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Tour of the North: Day tripping to Blissful Bamburgh

Walking any of Bamburgh’s beautiful beaches is a worthy day out, enjoying the sea air as you look upon the imposing castle towering 150 feet above.

By Jenny Brownlees

On-route

A must-visit in our eyes is Alnwick’s Barter Books. Beloved by all who visit, you’ll experience stunning forty-foot murals and lines of poetry artfully placed between rows upon rows of second-hand books. Sit by the open fires in winter, while a model railway whizzes above the beautifully restored Victorian train station. Kids will love the children’s room and ice cream parlour, while adults will delight in the rare books and enchanting surroundings.

Alnwick Station, Alnwick NE66 2NP

Open daily between 9.00am – 6.00pm

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Time for a pit-stop

Continue to the coast near Alnwick, taking in the sights of the lesser-visited Howick beach, a gem situated south of Craster. What this small beach lacks in expanse it makes up for with striking cliffs, caves and coves. Inland, Howick Hall, the grand Grade II listed building, was the home of Prime Minister Charles, 2nd Earl Grey.

Built in 1782, visiting the home and gardens makes for a morning taking in the region’s history.

Of course, no trip would be complete without sampling a cup of Earl Grey in the tearoom, since the home’s owner was who the famous tea was named in honour of.

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On arrival in Bamburgh

Head to the beach before exploring inside the castle, or if feeling bold—take a boat tour to the nearby Farne Islands where you’ll spot a large and inquisitive colony of Grey Seals.

This is one of the top grey seal pupping sites in England, with more than 2000 pups born out at the islands every Autumn/Winter.

Coffee break, or time for lunch?

If you’d like a warm beverage to heat you up after your adventures, coffee at The Hut is highly recommended.

For lunch, Insieme in Seahouses is the best Italian in the area. 

Seal photo credit: Visit Northumberland – taken with a zoom lens. Please note that it is important to enjoy watching the seals responsibly and not get too close to them. 

 

Chillingham Castle

Just twenty minutes by car from Bamburgh lies Chillingham Castle, where you can visit the rare and beautiful Chillingham Wild Cattle as they roam through their natural habitat.

These gorgeous creatures are truly unique – thought to be rarer than the giant panda. Not only are the cattle genetically identical, each one has received identical genes from its sire and its dam—a one-off among wild living animals.

You can see them up close as they roam through the 330 acres of stunning Chillingham Park. 

Chillingham, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 5NP

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Photo credit: Visit Northumberland
The Potted Lobster Bamburgh

Time for dinner

The jewel in Bamburgh’s crown is seafood restaurant The Potted Lobster.  Beginning as a small bistro-style restaurant headed by local chef Richard Sim, popularity soared, leading to expansion.

The menu is anything but ordinary—dishes are innovative and delicious.

The restaurant has been included in the Michelin Guide twice-over and has been praised in national press, including a highly complementary review in The Telegraph.

3 Lucker Rd, Bamburgh NE69 7BS

Open daily between 12noon and 9.00pm

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