Best beaches in Northumberland
As the country’s most spacious county, Northumberland is home to a diverse county made up of rugged hills and moors in the west and a stunning, rugged coastline to the east. Northumberland is highly underrated as a coastal holiday spot. Here the beaches stretch for miles untouched, backed by spectacular cliffs and sand dunes, imploring you to visit.
We firmly believe that Northumberland is one of the most rewarding coastal destinations in the UK but at the same time, we understand that you may not be overly familiar with the area due to its remoteness. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best beaches in Northumberland to help you become more familiar with the local offerings.
Bamburgh Castle Beach, Northumberland
Bamburgh Castle and its surrounding beach have been playing host to people for centuries. The present-day pristine stretch of sand combines with an age-old place in Northumberland’s history to bring you one of the top beach experiences the UK has to offer. Overlooking the North Sea, the area is a delight to discover all-year round, with walks taking you along the unspoilt coast. You’ll see the beautiful Farne Islands in the distance. The archipelago is uninhabited and the number of islands that appear depends on the tidal level. The wind often picks up here, generating waves that are ideal for surfing. When the weather is calm, the beach is a delight for families to relax.
Around the sand, the castle is undoubtedly the centrepiece. Standing in various forms over the course of 1,400 years is something to shout loud about. The present structure has been standing since the 14th-century, standing high above the beach to give its previous occupants a great view of the horizon. You’d be forgiven for thinking it's out of place in the present-day peace, but a visit makes it easy to see why this structure was so strategically important. The beach has played an important part in safety at sea, with the world’s first lifeboat being used here.
Embleton Bay Beach, Embleton
The gentle sweep of Embleton Bay is a magnificent sight, combine that with crystal clear waters, fabulous views of Dunstanburgh Castle and acres of perfect sand and you’re laughing! This is a lesser-known beach compared with the other castle-side offering at Bamburgh, meaning that even when the weather is fantastic, you’re likely to have the beach practically to yourself!
Most of the length is soft sand and at low tide a generous swathe of harder sand, ideal for walking. No lifeguards operate on the beach and the waters of the North Sea can be quite bitter, so only brave the waters if you are a strong swimmer. At high tide the water can reach to the base of the flora-filled dunes but there is a good path that undulates through them allowing you to return to the beach at different intervals. Parking is free on the road, but this gets bust from late morning onwards in the summer holidays. The church and 18th-century pub in the village of Low Newton are also well-worth visiting if you fancy stretching your legs for some history and/or refreshment.
Blyth Beach, Blyth
Blyth is home to a lovely sandy beach, with a promenade and a long strip of golden sand. There are plenty of photo opportunities at the colourful Blyth Beach Huts will provide you plenty of instagramable photo opportunities, while the gun emplacements will be of interest to the kids. There are plenty of natural wonders at Blyth which is not only backed by an area of Special Nature Conservation in the form of a system of sand dunes but is also a spot from which dolphins can be seen out at sea.
You will find ample free parking and some of the tastiest fish & chips in the North East at “Coastline”. We recommend you eat on the beach itself as fish & chips always taste nicer with a coastal backdrop and the fresh sea salt smell in the air!
Druridge Bay Beach, Amble
The beach at Druridge Bay is a seven-mile-long stretch of golden sand that runs south from Amble down to Cresswell. The curved beach is lovely to walk along, and you will discover the remnants of Second World War defences, birdlife such as golden plover and purple sandpipers as well as surfers and kite surfers on the waters. There are great views down the coast on a clear day.
A short walk from the access road behind the dunes will take you to an area where you can park on the verges bordering the road. We recommend walking down to Cresswell and for an ice-cream at the little shop there or, alternatively, walk towards the lovely town of Amble where you can find further refreshments and restaurants for a proper sit-down meal made with local ingredients.
Alnmouth Beach, Alnmouth
Alnmouth Beach is located on the North Northumberland Heritage Coast, and adjacent to the Northumberland Coast Path. It is a quiet, relaxing, sandy beach in a rural setting away from the hustle and bustle that provides plenty of bird watching opportunities along the sand dunes. The width of the bay mean that a wind breaker may be necessary for extended relaxation sessions on this beach, as the area is prone to strong breezes!
Alnmouth itself is a pretty village of pastel-coloured houses with a homely feel in its shops and cafes. There are plenty of nice eateries close by for refreshments and free parking on the road, but this is limited so we recommend using the Beach Car Park, operated by the council, which is pay & display.
Berwick Beach, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed is a charming town of cobbles, castles, Elizabethan town walls and castle ruins that straddles the border with Scotland. It is home to a lovely sandy beach which lies to the north of the mouth of the River Tweed. The scenic beach which is backed by cliffs becomes huge and atmospheric at low tide, with plenty of interesting rock formations that your dog and kids will love. The river mouth is separated from the beach by a long pier which has a lighthouse at the end overlooking the beach and surrounding area.
Visitors can enjoy fishing and walking from the pier which is also the location of a car park at the end with direct access down to the beach. There’s also another car park and a public toilet next to Magdalene Fields golf club, but the beach is within easy walking distance from our Haven Berwick Holiday Park making it one of our top recommendations for beaches in Northumberland that you should visit.
Spittal Beach, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Cross to the south side of the River Tweed and you will find another stunning beach. Spittal Beach is great for walking the dogs, strolling along the promenade in the evening, relaxing on a warm day or watching the sun rise over the beautiful stretch of ocean. If you’re lucky, you might even see the local wildlife whilst you’re there - seals, diving birds and even a pod of dolphins frequent the beach.
The promenade has ice cream stands, amusements and a café where you can enjoy a hot drink while looking at the beautiful views back towards Berwick and ahead to the cliffs at Bear Head. There is free parking on the sea front and some side streets which are easily reached with just a 10-minute drive from our Berwick Holiday Park.
Cheswick Sands, Cheswick
Cheswick Sands is a classic beach to the North of Holy Island that is a treat for the senses. The sand feels great under the feet, the lapping of waves is music to the ears, and the views are a real treat for the eyes. This vast beach backed is by huge dunes and skirted by Lindisfarne Nature Reserve at the southern end. It is utterly pristine, without any commercial activity in sight.
The sea is shallow and brilliant for splashing about in, especially for canines. Beware of the tides though as they can come in fast here. These shores are also home to dolphins and whales and you’re sure to see a lot in the way of birdlife. The free parking area is reached via a narrow winding road just off the A1, you’ll then need to head through the dunes to find your destination. However, this is one journey you won’t regret as Cheswick Sands is undoubtedly one of the most scenic beaches in Northumberland.
Cocklawburn Beach, Berwick-upon-Tweed
This lovely, secluded beach is about an 11-minute drive from Berwick or 15 from our charming Haven Berwick Holiday Park. The beach is a lovely clean stretch of sand and rock that is a little off the tourist route but is well worth a visit for a scenic walk or a paddle/surf in the North Sea.
The beach is accessed through winding paths over the dunes, some of which are quite steep so access can be a little difficult for wheelchair users. There are two car parks and if you’re like you may an ice cream van parked up in the summer months if you’re in need of refreshment.
Holy Island Beach, Lindisfarne
It doesn’t get much more adventure filled than exploring a beach on a remote island. Cut off from the rest of the world, Holy Island (Lindisfarne), is a scenic and mysterious tidal island off the coast of Northumberland. This mysterious island off Northumberland’s coast becomes inaccessible when the tide washes over its causeway twice a day so make sure to check safe crossing times for the Holy Island Causeway before making your visit.
As well as charming cafes, plenty of facilities, and historic sites, Lindisfarne also has several excellent beaches. The most well-known of these is Holy Island beach that enjoys wonderful views of the 16th-century castle and medieval priory. There are several upside boats that have been turned into storage sheds, giving the area a quirky feel. You can build your own stone tower on the beach to add to the many left by previous visitors and walk round the remains of the old lime kilns.
Holy Island can easily be reached from Haggerston Castle Holiday Park, one of Haven’s most scenic holiday parks complete with an actual castle and serene lake views as well as plenty of entertainment for the kids.