Towns and villages on the Northumberland coast

With just under 40 miles of stunning coastline to explore, Northumberland is a great place to get away for a holiday by the sea. Many of its coastal spots are lesser-known than other places across the UK, meaning often it’s very quiet and you may even get to enjoy some of the scenery all to yourself.

Along its coastline, Northumberland has a number of charming towns and villages to explore and base your holiday from, each with something different to offer. You’ll find everything you need here to truly make the most of your break, from a variety of attractions to beautiful beaches, great places to eat and many of our Northumberland cottages.

Berwick-upon-Tweed

The most northerly town in England, Berwick-upon-Tweed, offers plenty of coastal scenery close by, with a number of beaches including Berwick-upon-Tweed beach, Fisherman’s Haven and Cocklawburn beach. Berwick-upon-Tweed beach leads on to the Berwickshire Coastal Path, which you can follow over the border to Scotland.

Its proximity to Scotland means that it is also steeped in history relating to the border wars that took place between England and Scotland for hundreds of years. Away from the coast, there’s Berwick Castle, the Elizabethan Walls and much more which stand today as a testament to this history.

Best for: history

Bamburgh

Located within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Bamburgh’s coast is ruggedly beautiful, with Bamburgh beach being a beautiful place to take a dip in the sea. Backed by sweeping sand dunes, this lovely beach not only attracts swimmers and sunbathers, but also surfers, dog walkers and horse riders.

Breath-taking views towards Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh also has a spectacular castle of its own, which sits on a rocky outcrop overlooking the beach and the surrounding coastline, which only adds to the impressiveness of this gorgeous part of Northumberland.

Best for: unforgettable views

Seahouses

Seahouses is an attractive fishing village, and a place where you can sit back and watch the fishing boats pass in and out of the harbour. Backed by sand dunes, Seahouses enjoys two beautiful beaches to the north and south, with the north being the most popular – an enormous expanse of golden sands, backed by views towards Bamburgh Castle.

It’s also well-known for being the gateway to the Farne Islands, one of the UK’s most important birdlife havens. They’re home to a variety of birds, including puffins, guillemots and terns, as well as colonies of Atlantic grey seals.

Best for: wildlife

Beadnell

Set at the end of a glorious stretch of sandy beach, Beadnell has become well-established as a watersports destination. With the village harbour found to the north of Beadnell Bay, the beach then stretches on for miles, backed by sand dunes, offering plenty of space for all kinds of activities.

Beadnell's wide sandy beach

The waves offer decent swells, making it popular with surfers and bodyboarders, while on the sand the wide and long beach is perfect for kitesurfing and windsurfing. From the harbour, jet skis can be launched, and there is also a sailing club which has been established for 40 years.

Best for: watersports

Craster

Although the village of Craster lacks a beach, it’s home to a stunning rocky coastline which sets the scene for a number of spectacular walks. One of the best-loved routes follows a stretch of the Northumberland Coast Path towards the nearby ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. From here you can continue onwards along Embleton Bay for as long as you like.

The view to Dunstanburgh Castle

Another popular walk is a circular route which takes you south past some of the county’s most breath-taking coastline to Howick Hall and Gardens, where you can take a break from the coastal views to soak up the vibrant sights of the landscaped gardens.

Best for: walks

Alnmouth

With its colourful cottages overlooking the coast, Alnmouth is a picturesque village which resembles something from a postcard. It’s a great place to base yourself for a coastal holiday, not least because it has a variety of eateries, shops and amenities, but also because of the fabulous sandy beaches it has to offer.

Almouth’s main beach offers plenty of space for everyone to enjoy its seaside delights, thanks to its generous stretch of golden sand. Another beach can be found south of the estuary – it’s not as easy to access, but much more secluded, and you’ll share the beach with just a few others who are also in on the secret.

Best for: sandy beaches

Amble

Located on a headland at the mouth of the River Coquet, Amble is a thriving coastal town with excellent surrounding views of the Northumbrian coastline. As it’s still a successful fishing town, much of life in Amble revolves around this industry. There’s the chance to take a chartered fishing boat out to sea, or if you’d rather just sample the catches, they can all be found at the Northumberland Seafood Centre, home to markets, stalls, cooking demonstrations and more.

Amble's pier and lighthouse

Harbourside you’ll also find the Harbour Village, a lovely development home to 15 retailers, selling everything from local food and drink to handmade crafts and jewellery.

Best for: harbourside living

Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is found in the south-east of the county and is home to Northumberland’s longest promenade, where nature lovers flock to during the autumn and the spring to watch the migratory birds. The village seafront has undergone recent renovation, and now all are free to enjoy the golden sands, which were once eroding, as well as the impressive sculpture by Sean Henry, The Couple.

Now the village is enjoying a new lease of life, and while it still remains a largely quiet place, there are a growing number of shops, places to eat and events to enjoy, as well as the Newbiggin Maritime Centre and the UK’s oldest operational lifeboat station.

Best for: a classic seaside holiday

If you’re looking to discover more of what Northumberland has to offer, check out our guides to Northumberland National Park and the best Northumberland attractions.

Posted by Hannah on 14th August 2017