We spent October half term in Northumberland, staying in a cottage, surrounded by sheep, on the coast in the Bamburgh area. It was our second visit to the county, the first being a short break in a caravan two summers’ ago. We fell in love with the beautiful scenery that time, so when my parents suggested we all holiday together up there again this year, we jumped at the chance.
The cottage was just right – three bedrooms, two bathrooms and all on one level, so great for the kids. And then there was the view from the very large, sea-facing window…
The information we’d received informed us that there was a path from the cottage down to the beach, only a few minutes’ walk, so seeing as Small’s first request was “let’s go to beach!” (she had actually been saying it for most of the 5-hour-plus journey…), we donned our wellies and set off to find it.
One of the things I had loved from our first visit to Northumberland was how quiet and unspoiled the beaches are. We are frequent visitors to Devon as it’s easy to get to from the Midlands, but the beaches in the North are completely different. After finding our way down the path, we managed to find the track through the dunes and we weren’t disappointed with our ‘local’ beach this time – a long stretch of pale, soft sand, rockpools for Big to mooch in and gorgeous scenery in the background, including Holy Island.
There was a fair amount to see there, including state rooms, ancient ruins, a windmill and a museum dedicated to Lord Armstrong and aviation. The castle is steeped in history – Bamburgh was considered a royal city and was home to the Kings of Northumbria in the 7th Century.
We visited Beadnell and walked along the beach there on a beautiful, sunny morning. The children, especially Small, loved the expanse of sand, dotted with areas of water for splashing!
Afternoons were mostly spent on our local beach in Budle Bay as it was just so convenient and the children loved being out, spending hours peering into rock pools, drawing in the sand or throwing rocks into the sea. And it was usually pretty much deserted!
The final beach we went to was in Boulmer, about twenty minutes’ drive away, near Alnwick. It was a blustery, grey morning, but it was refreshing to walk along the shore, watching the various birds bathing and hunting for food. And rock pools were plentiful!
One afternoon, we paid a visit to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. We had to wait until the afternoon, as the high tide means the Island causeway is covered in water earlier in the day and the Island is cut off. The drive over the causeway is picturesque, and we saw a seal! We walked through the village to see Lindisfarne Priory and St. Mary’s church before heading back via the ice cream shop.
Our final day was again spent on the local beach, although the tide was high in the afternoon, which provided the children with lots of fun chasing the waves!
We had a fantastic holiday. There’s not loads to do in the area unless you like beaches and castles, which, fortunately, we love – as you can see! But, if your family is happy with that, you can’t go wrong with the beautiful, unspoiled Northumberland coast.