Our coast, our countryside and the hills and valleys of the Northumberland National Park - Part 1

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Winter in Northumberland 1

Not to mention the English/Scottish Border and the Northern Frontier of the Roman Empire, or Hadrian's Wall as it's better known.

The really striking thing about Northumberland is the diversity of its landscape and the sheer contrast it offers to the visitor. Take the coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where you can get up close to the medieval ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle, a ruin since 1451 and at the centre of one of the UK's favourite walks, Craster to Low Newton. Craster, suffused with the aroma of smoking kippers and its historic harbour with fishing at its heart. Low Newton, with its charm and a social history linked to its fishermen's cottages and in the beach huts embedded amongst the surrounding dunes.

South of Craster, the coast is a delight. The villages of Boulmer, Alnmouth, Amble and Warkworth with its wonderful castle roll by. Each has its own character, history and stories to tell and each will draw you in to discover their secrets. The wide, long sweep of Druridge Bay leads you down to Cresswell the start/end of the Northumberland Coast Path and beyond there into south east Northumberland, the old industrial heart of the county.

To the north of Low Newton and Newton by the Sea is Beadnell, then Seahouses, the gateway to The Farne Islands and then Bamburgh dominated by the Castle and star of many a film, astonishes visitors with its scale and its place in history. Bamburgh Beach, huge in scale, the Grace Darling Museum and St. Aidan's Church named after the saint who brought Christianity to these wild shores in 635AD all attract visitors and even pilgrims still to its centre in the 21st Century.

Beyond Bamburgh, it's a wilder coastline, less visited and less accessible, broken by the huge tidal expanse of Budle Bay and the splendour of Ross back Sands. Onward to the very edge of Lindisfarne Bay, home in the Summer to thousands of grey seals and in the Winter to tens of thousands of migrating birds, descending from their Arctic breeding grounds to overwinter on the Northumberland Coast.

Holy Island, a birthplace of Christianity in the 7th Century and a place at the heart of The Golden Age of Northumbria, St. Aidan, Oswald and Cuthbert all passed this way and today you can still follow in their footsteps, spiritually in the places of worship they frequented and physically if you choose to walk the ancient and traditional Pilgrim's Way to Holy Island.

Beyond the modern causeway, the coast gets even wilder, the skies even bigger and the sense of isolation more profound until eventually you drop down into Spittal, then Tweedmouth and finally across the river and into the delightful town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. A few miles beyond Berwick lies the English/Scottish Border with its own remarkable cultural history.

It's a coast made for exploring on foot and the perfect vehicle for that is the Northumberland Coast Path http://www.northumberlandcoastaonb.org/northumberland-coast-path/ It winds its way from Cresswell in the south to Berwick-upon-Tweed in the north, visits all the highlights of the coast, cuts inland to Belford and has links to St. Cuthbert's and St. Oswald's Way.

To conclude, if you've never visited the Northumberland Coast, then you really have to add it to your bucket list of must see places. You won't be disappointed, you will receive a warm welcome and you will want to come back for more, guaranteed.

About Patrick

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Patrick runs Footsteps in Northumberland offering guided walks throughout Northumberland. He holds the Hill and Moorland Leader Award (HML). Footsteps in Northumberland operates throughout the year if you want more information head over to their website.


Contact Information

Contact Name
Patrick Norris
+44 (0)1668 213775
+44 (0)7847 506399