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Inspiration: Ancient Castles and Wild Beaches of Northumberland
Northumberland is a vast expanse of big adventures, never-ending beaches and wonderful wildlife. At every turn, you’ll be reminded of England’s northern-most county’s rich and turbulent history.
At over 5,000 km², Northumberland has the space to feel like you’re truly ‘getting away from it all’. It’s family-friendly, dog-friendly – and one of our recommended places to enjoy your caravan or motorhome to the max!
Whilst there’s a wealth of places to visit and sites to see inland – including the world-famous Hadrian’s Wall, AKA The Roman Wall, our suggested route follows the Northumberland Coastal Route, taking in majestic castles and wild, windswept beaches you’ll want to revisit time and again.
Cresswell to Warkworth:
At the southern end of the coastal route is the eight-mile long sandy Druridge Bay, backed by nature reserves and home to a huge array of birdlife. Just offshore is Coquet Island, an RSPB nature reserve, which can be viewed by taking a boat trip from Amble (you can't land on the island though). Amble is a bustling harbour town and just a mile or so further north is the village of Warkworth, with its fine medieval castle, 11th century Church and cute shops.
Warkworth to Craster:
The Alnwick Garden
This is where you’ll see some of Northumberland's most spectacular beaches and coastline.
North of Warkworth, the coastal grasslands give way to the Aln Estuary and the quaint village of Alnmouth, with its pretty beach. Dip inland from here to explore the wonders of Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden – both of which can be combined in a fun-filled day.
Beyond Alnmouth you’ll find former smuggling den of Boumer, home to RAF Boulmer and another kind of flying machine – the kittiwake. Advancing up the coast you’ll be greeted by the tiny port of Craster, with its traditional smokehouse and famous 'Craster Kippers'.
Craster to Seahouses:
From Craster, head North along the rocky cliffs towards the ruined, but imposing Dunstanburgh Castle. The Guardian Newspaper rates this stretch of coast as one of the top ten coastal walks in the UK: "The seacliffs are excellent and the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle summon up every possible image of Macbeth, Richard the Lionheart and all those other mighty chaps. Find particularly interesting birdlife on the cliffs and at Newton beach and Newton Pool nature reserve."
On arrival at Seahouses, you’ll be immediately enticed by the salt and vinegar tang of fish and chips, best eaten alfresco by the harbour, looking out over the North Sea.
Seahouses to Belford:
... and Seals
Just north of Seahouses is the majestic and much-photographed Bamburgh Castle, spectacular from every angle – and just as interesting inside, too! The beach is pristine and lovely to walk at any time of day and Waren Mill and Budle Bay are nearby.
Boat trips can be taken out to the protected Farne Islands from Seahouses, where you can watch the resident seal and puffin colonies.
Lindisfarne: the Holy Island:
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
A tidal island, accessed via causeway, is cherished by pilgrims and travellers alike and one of the best-known jewels in Northumbria’s crown. In 635AD Saint Aidan came from Iona and chose to found his monastery on the island of Lindisfarne. In 684 Cuthbert was made bishop of Lindisfarne. He died just three years later, becoming the most important medieval saint of Northern England and patron saint of Northumbria.
Although attacked by the Vikings in 793AD, The Holy Island of Lindisfarne has flourished and thrived and, today, offers a unique experience for adventurers and holiday-makers of all ages.
Check out the choice of caravan and holiday parks en-route:
Traditional pub lunches can be enjoyed all along the coast, but don’t forget to try the famous Craster Kippers and a nip of Mead, made exclusively on Lindisfarne at St Aidan’s Winery.
And did you know that Earl Grey tea was specially blended in Northumberland for Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey and British Prime Minister (1830-1834)? Bergamot was used to offset the taste of lime in the water at Howick Hall on the Northumberland coast, the Earl’s family seat. Head to Howick Hall Gardens and Arboretum for a unique tea experience and sip a cup of this revered brew in the elegant Earl Grey Tea House.