On Your Doorstep: Bamburgh & Seahouses | Living North

On Your Doorstep: Bamburgh & Seahouses


Boats in harbour
These coastal havens offer some of the most spectacular views in Northumberland, from the majestic Bamburgh Castle to puffins nesting on the Farne Islands and trawlers returning to Seahouses Harbour

As you might expect, seafood is big news in these coastal villages. Sweet cured herring, new season squid and slip sole grace the menu at The Mizen Head, while Richard Sim's The Potted Lobster does an incredible lobster thermidor with a range of sides. If seafood is not your thing, The Apple Core in nearby Lucker serves galettes and crêpes that are out of this world. Italian food is top of the bill in Seahouses. Élan Pizzeria offers artisan, hand-crafted pizzas, The Links Hotel serves delicious antipasti, and Insieme Restaurant offers hearty Mediterranean mains and rich desserts – very indulgent. 

If you want to experience the best of Northumbrian hospitality, check into The Lord Crewe Hotel in Bamburgh for a couple of days. The Grade II listed hotel maintains a sense of grandeur but offers stylish and comfortable rooms. On a clear day, St Aidans Hotel in Seahouses offers sensational views out towards Lindisfarne. The Olde Ship Inn is nautically themed and offers a great homely stay, while Grace Darling Holidays offers luxury self-catering cottages along the coast. Nearby Doxford Hall Hotel and Spa has grand rooms and an award-winning restaurant. 

With stunning beaches, impressive wildlife and plenty of places of historic interest, you won't have much time for shopping during your time at the Northumberland coast. But there are some great spots should you find yourself tempted. Swallow Fish at the Fisherman's Kitchen in Seahouses is the UK's oldest working smokehouse. One of Rick Stein's food heroes, R Carter and Son, in Bamburgh has been keeping the locals in mea, pies and bakery items and over 125 years. The Pantry, en route to the castle, offers hampers, local products and deli favourites, while Bit-a-Sweet in Seahouses has a dazzling array of retro sweets. Yum. 

No trip to this stretch of the Northumberland coastline would be complete without a visit to the impressive, towering castle that once protected the shores. Sitting 45m above the sea, Bamburgh Castle was built in approximately 500AD and has witnessed many pivotal moments in British history from the Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Viking invasions to the Wars of the Scottish Independence and the Wars of the Roses. Nowadays this history is preserved in permanent displays, guided tours, a lively events programme and periodic archaeological excavations. 

Around the corner
From Seahouses you can board one of the many boats that go out to the Farne Islands. The best place to see nature in the UK, according to Sir David Attenborough, the Farne Islands are home to over 23 species of bird, including 37,000 pairs of puffins, as well as England's largest breeding population of Atlantic grey seals. The famous cluster of islands has appeared on Robson Green's Tales of Northumberland and more recently BBc's Springwatch. Puffin breeding season is May to July – visit then for your best chance to see the baby pufflings. 

Published in: September 2016

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