Everything You'll Want to Do in Bamburgh, Seahouses and Embleton
These three very different villages are strung along a breathtaking stretch of Northumbrian coastline
Heading south again, stop at Beadnell, which has the only west-facing harbour on the east coast and which sits proudly on the northern tip of a vast sweeping sandy bay, or carry on south again for a cold pint overlooking the village green and beach at The Ship at Low Newton. After that, the next stop is Embleton, where the village is a short stroll up from the stunning sweep of Embleton Bay, overlooked by the dramatic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. Stunningly beautiful, this beach is one of Northumberland’s true gems.
In recent years, the pick of the accommodation in this area has been of the self-catering variety, but lately some pub-cum-hotels have really upped their game and now there’s plenty of choice for your seaside staycation. In Bamburgh, the Grade II-listed Lord Crewe has seven luxurious, individually designed bedrooms, each offering something different, and there’s a great restaurant and a friendly bar too. If getting back to nature is more your thing then Bamburgh Under Canvas is an adult-only glamping site with luxury furnished belle tents, proper beds, hot showers and barbecue facilities. In Beadnell, the Beadnell Towers has 18 boutique-style bedrooms, four of which are dog friendly. The food here is great and the dog-friendly bar is perfect for a post-beach walk pint. In Seahouses, the spectacular Art House get its name from the large collection of art and furniture all commissioned from local artists. Sleeping up to 10 guests, it’s a child- and dog-friendly property with lots of character. Continuing south, in High Newton, the Garden Cabins on Newton Hall’s Estate offer comfy beds, outdoor decking and private hot tubs and/or fire pits. In Embleton, larger parties should look at The Lookout. Sleeping 12, it has far-reaching views across the golf course to the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, or for a cosy retreat, Spitalford cottage is perfect for up to four guests. Just south again is the village of Craster, famous for its kippers. Here you will find Crasterway, a new, luxurious contemporary holiday home for eight guests (it’s dog friendly too) just yards from the picturesque harbour.
Bamburgh is something of a foodie hotspot these days, and a weekend here wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the butchers (R Carter & Son) for supplies for a cracking breakfast (or lunch and dinner), and their pantry next door is packed with treats too. Exploring Bamburgh’s handful of brilliant hotel-cum-pubs is its own reward – don’t miss The Lord Crewe, where the menu is crammed with luxurious seafood (there are dog-friendly dining areas here if needed). Book ahead to guarantee a table at The Potted Lobster – a lovely bistro specialising in local seafood.
Obvious though it is, don’t overlook a visit to Bamburgh Castle, where you can discover incredible history, dramatic views and a collection of unique treasures. In the village, the RNLI Grace Darling Museum commemorates the life of Victorian Britain’s most well-known heroine – from her childhood and life in the lighthouse to the rescue of survivors from SS Forfarshire.
Seahouses is the place to go for a fun family day out – work up an appetite at the amusement arcade before taking your pick of the fish ’n’ chip shops or grabbing a table with views over the harbour at The Olde Ship Inn. Check out the cave of wonders that is the Farne Gift Shop, pop into Independent Food & Drink for supplies from great local producers, then enjoy a round of crazy golf at The Bunker before grabbing an ice cream from Coxons to round things off.
It’s worth stopping off at Beadnell’s newest offering The Landing, just off the beach by the car park, where you can enjoy everything from a chilled Aperol on the deck to the freshest seafood in this laid-back beach bar and restaurant, and the walk south to Embleton around the bay is spectacular. If you are walking, you’ll hit the white-washed village of Low Newton before rounding the bay towards Embleton, with Dunstanburgh Castle your constant distant companion and guide. Between the beach and the village of Embleton lies Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course, a traditional links course with a friendly clubhouse (serving delicious freshly-cooked chips and ice cream). The ruins of the castle itself, perched on the headland since the 14th century, are spectacular – as are the views of the waves from its lofty position. In the village there are a couple of pubs and a brand new Village Farm Shop where you can pick up delicious homemade treats to take to the beach.
On the road from Embleton to Craster, make sure you save time to call in at Eleanor’s Byre. In the car park here you’ll find the excellent Embers, serving up quality wood-fired pizzas from a converted container (check their Instagram or Facebook updates for opening hours). In Eleanor’s Byre itself, browse the eclectic mix of high-quality homewares, gifts, quirky finds and one-offs, and choose from a small selection of great coffee and more-ish cakes while you’re pondering your purchases. In Craster, browse original artwork at The Mick Oxley Gallery, pick up some famous ‘Craster kippers’ from L Robson & Son, and work up an appetite with a walk south to Rumbling Kern and Cullernose Point. After which, you’ll feel like you’ve really earned a crab sandwich in The Jolly Fisherman’s beer garden overlooking the harbour.
Seahouses harbour is your starting point for a trip to the Farne Islands, which are home to one of the most exciting and diverse seabird colonies in the UK (including huge numbers of puffins). Various trips are available, depending on how much time you have (as well as the seabirds, the islands are home to a large colony of grey seals and dolphins regularly make an appearance following the boats), so take some time to plan your perfect trip. There are 28 islands managed by the National Trust (although a number of them are submerged each high tide), and you can even take a ‘golden hour’ sunset cruise to see the seals basking in the evening sunlight and watch the sun going down behind the Farnes and Bamburgh Castle.