A short distance North from Alnmouth, past Foxton Hall and the Alnmouth Golf Club lies the small fishing village of Boulmer. This stretch of coast is probably one of the most scarcely populated in the County and an ideal getaway from the stresses of the world, with Sugar Sands being a bit of a local secret! North of Sugar Sands the coastline changes from glorious sandy beaches to rocky outcrops at Craster and on to the dramatic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. From there on the stone succumbs to the sand once more, all the way North to Low Newton.
The small fishing village of Boulmer (pronounced 'Boomer') may now be better known for it's nearby RAF base, but little has changed here over the last 100 years. This is one of the few remaining 'real' fishing villages left on the Northumberland Coast, with the main catch being crabs, lobsters and sea salmon. There is a lovely beach here, along with a small run of cottages and an Inn that has a somewhat unsavoury history!
Between Boulmer and Craster, a little South of Howick is the truly hidden gem that is Sugar Sands. I am somewhat loathe to mention it as it is only accessible on foot from either Howick or Boulmer, or by car from Longhoughton along a path past Low Stead farm. Whichever way you approach this beach, it is still a good long waIk, but well worth the effort. Local people quite rightly would rather this special place remain a secret (so don't tell them where you found out about it!). It is a beautiful sandy cove, almost a Mediterranean feel with it's white sand and rocky outcrops at each end.
Moving back to relative civilisation and the fishing port of Craster, which is most famous for it's kippers (cured herring) and as the access point to Dunstanburgh Castle. The attractive harbour is still used today and has an interesting history. Possibly the main reason for visiting Craster is to head North on foot towards the dramatic ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle. It remains one of my most loved walks and i would urge every visitor to head up along the rocky outcrops towards the Castle at least once. If you do visit the Castle please be aware that you will need to walk a couple of miles along grassy land. While this is a beautiful walk with absolutely stunning views it is not suitable for the less mobile.
The Village of Embleton is about half a mile from the bay that carries it's name. Embleton Bay starts just North of Dunstanburgh Castle and finishes at Low Newton in the North. It has a good two miles of practically perfect beaches to explore backed by high sand dunes. Nestled amongst the sand dunes are a number of small wooden bungalows that are now protected by the National Trust. You will struggle to find a cleaner and safer beach anywhere in the UK and is perfect for the whole family.
Known locally simply as 'Low Newton' the village of Low Newton-By-The-Sea is considered by many, including myself, to be one of the most attractive villages on The Northumberland Coast. It is almost completely owned by the National Trust and has an open ended square of beautiful cream-washed cottages looking out onto the glorious sandy beach. In the centre of this square is The Ship Inn (originally known as the Smack Inn) and is a popular and friendly pub serving an excellent range of sandwiches and meals.
Or head North to explore the next section of coastline from Beadnell Bay to Bamburgh...