Bamburgh Castle Beach
© Christine Westerback and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Majestic Bamburgh Castle, once a Norman stronghold towers over the wide expanse of pristine, sandy beach, backed by sand dunes.
Bamburgh Castle beach is a perfect place to go for long, wind-swept walks at any time of year. The water temperatures don't really get particularly warm even in the height of summer, but in the milder months of the year children enjoy playing in the waves and the sand is good for building sandcastles and playing beach games.
What really makes Bamburgh beach stand out though is the breathtaking castle dominating the skyline behind the beach. A castle is known to have stood here since the 6th century; the oldest part of the present structure was built in the 12th century. Bamburgh castle is well worth a visit and children will enjoy the extensive collection of arms and armour.
Opposite the beach are the Inner Farne Islands, home of hermits and monks from the 7th century right up until the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century.
A walk along the beach in a northerly direction brings the visitor to Stags Rocks, so named because of the white stag painted on the rocks. There are some interesting rock pools in this area of the beach and a small lighthouse - the most northerly of its kind in mainland England. Another interesting fact is the world's first ever lifeboat was developed and tested at Bamburgh beach.
The beach at Bamburgh gets good waves for surfing and is regarded as one of the most consistent spots on the coast. Surf hire and lessons are also available.
Behind the beach the dunes of Sandy Hills are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including some quite rare insects. This area has been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest.