CPRE Northumberland

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Sand and sea

Alnmouth beach, Coquet Island on the horizon Alnmouth beach, Coquet Island on the horizon © Shutterstock

This view south, from just a few yards out of the village of Alnmouth, is typical of many along the Northumberland coast. We are blest with a number of long, unspoilt beaches, most backed by dunes and offering a focal point (as here) of an island, a castle, a headland, a breakwater or other notable structure (at Beadnell, for instance, old lime kilns now protected by the National Trust).

All of these beaches offer limitless space for family games, with pools among the rocks to explore for small creatures. But they also offer opportunities, if you pick your time of day, for seclusion, tranquillity, a chance to observe some less common sea birds, but above all time to reflect inwardly to the accompaniment of the steady rhythms of breaking waves, soft breezes and the slow, but inexorable rise and fall of the tides. As the poet e e cummings once put it

               'For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)

               it's always ourselves we find in the sea'.


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