Category: Northumberland

Discover the natural world of the Northumberland Coast AONB

Castle by the sea

With one of the UK’s most dramatic coastal landscapes, some of the country’s finest beaches, history spanning 7000 years of human influence and an area internationally renowned for its wildlife; it’s pretty obvious to see how this beautiful part of Northumberland has gained its title as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Designated an AONB in 1958, this long thin stretch of the Northumberland coastline covers some 39 miles of stunning seascape that runs between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Amble on the Coquet Estuary. Untouched dog-friendly beaches away from the crowds, charismatic villages, hidden coves, exquisite wildlife and ancient ruins, make the Northumberland coast a place to be remembered. A holiday destination that will not only leave you relaxed but inspired.

A haven for wildlife, the mix of land and coast provides a diverse landscape rich in flora and fauna. With isolated islands, mudflats, salt marshes, rolling dunes and rocky cliffs, there’s no end of wildlife spotting opportunities. Take a boat trip from Seahouses to the Farne Islands and visit the sea bird colony with 23 different species including much loved puffins. The island is also home to a large colony of grey seals, with hundreds of pups in the autumn and if you are really lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a dolphin, whale or porpoise as you make your boat journey. The tiny island of Coquet is another popular trip for bird watchers with some 35,000 nesting seabirds during the summer months. Alternatively, explore the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve with its medley of significant coastal habitats which are home to incredible plant species and safeguard important wintering bird populations. Walk the causeway at low tide to the Holy Island, a sanctuary for marine and bird life and a place of solitude and mystery with its stunning beaches, rock pools, priory and castle. On the way to the causeway, a stop at the beautiful sandy beach at Beal may reward you with a sighting of a seal if you are lucky!

It’s not just the incredible wildlife that draws people to this wonderful natural world. The areas raw beauty is a captivating subject for photographers. Its coastline provides plenty of water-based activities for those who like to dip their toe in! Both Beadnell and Budle Bay offer excellent conditions for surfers and those seeking the thrill of kite surfing and jet ski-ing. Kayaking is another popular pursuit and a perfect way to explore the coastline and be at one with the wildlife. Walk the Northumberland Coastal Path which runs the entire length of the AONB or just one of the 6 sections which can be achieved in a day for the less ambitious. Experience golf by the sea at its best at Goswick Links Golf Club.

The towns and villages of the area each have their own distinct appeal and charm. Tuck into the ‘best fish and chips in the country’ from Pinnacles (according to the Hairy Bikers!) whilst watching the waves crashing into the harbour at Seahouses. Enjoy a pub lunch in the picture postcard seaside village of Alnmouth with its expansive sands. See for yourself where Harry Potter had his first quidditch lesson and visit the popular historic market town of Alnwick, with its castle, which featured as Hogwarts in the first two Potter films. Unravel the Arthurian and dragon myths and legends of Bamburgh Castle; another one of Northumberland’s stunning little villages. And if castles are your passion, a trip to the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle will have you captivated by the stunning setting.

The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers one of the UK’s most impressive unspoilt coastlines, just waiting to be explored. Conveniently located within easy reach of the Scottish Borders and the Northumberland National Park, there are no end of great day trips out both in and around the area. Alternatively, just relax and enjoy the beauty of this stunning natural environment.

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