Northumberland coastal route stopping at four location between Newcastle and Edinburgh:
- Druridge Bay
- Coldingham Sands
It’s fair to say that the Northumberland coastal route needs a few days to explore, there are many towns to stop and spend some time in as well as some of those lesser known places roo. The weather will also play a role in where you might want to see as it can get kind of wild!
If you are lucky enough to experience good weather and are a keen photographer then you will be in your element with rugged coastline, castles, colourful harbours and a whole lot more to frame up. [this post is image heavy]
Planning the route
We planned our Northumberland coastal route before we left Spain, the last day of our week long trip to Blighty was going to consist of an early start visiting as much as we could on the way up to Edinburgh where we were booked into a hotel ready for an even earlier start the next morning.
Looking at Google maps it was evident that there was no way we were going to fit even a small amount of it in so we created a list excluding all the places we had been to before [we used to live in Northumberland] like Amble, Seahouses, Craster etc. This left us with half a dozen or so places to go to including Bamburgh to show our youngest what English castles were all about.
Northumberland weather in early March… The day we arrived we drove down the A1 [I’m not keen on the A68] following the coast line. After hours driving at the Spanish end and then the flight I needed to stretch my legs so pulled into a lay-by ready for a chuckle, it was raining fairly hard and windy.
Everyone got out of the car and looked over the cliffs across the sea, it was grey, very wet and freezing cold, I could not help but laugh – this was son’s first experience of English weather, we rapidly piled back into the car and drove on.
The return journey looked like it was going to be a hairy one with forecast snow, we did get some as you will see in the images but we escaped the big downfall which arrived the day after we got back to Spain.
Weather in Northumberland is changeable and won’t take any prisoners if you’re not prepared, if it is forecast snow it’s a good idea to make sure the vehicle is prepped for breakdown or emergency especially when travelling in the winter.
Druridge Bay [snowy beaches]
The Northumberland coastal route has some stunning beaches and Druridge Bay is one of them with sand dunes, lots of wildlife and near pristine sand. Our stop was after some snowfall which put a different angle on things – you don’t get snow on the beach in Spain…
Being a ‘hard as nails man’ geordie there was one thing our 13 year old son just had to do before he left England and that was to take a dip in the North sea – he picked his day for it! Fearless as ever when it comes to water and with absolutley no hesitation whatsoever the gear got thrown off and he ran straight into the waves and lay down.
Bamburgh was colder than Druridge, we paid £5,00 for parking in the car park at the bottom of the castle and walked up [there is cheaper car park at the top of the hill]. We had no idea how much the castle was going to be but when we discovered it was going to be £40,00 for the three of us we decided to give it a miss.
This is one of the things that put a bit of a dampner on things as far as the trip to the UK was concerened and that was the prices – especially entry fees to historical sites, some are simply way too much.
The castle is still impressive from the outside though and if you haven’t seen an English castle before it really is a bit of an eye opener looking at the sheer scale of it. Passing by the castle we headed off to the beach through the sand dunes but did not stay long as the weather was taking a turn for the worse, I imaged all those years ago Vikings charging up that beach in the same weather without a thermal layer between them, makes you realise how soft we’ve all become!
The Vikings never had the opportunity to stop in a tea room for cream tea either but hey, we hadn’t been back for 19 years and it doesn’t get much more ‘English’ right?
A hidden gem in every sense of the word. By now we are in Scotland, aiming for St Abbs we found Coldingham bay and we’re glad we did. The beach stretches for a kilometer and is popular with surfers, there is a free car park within a couple of minutes walk and the beach has a feeling of isolation about it which is nice.
We didn’t have time to explore the numerous trails or take in the general vibe of the place as we had to keep heading north however we could have quite easily spent more time here as the weather was not too bad albeit cold.
There are dozens of beach huts at this bay, all different colours which makes for an interesting backdrop to photos, the shore is rocky at each end offering some variation to the stretch of sand in between and it is, overall, a very nice and somewhat ‘secret’ beach on the north east coast. Well worth a visit.
Eyemouth can be found 8 miles north of Brewick upon Tweed and is easily missed, like most of the coastal towns on the north east coast you will need to deviate off the A1 and head for the sea to find the best spots, Eyemouth and her harbour is one of those places that is worth the visit.
Although small, Eyemouth is rich in history [and tragedy] and has a very picturesque harbour for the keen photographer especially when there is a break in the clouds. Parking was free in the car park we used and it is just a minutes walk until you are at the harbour.
There were a couple of outdoor art projects happening in Eyemouth near the water and also the resident swans were worth a picture too, the local village ‘character’ stopped us for a chat and offered some directions after we got lost, the village has something unique about it which you can’t quite put your finger on but it is certainly worth spending some time here and supporting the local businesses.
Back to Spain
Eyemouth was the last stop and we continued North towards Edinburgh to get ready for our flight the next day. The trip had certainly been worth it, showing our youngest where Mum and Dad used to live was good for him and offered something different to rural Andalucia, a different experience even if it was a short one.
For us personaly we came away with a eeling that we could have stayed for much longer, home is home afterall. In the UK we were no longer foriegners, just accepted like everyone else with nobody looking at you. It made us think hard about where we actually wanted to be, Spain or back to the UK? Find out what we decided in ‘returning to the UK aftre 19 years’