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Northumberland - A Castle In The Distance...

Dog friendly Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland

... and a mile of golden sand

Northumberland's glorious coastline has a special place in my heart... not least because it's just so wonderfully dog-friendly. Rolling dunes lead down to vast expanses of soft golden sand and when the tide goes out the beaches seem to go on for miles. My favourite stretch of this breathtaking coast lies between Seahouses and Bamburgh.

We returned to Northumberland in early October this year. Ted and Jess were clearly thrilled to be back.

Once again we chose dog friendly Orchard Country Apartments in Beadnell as our base for the week. Having stayed in one of the ground floor apartments over Christmas we knew that we'd be warm and comfortable here, and that there would be more than enough space for the two of us, plus two large dogs. The apartments are situated a stones throw from The Craster Arms, where dogs are welcome except in the main restaurant area, and just a short stroll from beautiful Beadnell Bay beach.

dogs on northumberland beaches

We were blessed with unseasonably warm and sunny autumnal days at the beginning of our stay, which was just perfect for long walks and leisurely lunches. Highlights included Sunday lunch gazing out across the ocean from the terrace garden of The Jolly Fisherman at Craster, and a delightful afternoon, when the number of dogs came close to exceeding the number of tables, plus an equally wonderful evening at The Ship Inn, Low Newton, both of which are highly recommended.

Both the Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses and The Victoria Hotel at Bamburgh provided a warm dog-friendly welcome when refreshment was in order following our walks along Bamburgh Beach, and the coffee shops of Alnwick were equally hospitable after a stroll around the historic town centre.

dogs on beadnell bay beach

Venturing inland, Northumbria is no less spectacular than along its coastline. The Cheviot Hills and the Borders are astonishingly beautiful.  Wild, rugged, remote, romantic and brimming with history. The forest footpaths and signed walk-ways around Kielder Water go on for miles, and the Kielder Forest Drive, one of England's highest roads, takes in some simply stunning views.

Cragside is a National Trust property not to be missed. Dogs on leads are very welcome everywhere in the grounds where over 40 miles of way marked footpaths, lakeside walks, gardens and innovations wait to be discovered. (Only assistance dogs are permitted inside the main building though.) We had a fabulous day, winding our way up and down the craggy landscape, marvelling at the creative and inventive genius of Victorian inventor Lord Armstrong, and getting lost in the Labyrinth. 

dog friendly cragside northumberland

Both Pilgrims Coffee House on Holy Island, Lindisfarne, and Barter Books in Alnwick came to the rescue with a warm and welcoming dog-friendly refuge from two wet and blustery mornings later in the week. The coffee at Pilgrims was certainly among the best we found this trip and Barter Books, a second-hand book store located in a former railway station building with open fires, comfy sofas and a slower more gentle pace than the world outside, is certainly worth making time for a visit.

My growing affection for this part of the country, and the obvious joy both dogs exude when we're out and about here leaves me in little doubt that we'll be heading back to this part of the country again soon.

northumberland countryside