|Places to visit
Northumberland’s coast is famous for its wild, unspoilt beauty with long beaches of golden sand, quaint little fishing villages, spectacular castles perched on rocky headlands and abundant birdlife. Constantly fought over by the English and the Scots, Berwick-upon-Tweed changed hands no less than 14 times in 300 years – the massive curtain walls and gateways encircling the town are unique in Britain and are amongst the finest ramparts in Europe. There is an abundance of scenic coastal and country walks to suit all ages and all weather conditions. From Berwick there is a walking trail which meanders along beaches of golden sand to the tidal causeway linking Holy Island with the mainland. From here there is a choice of routes onto the island to explore the village, priory and castle – over the causeway or barefoot across the sands on the Pilgrim’s Way, marked by a line of barnacle-encrusted poles. Holy Island has an illustrious history. It was here that St. Aidan founded a monastery that became a major centre of Christianity, learning and artistry, as exemplified by the Lindisfarne Gospels.
From Holy Island, the trail follows paths through field and forest to St Cuthbert’s Cave, found on a low ridge that provides glorious views of the coast. After exploring the cave, where the monks of Lindisfarne spent their first night after fleeing the Vikings, the trail descends through Belford to rejoin the coast at Bamburgh, a pretty village dominated by its vast castle dramatically poised on a huge crag rising out of the sea. The castle ramparts provide breathtaking views of the Farne Islands and along the miles of golden sand that lead to the spectacular ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle and the attractive fishing village of Craster. From Craster, the trail continues through the picturesque village of Alnmouth to the historic town of Warkworth, with its impressive castle and medieval fortified bridge.
Bamburgh Coast and Castle – Distance 8.5 miles
Enjoy a fine beach, rolling countryside and superb views to Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands.
Craster and a Ruined Castle – Distance 5 miles
From a harbour village famous for its Kippers to a castle that inspired Turner.
Lindisfarne – Distance 5.5 miles
Explore the beginnings of Celtic Christianity and a National Nature Reserve.