16/04/2014
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Northumberland's best beaches

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Northumberland doesn't offer up your traditional seaside holiday of laying on the beach basking in sunshine. But this is its magical appeal. Think miles of wild, empty sands, with dunes to explore and distant, towering castle ruins. Pack up the motorhome, caravan or tent and head for Northumberland to enjoy the rugged beauty of this coastline.

Our pick of the best beaches ...

... for sandcastles
The award-winning beach below Bamburgh Castle is a vast expanse of golden sands and one of the finest on the Northumberland Coast. The magnificent castle provides the backdrop to the beach and the inspiration for children to build their own smaller, sandier version. There are dunes here and a couple of rocky areas for children to explore. The beach in front of the castle is the most sheltered and when the tide is out, the area of this beach is large enough for it not to feel crowded.

... for watersports
Beadnell's beach is popular with all sorts of watersports enthusiasts such as divers, wakeboarders and waterskiers. The beach is a long, sandy stretch and is a departure point for exploring the many shipwrecks located around the Farne Islands. Sailing is also popular here and in the summer months Beadnell Sailing Club organise regular events. There's a slipway here for launching watercraft along with a cafe, restaurant and toilets. Because the beach is wide and long it is ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing too.

... for solitude
Holy Island can only be reach by a tidal causeway at low tide and when the tide comes in the small village is completely cut off from the mainland. The beach here is a massive expanse of golden sand, with views from the dunes leading all the way to Lindisfarne Castle. Around the castle the sand turns to pebbles but head away from the Castle and park alongside the dunes and you're in for a treat. Climb over these dunes (on a breezy day it can be rather blustery) and you'll be met with miles of wide open sand as far as the eye can see. In the summer months it can be busy but off peak it's quiet with just a few people walking their dogs. This is a remote place, offering peace and solitude with only the sounds of the sea and the birds for company.



... for bird watching
Amble Links beach is a sand and shingle beach between the town of Amble and Low Hauxley. Backed by large dunes the beach is popular with walkers and dog owners, since the beach is dog friendly. The beach provides great views of Coquet Island which is RSPB managed and home to over 18,000 puffins. You cannot land on the island but bird watching cruises depart from Amble. On the trip you might spot terns and gulls as well as the puffins and maybe even seals. The island is also home to an 80ft lighthouse built on the reamins of a medieval monastry.

... for stepping back in time
The village of Embleton dates back to before medieval times. Embleton Bay is famed for its breathtaking beach, which is largely undiscovered and perfect for families. The beach is sandy and dune-backed, with views to the dramatic medieval ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle. The beach's giant dune system shelters some quaint thirties summer houses that resemble beach huts. These were built for golfers wanting to stay in the area when visiting the adjacent golf course. Embleton seems lost in a time warp and is totally uncommercialised thanks to the protection of the whole area by the National Trust. There's also a collection of wartime pillboxes and the famous 'vanishing rock' on which the name of Scottish pirate Andra Barton is carved.

... for family fun
There aren't many places in Northumberland which offer your average seaside resort but Seahouses is a popular holiday town and busy fishing port, with beaches and sand dunes stretching from the north and south of the town. The town has a harbour which bustles with fishing boats, diving boats and trips are available from here to the Farne Islands. The town is well-known for its fish and chips and there are a variety of places to buy them from along with ice cream parlours and gift shops.


Want to know more about Northumberland?
There's the top attractions of the county, here.
Get steeped in history with the greatest castles, here.

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