Northumberland Coast Walk - Beadnell to Seahouses

19:27 12 March 2013

Northumberland Coast Walk - Beadnell to Seahouses

Northumberland Coast Walk - Beadnell to Seahouses

This month we're coasting along from Beadnell to Seahouses. Words and pictures: by David Taylor

Perhaps its because were an island nation but we seem slightly obsessed with boats and messing about on the water. Britain used to make a staggering percentage of the worlds ships, a significant percentage of which were made here in the North East. Today, of course, the Tyne and Wear shipyards are closed, but there are still people in the region making a living from the sea.


This months walk takes us from Beadnell on the Northumbrian coast up to the village of Seahouses and back. Both villages have harbours that service both commercial and leisure boating. Fortunately you dont have to have good sea legs for the walk, though there is the option of a trip across water.


The walk starts at Beadnell harbour. Beadnell boasts east Englands only west-facing harbour. It also features a fine set of limekilns that were built at the turn of the 19th century. Dotted around the harbour are usually an interesting collection of sailing and fishing boats. During the summer the Beadnell Sailing Club organises a regular series of events for those of a nautical bent.


From the harbour make your way onto Harbour Road past Beach Court. Follow the road to a junction and then continue northwards, following the main road along the coast. Eventually youll reach a cluster of shops next to a grassy triangle. Continue on until you reach the junction with the B1340.


The path now follows the B1340 virtually all the way to Seahouses. Once past the entrance to the Seahouses Golf Club (which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year) turn right at the next junction, following the signs for the North Sea Trail. Turn left when you reach a T-junction of paths and continue north along the coast and into Seahouses harbour.


Seahouses is the closest that the Northumberland coast gets to the giddy delights of Blackpool. Unabashedly a tourist trap, the main street through the village is a cheerful mix of fish and chip restaurants, amusement arcades and novelty gift shops. These hedonistic distractions have now replaced fishing as the prime commercial activity of Seahouses.


The harbour is still busy, though not with working trawlers. Nowadays, boats take visitors to the nearby wildlife haven of the Farne Islands, famed for their seal population, and for breeding colonies of puffins, terns and other sea birds. If you have the time, its well worth a trip across to the islands. As you continue along the harbour the kiosks of the cruise companies are easy to spot and are a colourful part of the harbour area.


Walk up Harbour Road and turn left back onto the B1340. Cross over and then turn right into Seahouses main car park. Although car parks arent the most exciting subject to describe, the one in Seahouses does feature a very useful tourist information centre where hotel rooms can be booked and information about local sights gathered.


Walk along the length of the car park to rejoin the North Sea Trail path at the far end. Turn left where the North Sea Trail path is crossed by a public right of way to pass the top of Osbourne Gardens. Continue along the path until you reach Osbourne Terrace. Follow the road round and then turn left onto Main Street.


Though theres no reason why you should have noticed, youve now passed out of Seahouses and into North Sunderland. The village of North Sunderland actually pre-dates Seahouses. There is evidence of medieval farming in the area, with traces of ridge and furrow ploughing still visible at nearby St Aidans Dunes. However, it was the herring trade and the building of a harbour that spurred the growth of the villages. This growth prompted the building of a community of sea-houses on the coast for the fishermen and their families.


Cross over Main Street and then turn right almost immediately down South Lane. Take the first left turn and then turn right when you reach a public footpath. Follow the footpath south along the edges of several farm fields and then cross over Annstead Burn using a footbridge. Follow the burn to a farm track. Turn left onto the track and follow it through a farm and back onto the B1340.


Follow the road south back towards Beadnell. Continue along the road as it curves gently around in a westerly direction. Turn left into Beadnell when you reach The Wynding. If you look to your left as you pass The Haven youll see St Ebbas Church, named after Saint bbe, daughter of thelfrith, a seventh century king.


At the junction, follow the road south until you come to a footpath. Follow the path until you reach the edge of a caravan park. Bear left and continue on until you reach a road that eventually leads to Beadnells main car park. If you came here by car and this is where you parked, you can end the walk here. If you arrived in Beadnell by boat good for you walk across the car park and onto the beach to find your vessel. Just dont forget to turn left as you leave the harbour.


Talk the walk

Start Point: Beadnell
Grid Reference: NU 2373 2859
Ordnance Survey Map: Landranger 75 - Berwick-upon-Tweed
Length: 6.25 miles (10.5 kilometres)
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: Three hours
Nearest Pub: The Bamburgh Castle Inn, Seahouses
Nearest town: Alnwick


For more information about Northumberland coast go to
www.yournorthumberland.co.uk

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