Two Coastal Villages With a Very Different History
Warkworth and Amble are two charming coastal villages, each with a very different history, but both well worth exploring
In Warkworth, Bertrams is a perennially popular (licensed) café with a sunny courtyard. The dog-friendly Masons Arms is a lovely local serving good pub grub alongside real ales. There’s plenty of choice in nearby Amble which has a burgeoning foodie scene. The intimate Jasper’s Bistro serves great seafood and is a must-try. On the harbour, The Old Boat House is a relaxed eatery serving the freshest seafood dishes with plenty of daily specials, and across the way, also harbour side, is The Fish Shack, serving everything from fish and chips to locally-smoked seafood and seasonal specials. Rossini is a popular (and great value) Italian and The Fat Mermaid the place for modern British tapas. To satisfy your sweet tooth, head to Spurreli for award-winning ice cream which is made on the premises.
A handful of homely B&Bs can be found in the area – including five boutique-style rooms at the aforementioned Bertram’s in Warkworth, which serves a hearty breakfast in its cosy café. Opposite Warkworth Castle, The Sun Hotel is a 17th century coaching inn complete with a steakhouse, while Fairfield House is traditional guest-house with Gold Award accommodation. There are plenty of self-catering options in the area from Coquet Cottages, including Ashleigh Cottage in Warkworth sleeping seven, and Bay View in Amble, with views over the pier, which sleeps five guests.
In Warkworth, Cabosse is an independent confectionery, homeware and gift shop renowned for its delicious cakes. You’ll find it impossible to resist their freshly-made fruit tarts and rum baba. The Greenhouse is where to go for home accessories and gifts, and head to Gray’s for fabulous fashion accessories. Amble Harbour Village is home to 15 small retail pods selling an eclectic variety of art, crafts, accessories and food and drink – pick up luxury pet accessories at Urban Pooch, handmade jewellery at Sea Waves Studio, art and gifts from local artist Sue Fenlon at The Boat Shed Gallery, vintage treasures at Edie Pebble, and speciality cheese from The Cheese Pod.
Spend the afternoon exploring the historical sites of Warkworth Castle and Hermitage. At the Castle, once home to the Percy family and Harry Hotspur (immortalised as a rebel lord by Shakespeare), you can explore the rooms of the magnificent cross-shaped keep and take in spectacular views of the River Coquet and coastline from the castle walls, before crossing the river to the Hermitage, a religious retreat thought to be the private chapel for the first Earl of Northumberland, built into the rock. Learn more about local wildlife at the RSPB seabird sanctuary of Coquet Island just a mile off the coast and take a boat trip around the island to see them for yourself.
Around the Corner
Between Amble and Cresswell, Druridge Bay is a seven-mile sweep of coast fringed with sand dunes. Within Druridge Bay Country Park, you’ll find a café and play area, plus there’s a freshwater lake, woods and meadows which provide the perfect backdrop for a picnic. Cresswell itself is a popular spot for twitchers hoping to spot their favourite birds. Pop into The Drift Café beside Cresswell Pond for homemade cake and coffee, or the new Drift Chippy where the chips are cooked twice and the beer is always cold.