If you’re looking to explore Northumberland on foot, its 62-mile coastal path through this AONB is an excellent place to start. You can simply pick up the trail where you like and let it guide you across sandy beaches, to castle ruins, past nesting birds and through historic towns.
From Beadnell, you can head north up the path as far as you choose, up towards Seahouses, Bamburgh and even Berwick. Or head south to Embleton and Craster. We’ve chosen two of our favourite routes, heading in each direction and easy to access from our Beadnell holiday cottages.
Beadnell Village to Seahouses Coastal Walk
This coastal walk picks up the Northumberland coastline as it continues its amble northward. The journey showcases Northumbria’s rich natural and historical heritage, from active fishing harbours to the region’s famous sand dunes.
This walk is relatively flat and easy to navigate, making it a great option for casual hikers and dog walkers.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 2.6 miles (4.2 km)
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour
Start: Beadnell Bay
End: Seahouses Harbour
1. Beadnell Bay
You’ll begin your coastal walk as you should: on the beach.
The endlessly long, sugar-sand Beadnell Bay is one of Northumberland’s most beautiful beaches, set against a backdrop of grassy dunes. If you’re visiting in the late spring and summer, keep an eye out for nesting terns.
The bay is dog-friendly year-round and only a 20-minute walk from our holiday homes.
2. Beadnell Harbour
At the far north end of the two-mile bay is 18th-century harbour, the only west-facing harbour on England’s east coast, and that’s where you’re headed. While quaint and quiet now, it was originally the haunt of smugglers. Spend some time looking around.
The still-working fishing harbour was gifted to local families in the 1940s and remains in their hands now. Accompanying the harbour are the equally-aged Lime Kilns. Although 150 years ago they were busy turning limestone into fertiliser, take a look inside now and you’ll find hundreds of lobster pots.
3. Dunes and Coastal Path
From the harbour, join Harbour Road and head north along the coastal path, which here is the B1340. The coast will continue to follow you on your right-hand side for the duration of the walk, while green pastures will be on your left.
After around 30 minutes of walking, you’ll reach the Annstead Dunes Nature Reserve. Here you might want to use one of the turnstiles to drop down onto the beach for a while.
Before reaching the end of the Annstead Dunes Nature Reserve, rejoin the coastal path on the main road.
4. Seahouses Golf Club
The path then takes you past the 110-year-old Seahouses Golf Club. It’s not the region’s only club that looks out onto the sublime north coast – Northumberland has some incredible shoreline courses and makes for an incredible golf trip.
The final stretch of the walk takes you into energetic Seahouses. Like Beadnell, the town has a long history as a key fishing port for the region.
You’ve likely worked up quite the appetite after your walk. If so, pick up some fish and chips from any of the many establishments in town before heading to the endpoint of the walk.
6. End Point: Seahouses Harbour
Your walk ends at Seahouses Harbour. Sit and watch the boats come in and out at the Bamburgh Castle Inn or, if there’s plenty of time left in the day, consider a boat trip to the Farne Islands. Throughout spring to autumn, the islands become alive with puffins, seals, shags and more.
Beadnell to Dunstanburgh Castle Walk
Following the Northumberland coastal path, only this time southward, this linear route begins in Beadnell. The coastal walk takes you along the golden shores of Beadnell and Embleton Bay, to the dramatic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle.
Distance: 7.5 miles (12 km) one way
Duration: Approximately 2.5 – 3 hours
Start: Beadnell Harbour
End: Dunstanburgh Castle
1. Starting Point: Beadnell Harbour
Begin your journey at Beadnell Harbour and head south down Beadnell Bay. Enjoy the sweeping views of the North Sea and the sound of shorebirds overhead.
As mentioned before, the bay is a popular spot for terns in the spring-summer so keep an eye out. You may also see some movement on the horizon – that could be seals or cresting dolphins as they’re not uncommon in these parts.
Walk the two-mile stretch of Beadnell Bay before picking up the Northumberland coastal path on the south side.
Civilisation may drop off for a while after Beadnell. However, keep following the well-trodden path and eventually you’ll get to Newton-by-the-sea. The pretty little village stuns with its stone fisherman’s houses; most of it is owned by the National Trust. Take a rest and enjoy the beach views.
If you have time, venture 80m inland and check out Newton Pool Nature Reserve, home to many species of migratory birds.
3. Embleton Bay
The coastal path continues onto beautiful Embleton Bay where, once again, the birdlife flourishes. Oystercatchers and their striking beaks whistle as you walk. If you brought sandwiches, now’s a great time to enjoy them – the views don’t get much better.
Immediately as you drop onto Embleton Bay, the imposing silhouette of Dunstanburgh Castle looms. Amble along this stretch of beach to reach the castle.
4. Endpoint: Dunstanburgh Castle
Picking the hilltop path back up after reaching the end of Embleton Bay, there’s just a short grassy journey between you and the 14th-century ruins. The site, on a remote and wave-battered headland, now belongs to the English Heritage.
After exploring the castle grounds, don’t forget to take a look back from the route you’ve just followed as the views are magnificent.
Following the Northumberland coastal path north and south from Beadnell Village is a fantastic way to experience the beauty, charm, heritage and wildlife of Northumberland.
After a day spent walking, you’ll want somewhere to rest your feet. Whether you’ve got a four-legged friend with you or not, check out our roundup of dog-friendly pubs in Beadnell.
And of course, always respect the environment, pick up after your dog, and follow any local guidelines or restrictions to help preserve these beautiful locations for future generations to enjoy. For routes across Northumberland, we love the choice available on Alltrails.