Blackhall Beach (Blackhall Colliery)

Blackhall Beach - County Durham
© Mick Garratt and licensed for reuse under this Licence

The beach at Blackhall is a fairly pleasant stretch of North Sea coast. Both clean and quiet, it is a far cry from how it was 40 years ago.

Back in those days Blackhall beach was an apocalyptic vision of industrialization. The nearby Blackhall Colliery was linked to the beach by a massive conveyor system which would dump coal spoils into the sea by the ton. Not only was the beach here was black with coal spoils, there was evidence of damage to the ecosystem four miles off the coast.

This somewhat depressing industrial landscape shot the beach to fame in 1971 when it was used in the gritty final scene of ‘Get Carter’ starring Michael Caine. The beach also featured in the 1992 ‘Alien 3’ film.

Since those days tens of millions of pounds have been spent cleaning the beach up and today there is barely a trace of Blackhall’s industrial past.

Also known as:

Blackhall Colliery

Type of beach

Sand & rock

Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

No dog restrictions.

County Durham dog friendly beaches »


  • Rock pooling

Nearest town



TS27 4AT

OS grid ref.

NZ 4713 3919

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Blackhall Beach Reviews


Apr 10th 2021

And that’s just me. Only kidding. It’s a wild and wonderful coastline. Part of the Durham Heritage Coast.
This beach has a lot to offer for fun.
As you walk along this shoreline, the sea waves travel over the sand and giant pebbles, always leaving a walkway even at high tide. At Blackhall colliery near ‘the ladders’ as I believe it is called is a rather large stone stair case. Just there is a rock pool craggy section going out to sea, then further South towards Blackhall rocks, there is an even better craggy section that has a backdrop of a cave area.
What is particularly interesting at Blackhall colliery is the river coming down through the Castle Eden Dene Valley which then diverts to run along the base of the cliffs.  We’ve seen people swimming, fishing for crabs, surfing, hand gliding, walking along the beach and clifftops, and it is dog friendly. Truly worth a visit!

Tommy noble
Oct 09th 2021

I remember Blackhall beach when it was equal to any beach in england, golden sands and nothing else, but that was in 1947 before nationalisation and the despoiling of the beach by the local coal mine. I come back every 10 years or so and hear people say its in pristine condition, thats just crap, its got brown sand mixed with fine spoil, and at crimdon it is possible to walk for 100 metres stepping only on white rounded rocks, believe me there was no rocks there in 1950.  I now live in Sydney which does have sandy beaches which get cleaned up when they ate left covered in rubbish by irasponsible