People and Places

 

This page provides some interesting information about the key settlements in the AONB

 

Warkworth

Alnmouth

Longhoughton

Craster

Embleton

Low Newton by the Sea

Beadnell

Seahouses

Farne Islands

Bamburgh

Holy Island of Lindisfarne

 

Warkworth

River Coquet and Warkworth Castle (c) Gavin DuthieClose to the coast, 1 mile upstream from Amble, and enclosed by a winding loop of the River Coquet. The picturesque village with its several good hotels, restaurants and gift shops is overlooked by the massive remains of Warkworth Castle. The castle dominates the town from a hill up which the main road angles and climbs. When traffic entered from the North through a narrow medieval bridge and gatehouse arch, the effect was even more dramatic than today when a new bridge over the Coquet sweeps motorists easily into the centre. The 14th century bridge is now only for pedestrians. The village itself is of interest with terraces of 18th and 19th century houses built in grey stone with red roofs. It still looks as if it were clinging to the protection of the great stronghold. It is tightly packed on a peninsula of the river, with the castle guarding the neck and the sea within earshot. St Laurence's Church is the only fairly complete Norman church in Northumberland. It has five Norman windows in the nave, a highly decorated chancel arch and vaulted chancel ceiling, and a rare 14th century stone spire. There is a 15th century priest's room over the porch. The church has a well preserved effigy of a cross-legged knight of circa 1330.

Historic Warkworth (c) Gavin DuthieWarkworth near the mouth of the river Coquet, has a sandy beach only 1 mile away and fishing and boating in the river. You can travel by boat from the castle (or follow a shady path) upstream to the Hermitage, an unusual refuge dug into the face of the bluff by some hermit in the 14th century. Not much is known about him, but he hollowed out a chapel and two living chambers on two floors connected by steps. Hermits lived here in the 16th century. Coquet Island offshore was also supposed to be a retreat for solitary monks.

The castle is the most splendid ruin of its type in Northumberland. It has not been extensively restored as were the castles of Bamburgh and Alnwick. The first fortification on the site was probably in 1139, with a curtain wall being added in the early 13th century. The chief building period came in the late 14th and early 15th centuries and a good deal remains from this, including the highly impressive keep. The castle came into the hands of the Percys in the late 14th century and remained theirs for some 600 years.

Links

Warkworth Village Website

English Heritage Website

 

Alnmouth

Church Hill, Alnmouth (c) Gavin DuthiePronounced "Aln - mouth" (unlike Alnwick, the "L" is sounded). A popular but peaceful coastal resort with superb sandy beaches and two golf courses including the 4th oldest in England.

Alnmouth has an interesting history as a trade port of some repute. In 1799, during the War of Independence, this reputation led to an attack on the port by the American privateer, John Paul Jones. One of the cannon balls from this attack has been preserved. A few years after this event Alnmouth harbour was left high and dry when a storm caused the river to change its course, forcing a new route through to the sea. This cut off Church Hill making the town's church inaccessible and leading to its eventual destruction. The church's position is now marked by a wooden cross. Beyond Church Hill the ruins of a long, low building between the dunes and the fields, indicates the area in which the port was originally located. Now used as a shelter by farm animals, this was formerly a guano shed, probably built here to store what was once a valuable commodity, on a spot which was an acceptable distance from the town.

After the loss of the port, the town was revitalised with the coming of the railway in the 1840's. It became a popular holiday resort and remains so to this day.

The village has several two golf courses, high quality hotels, bed & breakfasts, restaurants and gift shops.

Link

Alnmouth Village Website

 

Longhoughton

Howick Gardens (c) Gavin DuthieThe village of Longhoughton is on the coastal route between Alnwick and Craster. The old part of the village has Georgian Houses and small pretty stone cottages.

There is a small supermarket in the village - ideal for groceries, newspapers, video rental, etc. The village also has a church. Near to the coast, there is a track down to the peaceful Sugar Sands bay with sandy beaches and rocky outcrops. The Northumberland Coast Path and Coast and Castle Cycle Route are nearby. The small fishing village of Boulmer is about 2 miles east.

 

Howick Hall, off B1339, 6 miles north east of Alnwick. The Hall has extensive grounds with mixed woodland, beautiful borders, way-marked walks and picnic sites.

Howick Hall Gardens offer year-round interest for garden lovers.

Link

Howick Gardens



 

Craster

Dunstanburgh Castle, north of Craster (c) Gavin DuthieAn interesting fishing village and harbour with a reputation for the most delicious oak-smoked kippers (herring) in the country.  Dunstanburgh Castle is reached via a 1 mile coastal walk from Craster car park

The commercial fortunes of Craster, as with those of many other coastal havens reliant on the white fish trade declined with the advent of large scale trawling. However all was not lost, for the whinstone platform thrusting into the sea nearby provides lobsters and crabs with an ideal environment in which to thrive. Now these shellfish are harvested for most of the year. Walking up from the harbour, you soon come to the mainstay of Craster's economy today - the Kipper factory, an enterprise started at the turn of the century. Kippers are smoked Herrings. The raw fish were formerly locally caught, but now come to Craster from the ports of north-west. To smoke Kippers in the traditional manner takes between 12 and 16 hours. The season lasts from May to September.

About a mile from the village is Craster Tower, dating from the 15th century. This is the home of the Craster family, who have been associated with the area since before the Norman conquest.

Links

Craster History Website

National Trust Website

Craster Kippers

 

Embleton

The village is on a rise with fine views over sandy links to the sea. A pele tower has been incorporated into the vicarage Trinity Church. There is a striking view of Dunstanburgh Castle from its beautiful sandy beach which can be reached along a fine one and a half mile walk.

There is a good 18-hole links golf course, small shops, post office, garage, a hotel and a few popular pubs.

Along the coast northwards of Embleton lies the of Low Newton by the Sea and to the south, the coast village of Craster.

Links

National Trust Website

Embleton

Low Newton-by-the-Sea

Low Newton-by-the-Sea (c) Gavin DuthieA delightful village very popular for sailing and windsurfing, with its lovely sandy beach in the sheltered bay and fine views across Embleton Bay to Dunstanburgh Castle.  A lot of the village and surrounding countryside is owned by the National Trust. The area is renowned for its good bird watching. The Ship Inn situated in the village square is an excellent friendly pub and serves bar meals and hot soups for those walking on wild days.

Parking is at the top of the hill before descending into the village. The 'square' is the heart of the old village, where low buildings surround a large grass square with a pub in the corner and the beach opposite.

Links

National Trust Website

 

Beadnell

Beadnell HarbourThe harbour walls of Beadnell were built in the 1790's where the lime kilns of that date still remain. Stretching from the harbour is the long golden sweep of Beadnell bay with the ruined Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance. This sheltered bay makes an ideal location for some of the best sailing and wind surfing on the Northumberland coast. The village provides the usual small shops and good eating houses typical of a Northumberland fishing village.

This combination of charm and accessibility makes Beadnell a popular holiday villages on the north east coast.

Link

Beadnell Website

 

Seahouses

Boat trips to the Farne Islands start from this busy little port. The village grew up in the late 19th century when the harbour here was built to serve North Sunderland inland. Today what is left of the old Herring fishery, shares the harbour with the holiday-makers' yachts and the village is given over to catering for visitors and passers-by. The village centre is a car park and new houses fill the perimeter. Excellent sandy beaches stretch south towards Beadnell and Embleton Bay. Near the harbour are lime kilns dating from the 18th century, now used by local fishermen as a store for lobster pots.

Links

Seahouses Website

Farne Islands

Inner Farne (c) Iain RobsonThe Farne Islands lie just off the Northumberland coast midway between Seahouses and Bamburgh. The islands are located at the most easterly point of the 'Great Whin Sill', an intrusion of volcanic rock which begins in Cumberland some 80 miles distant and gives a distinct and spectacular character to the north Northumberland coastline. Comprising between 15 and 28 islands, the number to be seen depend upon the state of the tide. The Farne Islands are designated as a National Nature Reserve and Special Protection Area for their important seabird colonies, and a Special Conservation Area for the grey seals which breed and rest there.  The islands and are managed by the National Trust.

Link

National Trust Website

 

Bamburgh

Bamburgh Castle at dusk (c) Paul WillowsOnce the capital of the 7th century Kingdom of Northumbria, it is now a seaside village dominated by the magnificent Bamburgh Castle overlooking miles of silver sands. The present 11th century castle was a Norman stronghold which survived many sieges and welcomed many English kings as guests. During the Wars of the Roses, however, it was the first castle in England to succumb to gunfire when it fell to the artillery of Edward IV.

The castle was restored in the late 19th century by Lord Armstrong and now houses an excellent collection of arms and artwork as well as a tea room and gift shop. Also in the village is the Grace Darling Museum commemorating the lifeboat heroine who is buried in the village churchyard.

The beach at Bamburgh is one of the most spectacular in the country.

Links

Bamburgh Village Website

Bamburgh Castle Website

Bamburgh Research Project

Grace Darling Museum

 

Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Causeway to Holy Island (c) Gavin DuthieThe Holy Island of Lindisfarne is often described as "The Jewel of the Northumberland Coast", Holy Island is only accessible across a causeway at low tide. (Follow link in box opposite for safe crossing time information).

In the 7th century it was one of the great seats of Christian learning in Western Europe and was where the beautiful Lindisfarne Gospels were written. Adjacent to the ruins of the Benedictine Priory, destroyed by Henry VIII, is a Visitor Centre commemorating the life of the monks. The stones from the Priory were used to build the unforgettable Lindisfarne Castle.

Holy Island is the end point of the popular St Cuthbert's Way long distance footpath which begins in Melrose in the Scottish borders.

Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve

As well as its many historic attractions, Holy Island is situated at the heart of the Lindisfarne National Budle Bay, part of the Lindisfarne NNR (c) Gavin DuthieNature Reserve. Extensive dunelands, intertidal sand and mud flats, saltmarsh and ancient raised beaches support a wide variety of plant life and attract vast numbers of birds. Large numbers of shorebirds. Bar-Tailed Godwits, Knots and Redshanks can be seen on the extensive mudflats in both spring and autumn whilst fields and gardens on the island gather large numbers of Thrushes and Warblers during migration times, especially autumn. In winter, the mudflats hold large populations of wildfowl including thousands of wigeon and a significant proportion of the world Light-Bellied Brent Goose population. Holy Island is an internationally important area for birds on migration and as winter quarters.

Links

Lindisfarne Community Website

Northumberland Life Website

National Trust - Lindisfarne Castle

English Heritage - Lindisfarne Priory

Lindisfarne NNR

Related Pages

 

 

Coastal Views Newsletter

Sign up below to get a free copy of our monthly newsletter delivered to your inbox.

signup to our mailing list
powered by newzapp email marketing

Coastal Views newsletter archive

 

 

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

 

AONB National branding