The long Northumberland Coast has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – mile upon mile of almost deserted sands, traditional seaside towns, historic castles, and rolling surf… This holiday is based at Bamburgh, once home to heroine Grace Darling, and overlooked by magnificent 11th century Bamburgh Castle.
This holiday offers shorter walks of around 3 miles along the beautiful and dramatic Northumbrian coastline with the opportunity to visit some of the region’s ancient castles and the historic market town of Alnwick. We will spend a day on Holy Island (Lindisfarne), visiting the castle and Gertrude Jekyll’s garden before wandering around the village with its varied cafes and shops, including the Lindisfarne Mead Centre. St Mary’s Church is well worth a visit, as are the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory. Another day we will go to Embleton and walk along the beach then the headland to Dunstanburgh Castle – now a dramatic ruin. After visiting there we’ll head into the beautiful little fishing village of Craster and finish our day in a local cafe or pub. In Alnwick, following a walk around the town, we can visit Alnwick Castle (Hogwarts to Harry Potter fans) and / or the stunning Alnwick gardens. Hopefully we’ll have time for tea in the renowned Barter Bookshop. On our last day we’ll visit the Grace Darling Museum and the magnificent Bamburgh Castle and maybe have lunch on the beach before we all head off home.
We’ll be based at Sunningdale Hotel in Bamburgh – a friendly, family-owned hotel with a good number of ensuite single rooms available.
Itinerary (please note that this is subject to change)
Monday 3rd April
Gather at the Sunningdale Hotel. For those who have arrived by 4.30pm, we’ll have a stroll around the village, checking out local mysteries like “the village pant” and the “duckett”, visiting the beach, as well as St Aidan’s Church. 6.00 pm Briefing about the holiday Dinner in the hotel, normally around 7pm
Tuesday 4th April
8.30 am Breakfast 10.00 am Grace Darling museum. This delightful little museum is a “must see”, telling all about the heroic part Grace Darling played in the rescue of survivors from the wrecked ship – the Forfarshire. 10.50 am Taxi to Embleton.From Embleton we will walk along the lovely sandy beach and coastal path to visit Dunstanburgh Castle. We will have a good look round the dramatic ruins, soaking up the commanding views out to sea. Then we will walk down over coastal farmland to the lovely little fishing village of Craster, home to the famous Craster Kipper smoke house. We will explore the harbour, and visit the little gallery and finish with a visit to the Shoreline Cafe or the Jolly Fisherman pub. 4.00 pm We will be collected by taxi to return to Bamburgh. Dinner in the hotel
Wed 5th April
8.30 am Breakfast 9.30 am Depart by taxi to the historic market town of Alnwick. Here we will have a stroll around the town, looking at points of interest. We can visit the Castle (aka Hogwarts to Harry Potter fans) and the famous Alnwick Gardens( castle and gardens not included). There will be plenty of opportunities for coffee and cake, and hopefully time to take in Barter Bookshops – a wonderful second hand bookstore. 4.30 m Return by taxi to Bamburgh Dinner in the hotel
Thursday 6th April
8.00 am Breakfast 9.30 am. Departure by taxi to drive across the causeway to Lindisfarne (Holy Island), before it covers over for several hours. We’ll walk along Crooked Lonnen, heading towards the castle. Unfortunately the castle is closed for two years for renovation so we won’t be able to go inside. However there is much to see around the castle, including Gertrude Jekyll’s walled garden, the huge lime kiln complex and the upturned boat sheds. We’ll walk down into the village to try out one of the many cafes for coffee and cake. We can visit the Priory and the delightful St Mary’s Church. There will be the opportunity to taste Lindisfarne Mead which is produced on the island. There are are many small shops and galleries and a museum of the Lindisfarne Gospels. If it all gets too much the Gospel Gardens provide a peaceful haven! 4.30 pm Return by taxi to Bamburgh. Dinner in the hotel
Friday 7th April
8.30 am Breakfast 10.00 am Visit to the imposing Bamburgh Castle with its magnificent stately rooms. From the grounds we can look out to sea, with Holy Island in the distance. There is a cafe in the castle, to sustain us during our visit. If time allows, we could have a walk along the beach before finally heading for home.
Price includes: 4 nights full board in twin ensuite rooms; entry to castle and gardens on Lindisfarne; entry to Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh castles. Single ensuite rooms available if you book early – from £12.50 per night supplement.
Not included: entry to Alnwick Castle and Gardens (£15 and £12 approx)