Sea and sand – the beauty of Northumberland’s beaches

By Colin Adsley

While the beaches at Tynemouth and Cullercoats are deservedly popular with Tynesiders, Northumberland offers miles of quieter strands in pristine condition, with eye-catching features that make coastal walks a memorable experience at any time of year.

The above view south, from the beach at Alnmouth, is typical of many along the Northumberland coast. We are blest with any number of long, unspoilt beaches, most 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).

Beadnell, Embleton and Druridge bays all offer glorious sweeps of sand backed by dunes, with limitless space for family games, and 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.

To borrow the words of the poet E. E Cummings, ‘whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always ourselves we find by the sea’.

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The legacy of Ethel’s vision and determination lives on thanks to the continued efforts of the Friends of the Peak District, and she remains an inspiration to everyone within CPRE