Car Free Guide to the Northumberland Coast AONB


Getting to the Northumberland Coast without a car


Getting about on the Northumberland Coast without a car can be a fun and interesting way to explore, you could walk, cycle or take the bus.

Travelling here by bus or by train can be a pleasure in it self, the East Coast Main Line passes through the AONB and was recently voted England’s most scenic rail route. The Coast and Castles Connection Bus Service is a great way to get about and you helping us to conserve and enhance this beautiful place.

Arriving by Train

The East Coast Main Line skirts the Northumberland Coast AONB and there are mainline stations at Alnmouth and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Virgin East Coast from London, Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Newcastle and Scotland call at both Alnmouth and Berwick-upon-Tweed as do CrossCountry trains from South West England, the Midlands and Scotland.

The man in seat 61 provides useful train travel advice

Arriving by Coach or Bus

National Express operate a twice-daily express service between London and Edinburgh which calls at both Alnwick and Berwick-upon-Tweed. The 591 is daytime service and the 594 is an overnight service.

Arriva operate the Coast and Castles Connection service which links Newcastle to Berwick via Morpeth, Alnwick and the Coast.

Perrymans operate direct services linking Berwick-upon-Tweed with Edinburgh

Arriving by Ferry

DFDS Ferries connect the North of England at Port of Tyne to Amsterdam (IJmuiden) in Holland.

To travel from Port of Tyne to the Northumberland Coast AONB without a car, passengers should use the shuttle-bus service to Newcastle and then use either the train or Arriva Coast and Castles Connection X18/X15 services to get to the coast, Alnwick or Berwick.

Getting around without a car

Bus at Bamburgh (c) Gavin DuthieBy Bus.

Despite being very rural, the Northumberland Coast AONB has an excellent bus service to most of the villages and tourist attractions.

Pdf map of bus routes in the AONB

To plan your journeys around the AONB use Traveline

See our Explore by Bus page for great tickets and money-off deals


The principle bus route through the AONB is from Alnwick to Berwick-upon-Tweed or Belford. This route serves Longhoughton, Howick (418 only), Craster, Embleton, High Newton-by-the-Sea (X18 only), Beadnell, Seahouses and Bamburgh.

This route is served by the Arriva Coast and Castles Connection X18 (Newcastle to Berwick-upon-Tweed or Belford) and the Travelsure 418 (Alnwick to Belford service) providing virtually an hourly service in each direction during the summer.

Combined X18 and 4118 Timetable to download (pdf)

The southern part of the AONB is also served by the Arriva Coast and Castles Connection X18 (Newcastle-Berwick-upon-Tweed/Belford) service. This route connects Morpeth with Alnwick via Amble, Warkworth, Alnmouth and Alnmouth Railway Station with an hourly service.

The Travelsure 472 service connects Alnwick with Amble via Warkworth.

Amble is also connected to Ellington (for Cresswell and the start of the coast path) and South East Northumberland (and on to Newcastle) with the Arriva 20/X20 service.


For faster journey times between Newcastle and Morpeth to the Coast (Craster, Seahouses and Bamburgh etc) use the Arriva X15 Newcastle-Morpeth-Alnwick-Berwick-upon-Tweed service and change at Alnwick onto a connecting a X18.

Holy Island.

Because the causeway to Holy Island is tidal, the timetable changes virtually daily. Perrymans operate the 477 service between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Holy Island. Outside of the summer season this bus only operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays. During summer and Easter school holidays there is a twice-a-day Monday to Saturday service.

477 Holy Island Timetable

Connections at Berwick

Berwick has onward connections to;
Wooler via Ford & Etal, Millfield and Lowick
Eyemouth and St. Abbs (for the Berwickshire Coast Path)
Coldstream, Kelso, Melrose and Glalashiels  (all operated by Perrymans)



cyclist on Holy Island (c) gavin duthieCycling can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the Northumberland Coast AONB, with miles of quiet country lanes, traffic free cycle routes and bridleways, two wheels are better than four.

If you are after challenge, route 1 of the National Cycle Network ‘The Coast and Castles’ cycle route follows the length of the AONB en route from Newcastle to Edinburgh, this is also part of the North Sea Cycle Route.

To help explore the AONB by bike, the AONB Partnership has produced a map with 5 easy-to-follow routes. The guide uses Ordnance Survey mapping and the five routes from Alnmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Belford and Seahouses can each be completed in day. The Belford route also includes an interesting off-road loop which offers tremendous views of the coast.

You can buy a copy of the map for £2.50 from us here

A map and guide to cycling in Northumberland is available to download form here

There are bike hire shops in Amble, Alnwick and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

See our cycling page for more information




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Approaching Holy Island Breathtaking views on foot St Aidans in Bamburgh One of our many cycle routes Volunteer working hard Beadnell Bay


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