sea birds, horizon, sunrise, sunset (if there is any colour, the beach is East facing)

Key Locations

See the google map below for some of the points along the beach. These are my choice locations, some of which are demonstrated in the main gallery. As always, explore the location and make your mark. As always please be safe and sensible on the beach and the cliff area. The map also includes a suggested car parking location.

Getting There

There is a car park directly above the beach. There is a steep and sometimes slippy slope down to the beach, the track is well marked from the regular passage of visitors. When you reach the bottom of the hill you have to clamber over a large number of stone blocks which form a man-made breakwater to stop the waves eroding the coastline. PLEASE be very careful traversing this area as some of the gaps are quite deep, and some of the falls quite high (YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!).

I recommend checking out the tide times to plan your visit, especially if you want to photograph the Chaldron wheels as they are quite far down the beach so you need to be there just after low tide to catch the tide coming back in to cover them.

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