Tuesday, 14 August 2018

A Guide to Our Northumberland Coastal Route Road Trip

You hear about people taking road trips across America but have you ever considered planning a road trip of the Northumberland Coastal Route? The Northumberland Coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and boasts some of the most beautiful coastline in the country. The Northumberland Coastal Route is a gateway to picture perfect villages, spectacular views and some of the very best food that you'll find in the North East.

Easy to navigate (just follow the brown "Coastal Route" signs), the roads offer the explorer 64 miles of exceptional scenery in what must be the best coastal drive in the country.  Best explored on a beautiful sunny day, the route from Blyth to Berwick is just waiting to be discovered and if you can dedicate a full day (or even better a weekend) to it I promise you the road trip of your life!

Fill your tank up with fuel, pack yourself a picnic, pick out some great road trip tunes and discover all that the Northumberland coastline has to offer. This is your definitive guide to road tripping on the Northumberland Coastal Route.

Road Tripping the Northumberland Coastal Route


Druridge Bay Country Park

If you're travelling north up the Northumberland Coastal Route, Druridge Bay Country Park is one of the first places you'll get to and it's well worth stopping the car for the prettiest leg stretch you'll ever have.

Three miles of beautiful sandy beaches as well as Ladyburn Lake, a large freshwater lake surrounded by pine woods and meadows - it reminds me of a mini Kielder and offers spectacular views as well as the chance to spot red squirrels if you're very lucky.

The more adventurous can try out some water sports but we prefer a quieter pace of life and love to casually stroll round the lake, enjoying the wildlife and finding a beautiful spot for a picnic.

Northumberland Coastal Route - Druridge Bay Country Park


Amble

4 miles up the road from Druridge Country Park you'll discover Amble - a bustling port town that's well worth a visit.

If you're a bit of a foodie then Amble is a great destination to stop for a bite to eat with The Fish Shack on the harbour serving delicious fish and chips and Spurelli offering some of the best ice-cream you'll find in Northumberland.

Colourful beach huts greet you into the town and strolling along the water front watching the boats is one of our favourite ways to spend an afternoon. We always end our trip with a little mooch around Amble Harbour Village where you'll find 15 cute wooden retail pods selling local arts, crafts, gifts, food and drink.

Read more about our adventures in Amble here


Northumberland Coastal Route - Amble


Warkworth

Warkworth is one of the prettiest places you'll pass through while exploring the Northumberland Coastal route, and I'd challenge anyone to drive through the beautiful town without stopping the car for an explore.

Beautiful streets of sandstone coloured houses decked out in colourful flowers are home to a wonderful array of art galleries, shops and pubs - Warkworth is one of our favourite places in Northumberland and well worth a stop. If huge slabs of homemade cake is your thing we highly recommend popping by Bertrams where the food is exceptional.

The jewel in the crown has to be Warkworth Castle which is best seen in Spring time when the carpet of daffodils round the castle will truly take your breath away.  Owned by English Heritage it's well worth a visit, and is actually one of three castles that I'll mention in this guide (yes we are spoilt!)

Read more about our adventures in Warkworth here 


Northumberland Coastal Route - Warkworth
 Alnmouth

You will actually find the best views of Alnmouth from the Newcastle to Edinburgh train where the famous colourful houses along the water look particularly special. I actually discovered Alnmouth for the first time on the train and immediately googled where it was as I was desperate to see them closer. The Coastal Road does also offer a pretty lovely view if you're quick enough to capture a glimpse between the bushes.

Alnmouth is a lovely little stop for a potter, the picture perfect village is like something from a postcard and the miles of long sandy beach offers the fantastic beach experience that Northumberland is famed for.

Craster

What Craster lacks in size it truly makes up for in charm and, despite being one of the smallest stops on my Coastal Route Road Trip, I could easily spend a few hours here just sitting by the harbour watching the fishing boats bobbing up and down on the water. It is so peaceful and very beautiful!

The Jolly Fisherman attracts people for miles with their wonderful sea views and delicious fish dishes and if you want to stock up kippers, then you'll find the famous smokehouse in the centre of the village selling beautiful Craster Kippers.

Read more about our visit to the Jolly Fisherman here

Northumberland Coastal Route - Craster


Dunstanburgh

Dunstanburgh is a short walk from Craster and is one of the easiest most beautiful walks you can do along the Northumberland coast. The 2 mile walk is flat, takes no navigational skills and offers some of the most spectacular views of the North East coastline.

The reward at the end is Dunsanburgh Castle which I highly recommend exploring, although small the ruins show off the best views of Northumberland's most famous seabirds as well as some jaw dropping views of the coastline. On a clear day you can see as far as Bamburgh Castle, 12 miles down the coast.

Read more about our adventures at Craster and Dunstanburgh here


Northumberland Coastal Route - Dunstanburgh


Embleton Bay

Embleton Bay is, without a doubt, the most beautiful beach I have ever been on and the fact that it's here in Northumberland just a few miles from my home makes me feel incredibly lucky.

Miles of sandy beaches with plenty of space to park your bum and enjoy the sunshine, as with most of the coastline in Northumberland it's a well kept secret meaning that even on a hot, sunny day you can get a huge amount of beach to yourself. Imagine getting this much sand to yourself in Brighton?

Northumberland Coastal Route - Embleton Bay


Low Newton 

I can't talk about Low Newton without mentioning the best loved pub along the Northumberland Coastal Route - the Ship Inn is small and very popular making it almost impossible to get a seat but wow does it feel special when you do manage to grab one.

We love taking the coastal path from Low Newton to Beadnell - a fairly long but easy walk offering some beautiful views and the promise of an epic portion of fish and chips at the end!

Read more about our adventures in Low Newton here

Northumberland Coastal Route - Low Newton


Seahouses

Seahouses is the most touristy part of the Northumberland Coastal Route and the only place along the Northumberland coast that offers your typical British Seaside attractions. Colourful ice-creams in hand you can pop in to the arcades, enjoy a competitive game of mini golf, shop for some tacky souvenirs and, when it all gets a little too much, enjoy some people watching on the harbour front.

Our favourite thing about Seahouses though is that it's the gateway to a whole other adventure ... the Farne Islands!

Northumberland Coastal Route - Seahouses


Farne Islands

Seahouses is home to Serenity Boat Tours who offer a fantastic tour out to the Farne Islands with a highly recommended stop off on the Inner Farnes to meet the puffins. Puffins nest on the island between April and July and are an absolute delight to watch. Waddling about the island like cute little waiters, they are my absolute highlight of our Northumberland Coastal road trip.

Read more about our trip to the Farne Islands here

Northumberland Coastal Route - Farne Islands


Bamburgh

I'm finishing my guide to the Northumberland Coastal Route in Bamburgh, as that's the point where we always turn the car round to come home (I've never actually made it over to Lindisfarne or as far up as Berwick!)

The first time you see Bamburgh Castle is a very special moment. Your jaw will literally drop to the floor as soon as you see it, it truly is spectacular and, although I may be biased, I think you'd struggle to find another castle as beautiful as this one.

Home to one of the best picnic benches in the UK (I'm not even joking, it's won an award!) the bench on the hill overlooking the castle is the perfect place to enjoy your sandwiches and, as I like to say to say each time we're there, the most romantic spot in Northumberland for a proposal.

We love to enjoy the views and always end our visit with a cream tea or a slab of cake at the Copper Kettle - it's the perfect fuel for the drive back down the coast.

Read more about our adventures in Seahouses and Bamburgh here


Northumberland Coastal Route - Bamburgh
I hope you've enjoyed my little guide to road tripping the Northumberland Coastal Route. Let me know your favourite spots and if I've missed anywhere that we really must visit.
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14 comments

  1. We're so lucky to live here aren't we! It's so difficult to pick a favourite spot. I actually don't think I can do it! I think you need a staycation in North Northumberland so you can visit Berwick and Holy Island too xx

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    1. We really are! We haven't booked a trip abroad this year because the weather has been so lovely here we've loved just pottering about on the Northumberland coast, it's like being on holiday without any of the expense! Good plan, maybe we should book somewhere overnight in the far north part!

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  2. I need to get up to the north and road trip! I had people telling me about the beaches up north, bt I'd never really associated that part of the uk with beautiful beaches. Somewhere else to go on my holiday list!
    Kate xx

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    1. It is such a huge secret so our beaches are not only beautiful but completely deserted! We get pretty decent weather too .. so yes please come visit!

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  3. This is so beautiful - and what a fabulous idea for a road trip!

    https://lizziedrippingblog.blogspot.com/

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  4. Rumbling kerns and the long walk to Howick Hall are also great spots to visit. Also between Druridge Bay Country Park and Amble is Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre with a great circular walk and a cafe serving great homemade scones with the most amazing views over the nature reserve and beyond.

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    1. Ooooh yes Howick Hall is on my list to visit, we've never been! The nature reserve sounds beautiful, thank you so much for that recommendation ... love that you know I'd appreciate a good scone recommendation!

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  5. Awww whenever I read your posts like this it reminds me of how much I love my home town :)
    Laura x
    LookAtMyClothes

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    1. It is so easy for us to take things for granted but we are truly so so lucky to live in such a fantastic part of the world! Tourists flock to beauty spots like the Lakes and you can't move for people, coaches and queues ... we have the gorgeous scenery, coastline, beaches and hills right here in Northumberland but without the huge throng of visitors - I honestly don't know how we've got away with it!

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  6. Ok now I'm excited to come home! I love Amble so much, my mum and step dad go for a week each summer with the dog and they just adore their cottage week there. Have never been to Druridge bay or the Farne islands so lots of new things to do (just a shame I'm heading back after summer is over!)

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    1. You have missed the best Summer ever (and I bet everyone keeps telling you that!) .. fingers crossed for a tropical Autumn!

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  7. Looks gorge! I really want to try and do a big trip up to the North East next year! x

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