Northumberland coast – where to stay for a beach holiday

The Northumberland coast stretches for over 100 miles from the Scottish border down to Tynemouth. Within this outstanding area of natural beauty there is a great selection of places to stay. In our previous blog post we had promised to talk about the best options and how sometimes you can get great value by being just a little bit away from the seaside.

1. Seahouses. The busiest and most vibrant village on the coast. It has working fishing boats as well as offering day trips to the Farne Islands. Immediately to the north is the lovely stretch of sandy beach heading up to Bamburgh. There are plenty of shops along with entertainment. Equally important there is a great fish and chip shop here! If you have children , enjoy seaside shops, ice cream, arcades and crazy golf then this is the place to be.

2. Bamburgh.  Just a little way to the north of Seahouses you will find Bamburgh castle. With a cricket ground, pubs and a genteel atmosphere this is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Seahouses.

3. Beadnell and Embleton. These smaller villages lie to the south of Seahouses. They each have their own small bays and Embleton has the added bonus of Dunstanburgh castle at the southern end of the Bay. There won’t be a lot of shops or pubs here but beaches are beautiful.

4.Craster. A fishing port with a few boats still active Craster is in a great position to either walk up to Dunstanburgh castle or head off south to Howick. There is also  a good pub with great sea views. Craster is built around a rocky headland so if you can find a cottage with sea views then you will get dramatic waves and the sound of the sea will be with you all day long.

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5.Lindisfarne. An interesting choice for accommodation. This is a tidal island so access is limited to low tide. The island itself has some amenities and there is always the castle to explore. The Island is equally famous for mead, a fortified wine made with honey, grape juice and herbs. At low tide you have easy access to the large beach at Goswick Sands.

6. Druridge bay. The last large sandy beach before you come to the industrial towns of Tyneside. Beautiful sand dunes and birdlife but a car is essential and there are very few houses down here.

7. Alnmouth. A port since the 14th century Alnmouth is ideal in so many ways. Whilst it doesn’t have houses which literally front onto a windswept coast ( as at Craster) you get a proper port, lovely bay and beautiful sandy beach all in one.To the south is the port of Amble which also

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But what about places in land where prices might be a little cheaper but you still get easy access to the beaches? What you have to look out for are the towns and villages which tend not to be classed as coastal, so they have lower prices, but in reality are close enough to the beach to allow easy access.

8. Alnwick. Just 10 minutes from Alnmouth and a major tourist centre with Alnwick castle at its centre. Plenty of shopping and lots to see. As for any medium sized town it has a mixture of good and bad neighbourhoods so care is needed when selecting your holiday house.

9. Morpeth. The administrative centre for the county, Morpeth isn’t usually associated with coastal holidays. However it is close to Druridge bay, maybe 15 minutes, and offers much more in terms of shopping and entertainment.

10. Wooler and the Kyloe hills. To the west of the A1 as it heads north to Scotland lies the Kyloe hills and the market town of Wooler which is only 14 miles from Bamburgh. Although a little further inland than is ideal there is still a good access road to the beaches and Bamburgh in particular.Small hamlets like Chatton and Chillingham also offer good value.

11. Rothbury. The main market town of the Coquet valley it is associated with the magnificent country estate at Cragside. But there is a good road across to Alnwick and thence to Alnmouth. So maybe 1/2 hour of travelling through great scenery but when this brings you to Alnmouth well its a nice option for your holiday.

This article was written by Mike Holly. Mike lives and works in Northumberland and has recently been exploring around Howick Hall.

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