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Summary

Northumberland Coast: spectacular guided walking holiday

Saturday 20th – 27th May 2017

No of Nights: 7

Stay: Hotel

Grade: Easy-Moderate

Information

On this guided walking holiday on the spectacular Northumberland Coast you will discover peace, tranquility and one of Britain’s most spectacular and unspoiled coastlines. This is a land steeped in history where saints and kings vied for loyalty, their legacy still visible today in scattered ruins and medieval castles. Stunning scenery: dune-backed bays, islands teeming with wildlife, fishing villages and deserted beaches.

Enjoy

  • Walking barefoot across the sands to The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
  • Magnificent Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh Castles
  • Boat trip to Farne Islands and getting up close to puffins and grey seals
  • Harbours, ports and fishing villages
  • Fresh crab, lobster, oysters and fish in local restaurants
  • Nature reserves including Long Nanny, home to 2000 pairs of Arctic Terns
  • Coastal walk on Scotland’s highest cliffs
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Tour review scores and score breakdown

10 / 10

Based on 2 reviews

Guest reviews are written by our customers after their tour of Spectacular Northumberland Coast.

Guest reviews

  • "Patrick did an excellent job in introducing us to the Castles, Coasts and Moors of Northumberland, a county which is not well known to many walkers. His enthusiasm and affection for the area was genuine and infectious. He is very knowledgeable about birds, butterflies, trees and plants and has a fund of stories about the history and background of the places we visited. The coast is dramatic and amazingly unspoiled with beautiful long sandy beaches. The Pilgrims Path, barefoot across the bay at low tide to Lindisfarne, was a quite unique walking experience which we shall never forget. The hotel and restaurants of Bamburgh were excellent too. Thank you Country Walks and Patrick Norris for organising such a super week."
    - Christopher Toop, Richmond, Surrey

  • "The Northumberland holiday was definitely up there as one of the best holidays I have been on walking or not! The scenery was stunning, the Mizen head hotel faultless,food great and the staff cheerful and helpful. Patrick, the leader, was an endless font of knowledge, patient and very sociable. What with the great crowd that week, the lovely food, the amazing walks this was such a memorable week, never to be forgotten. Especially the walk over to the Holy Island. Another great Countrywalks experience !!"
    - Margaret O'Leary, Tadworth, Surrey

Itinerary

Please note that the itinerary is subject to change depending on sea conditions and tides.

Saturday:  Welcome meeting and briefing with a glass of good cheer with our compliments. A chance to meet your fellow guests before dining at The Mizen’s renowned restaurant.

Sunday:  The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, a gem of the Northumberland Coast.  Walk on the Pilgrim’s Way, established in 635AD between Lindisfarne and the mainland. The 3.5-mile journey, part of St Oswald’s and St Cuthbert’s Way, is best done barefoot. This is a remarkable and unforgettable experience as you carry your boots on this section of the day’s walk! After lunch, walk a further 4.5 miles, this time with your boots on, to explore the wilder side of Lindisfarne. Explore a wonderful part of the island missed by most visitors. Or visit Lindisfarne Priory, museum and churches. Return to the mainland by coach. (Grade easy: 3.5 - 6 miles/6 - 10 km)

Monday:  Howick to Beadnell   The first stop today is Craster, a perfect fishing village, home of the kipper. This famous delicacy is still prepared in the village in oak smoked barrels. On to mighty Dunstanburgh Castle which dominates the skyline of this part of the Northumberland Coast. Then follow the sweep of Embleton Bay’s gloriously wide sandy beach to lunch at the gloriously-located Ship Inn. Hug the coast through dunes to Long Nanny Nature Reserve. There in May and June 2000 pairs of Arctic terns and 20 pairs of the rare little tern arrive. Finally walk along the shoreline to the village of Beadnell.  (Grade: easy. 9 miles/14.6 km; option to take a bus to Beadnell after 5 miles).

Tuesday:  Bewick Moor & Ancient Landscapes  Today explore a different landscape of extensive moorland located between the Northumberland National Park and the Northumberland Coast. Enjoy one of the best preserved prehistoric landscapes in the UK. Here you'll find Bronze Age and Iron Age hill forts, ruined and romantic farmsteads, a hidden cave, and cup-and-ring-marked rocks. This walk is renowned for its historic landscape, wonderful views of the Cheviot Hills and an abundance of wild flowers. Picnic lunch today.  (Grade: moderately easy undulating walking. 9 miles/14.4 km)

Wednesday: Free Day  Today just take it easy and enjoy Bamburgh itself, visit the castle or take a bus to Seahouses to enjoy the harbour, the smokehouse, pubs and back streets. You could visit the Grace Darling Museum and the church. Or you could visit Alnwick is an attractive market town, also accessible by bus, with a castle used in Harry Potter films,and the spectacular Alnwick gardens created at a cost of £45 million! Or, if you would like to revisit Lindisfarne, this can be arranged.

Thursday:  Eyemouth to St Abbs Head on the Berwickshire Coast  A coastal walk along Scotland’s highest sea cliffs. Here enjoy spectacular scenery and amazing geological features. Lunch at Eyemouth, a busy fishing port with a museum, Guns Green house and harbour. On to the villages of Coldingham and St Abbs' National Nature Reserve, home to a rare butterfly. In May and June the cliffs are crammed with nesting seabirds and wild flowers. Finish at St Abbs to explore the Visitor Centres and the Old School which tells the the story of St Ebba. Or visit the harbour, cafes and art galleries. (Grade: mostly easy apart from St Ebb's Head which can be omitted. 10.25 miles/16.5 km; with a good bus service, there are opportunities to opt out on the way.)

Friday: The Farn Islands and the Bamburgh Coast  The day begins with a walk along the beach to  Seahouses where a catamaran whisks you to the Farne Islands, just off the Northumberland Coast. The island is home to seabirds, seals and some wonderful coastal scenery. On Inner Farne you get close to puffins, guillemots and a whole lot more - and you may well see dolphins. You’ll be in the hands of a knowledgeable skipper who is skilled at getting you close to the birds. Picnic lunch on Inner Farne before sailing back to Seahouses,  F. (Grade: easy. 6 miles/10 km. For anyone wishing to omit the boat trip, there are a number of attractions in Seahouses to enjoyably occupy your morning - see Wednesday’s itinerary). Please note that the boat trip is dependent on prevailing sea conditions.

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Hotels

The Mizen Head Hotel is a sophisticated ‘restaurant with rooms’, with excellent stylish rooms, the very best that the area has to offer, some with coastal views.
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Grade of the walks

The walks are suitable for anyone of average fitness, able to walk up to 6 miles on most days with a break for a picnic lunch. The walks are flexible on most days, allowing for longer or shorter options - see Itinerary.

All our walks are led in a relaxed way and include stops to enjoy the scenery, photography and visits to historic sites.

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Tour price and costs

Price per person:

£799 for sharing a double or twin room; £15 per night single supplement for single occupancy of a double room.  (There are no single rooms).

Price includes:

  • Welcome meeting with complimentary glass of wine
  • Excellent B&B accommodation and breakfasts at The Mizen Head, Bamburgh
  • Private coach transport daily to and from the walks
  • Commentaries on features of interest along the way
  • The services of Patrick Norris, an experienced, professional guide with an in-depth knowledge of the Northumberland Coast

Price excludes:

  • Dinners:  The Mizen Head’s menus are à la carte only. This enables you to have the freedom to choose your personal favourites from the menu, and as many courses as you choose, with the cost being added to your room bill. Dining at the Mizen Head is rather special and therefore will be restricted to three evenings. On other evenings, the group will dine together at other nearby restaurants, thus providing variety to suit all tastes and budgets.
  • Farne Islands: National Trust members are able to land on the Farne Islands without charge. Non-members are charged £7.40 landing fee. The cost of the boat trip has not been included since not everyone likes boat trips. Also they are dependent on sea conditions and such a trip cannot therefore be guaranteed! The cost is likely to be £15 per person.
  • Admission Charges:  National Trust members free at Lindisfarne and Farne Islands; non-members approximately £7 for each entry. Bamburgh Castle £10 (privately owned); Dunstanburgh Castle £4, free to National Trust and English Heritage members.
  • Lunches, optional teas and items of a personal nature.
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Flights

Rail:  Direct services from London King’s Cross via York to Alnmouth, (Virgin Trains East Coast service to Edinburgh). Journey time 3 hours 39 minutes. Cheapest fares currently showing c. £50 return. Hourly bus services to Bamburgh approximately 1 hour, cost £4; taxi approximately 30 minutes, cost £50-60.

Car:
320 miles one way from London via A1, M1 and A1. Journey time approximately 6.5 hours.

Coach:
National Express to Newcastle followed by local services to Northumberland Coast.

Air:
Nearest international airports are Edinburgh and Newcastle

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Video

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