The Northumberland coast from Amble north to the Scottish border at Berwick on Tweed attracts visitors to its sandy beaches, small harbours and historic castles dotted along the coast – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Inland is the Northumberland National Park, a rural area of farms and moorland. Hadrian’s Wall in the south of the county marks the old Roman boundary and designated a World Heritage Site. Kielder Forest Park is a further option for a varied holiday in Northumberland.
Dominating the coastline, Bamburgh Castle and the sandy beach below is a popular destination. Alnwick Castle featured in the Harry Potter films, and is noted for the water features in the grounds. Ancient Warkworth Castle heads the medieval setting of the village.
South on the coast, Seahouses harbour offers boat trips around the Farne Islands a mile offshore. A leading UK breeding ground for guillemots, gannets and terns, a trip to the Farnes may include a landing at Inner Farne island where the burrows of nesting puffins are a major attraction. In Seahouses harbour Eider ducks with their distinctive calls may be seen.
Further down the coast, Craster is noted for its kippers available from the local smokehouse. The small harbour is the start of the walk along the coast to the romantic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. Near to Craster is Low Newton by the Sea, a small village with a sandy beach and small square of houses around the village pub.
Visible off the coast north of Bamburgh is Lindisfarne, an island cut off by twice daily higher tides – possible crossing times are widely published. The Lindisfarne Gospels were produced here by monks around 700AD, and their abbot who became St Cuthbert is a dominant figure in bringing Christianity to the wild border country of then Northumbria. Also known as Holy Island, Lindisfarne is an atmospheric location with its ruined Priory much visited.
Many of the attractions in Northumberland are managed by the National Trust or English Heritage, and their members have special reduced entry rates.
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