Friday 25 July 2014

A Trip Along The Northumberland Coastal Route

I'm breaking with tradition this week a bit and posting something a little bit different on a Friday. A usually post a Foodie Friday food inspired but instead this week I'm going to give you a little glimpse into the beautiful North East of England, a place that I'm fiercely proud to call my home.

This part of the UK features everything from busy modern cities, to wild moorland and endless sandy beaches - there really is something for everyone. Seeing as the weather yesterday was so hot and sunny me and Mummy Lou, decided to take a jaunt up the A1 into Northumberland.

Northumberland as a county has so much to offer from Hadrian's Wall and Roman ruins, to stately homes, and castles. We decided to follow a route that we've done many times before and head up the coastal route. Often nicknamed coast and castle the Northumbrian coast features a huge number of traditional fishing villages, small seaside resorts and believe it or not castles. The coast is littered with them from Holy Island in the far north, to Warkworth, Dunstanburgh and of course Bamburgh. We made a couple of stops over the course of the day and of course I took my camera along to take some pictures x


We started our day out in Bamburgh - Bamburgh is probably one of the most visually stunning places in the whole of the North East. A small village dominated by a huge castle on a high crag overlooking the beach.

So many adverts for the region has focused on this image so I probably imagine that you've seen it somewhere before. If not you may have seen it in films such as Elizabeth and Robin Hood.

The castle overlooks one of the nicest beaches you will over come across. It wide, very clean and protected by the dunes. None of my pics do it justice really but it's the kind of place that never ever feels crowded.

It was a bit overcast so you can't really see too well, but on a clear day you see both Holy Island to the north and the Farne Islands to the south. The village also features a fascinating graveyard and the Grace Darling memorial and museum (Click here to read the Grace Darling story) and of course you can visit the castle itself.

After a little walk, a drink and some of our picnic we moved on the next village Seahouses. Seahouses is probably the tourist centre of this area, and the village is filled with fish and chips shops, gift shops, arcades and ice cream shops. Dare I say it  but I find it a touch tacky! Never the less it's still a working fishing harbour and it's a lovely place to have sit down, and watch the boats come in and out especially since the sun had came out.

From Seahouses harbour you can also go on boat trips out to the Farne Islands. I've only done it once with a friend (Mummy Lou is a not a fan of boats) and despite being on a rainy October day I really enjoyed it. You can see all the places mentioned in the Grace Darling story but perhaps the biggest reason people go out is to see the wildlife. The craggy islands are a heaven for different sea birds and seals, and depending on the time of year, you will always see something different.

By this time the sun was getting really hot and we fancied a proper rest so we jumped back in the car and travelled a few miles further south to the resort of Beadnell. There isn't a lot there bar a couple of caravan parks but the real attraction is the beach.

It has the only west facing beach on the east of England and as a result it's a total suntrap. Unlike Bamburgh there is no long walk over the dunes, so me and Mummy Lou took the opportunity to have a bit of a chill and a sunbathe.

The beach is pristine, the water is clear and it stays shallow for quite a long way out, so it's ideal for children. It was quite busy as you would expect but there were still plenty of places to lie down. It's also a bit of a watersport haven so there are a few jet skis around and you can hire kayaks.

As I say there isn't a lot there bar toilets and an ice cream and food truck but the parking is free and the beach is good.

After an hour or so of lazing we headed back to the car to begin our journey home. We stuck to the coastal route back for as far as we could which takes you along the coast through some of the most lovely villages before joining the A1 traffic jam hell for the rest of the way home.

Trips like yesterday make me realise that I couldn't really live anywhere else.  The scenery is beautiful, and the beaches are amazing - with better weather you would never need to go abroad. We're definitely planning a couple of more trips before the summers out so I'll keep you posted - top of our list is Holy Island or Lindisfarne somewhere that has to be seen to be believed. I hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into the region where I live x Thanks for reading and I'll see you tomorrow with a beauty post xx

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