Bamburgh is surely the most enchanting of the many small towns and villages which pepper Northumberland's coastline. It is dominated by the eponymous historic castle, which in its pomp was the seat of the former kings of Northumbria and today still stands proudly watching over the coastline and towering over the village below.
There are many holiday cottages available to rent here, and some of the best are in the highly commended Crabtree and Crabtree collection, which ranges from cosy cottages to townhouses of a more contemporary nature.
We pass the village green and the various shops and head towards the landmark Victoria Hotel – our destination is a fairly new town house just on the west side of the village.
We had booked in for a long weekend and with the weather looking favourable we were excited to get settled at the Mast House, just a 10-minute walk from Bamburgh's fabled beach, and a quick stroll from the village’s various independent shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs.
Inside the house there is accommodation for eight, set over three floors. It is an unusual layout but it works well, making the most of the property’s various assets. Principal amongst those in my view is the expansive kitchen/diner which in turn leads to the property's courtyard garden. It's light, bright and decorated with a nod to the seaside. Well equipped with all the mod cons it was ideal, as it happened, for family get togethers.
The ground floor has two bedrooms, one with bunks for youngsters and another good-sized twin room. A modern and generously proportioned bathroom completes the set up. Venturing upwards, the sitting room with gas fire and sofas, as well as another generously sized bathroom and double bedroom were on the first floor. The well laid out property is topped off, in every sense, by the large master bedroom and third bathroom with views across to the village’s historic church and castle from the bedroom’s velux window. A comfy armchair and window seat offered a potential place to escape when the house was full.
With the family dog on the team sheet, an early evening walk was in order, and as ever Bamburgh's vast golden sands – which stretch north to Budle Bay and south to the vibrant fishing town of Seahouses – didn’t disappoint. It does get busy here and parking can be problematic, but the huge beach is never full. Walking north is often quieter – with views across to Holy Island in the distance, it’s a beautiful spot.
As we headed back to the house, a table in the evening sunshine outside The Victoria appeared to beckon and with drinks in hand we were soon discussing the plan of attack for the weekend – which primarily consisted of beach walks, fish and chips from Seahouses and a trip to nearby Alnwick with its own famous castle and garden. Golf at Bamburgh (an absolute gem as it turned out) was also on the agenda for some, whilst the rest of the party wanted to visit Howick Hall’s popular gardens. Closer to home, the Grace Darling Museum is a must, and across the road you will find the simply glorious church with its monument to Grace and others of Bamburgh's former inhabitants. The castle is a must visit too, of course.
With so many activities and attractions on our doorstep it seemed our weekend would be busy, but one priority was to relax and just share time together. A little eating in – plus an excellent lunch at the nearby Potted Lobster ( a three-minute walk away) – and walks on the glorious beach and it wasn't long before the various pressures of the working world began to subside.
As the weekend unravelled the Mast House proved itself to be a welcome, well equipped retreat and charming bolthole in which to stay whilst visiting this historic part of Britain's coastline.
The Mast House, Bamburgh
Crabtree & Crabtree
1 Bridge Street, Kelso TD5 7HT