Newest Review: ... newsagent, bakery, petrol garage, pet shop etc. There are also a number of souvenir type shops, such as The National Trust Shop. All of... more
Beautiful part of the world!
Member Name: durham_girl
Advantages: Lots to see and do
Seahouses is a small town on the North East coast approx 15 miles north of Alnwick. We live about an hour and a half away so it's a nice distance for a day out by the sea.
The drive up to Seahouses is a particularly nice one on a sunny day. We tend to get off the main road as soon as possible as the scenery around the back roads is very nice. The roads are quite windy, so it pays to be careful, particularly if you've never driven down them before. Some of the locals who are used to the roads are speed demons though!
To get to Seahouses, first you have to go through Beadnell, a tiny village which consists of a few houses, two pubs and a shop! It's a really nice little place and I can highly recommend The Craster Arms if you're looking for something to eat or a relaxing drink. The interior is pretty big and nice and cool, perfect on a hot summers day. They also have a large beer garden if you prefer. The food is very tasty and great value. The portion sizes are generous and a lot of the fish is locally sourced.
If you are a camper or caravanner, Beadnell has two sites to choose from, one is for caravans only the other for tents only. I have stayed at the camping site and found it basic, but very clean and well maintained. The beach is over the road and it's an easy walk to Seahouses straight down the beach. Although it's a 2 mile walk it doesn't seem that long.
If you're visiting Seahouses by car, there is a large car park in the centre of town. This does get very busy, but they recently extended it and there is an overflow. I've never had a problem finding a space. Parking is quite expensive but well worth it due to the close proximity to everything. The majority of the town is pay and display, so it's not really worth trying to find a cheaper place to park.
Although a small town, there is lots to keep you occupied. The shopping is pretty poor, there is a National Trust shop which is nothing special and overpriced. There is a large giftshop which is full of random touristy things, beach items, toys and funnily enough, cleaning supplies! There is also a Co-op, a hardware shop and not a lot else!
As you might expect in a fishing town, there are lots of fish and chip shops to choose from! They are always busy and even though seating is provided, it's near impossible to get a seat. There is a grassy area literally 1 minute away overlooking the sea, this is the perfect place to eat them with lots of vinegar and a wooden fork! In the interests of research(!), I have tried food from all of the takeaways and to be honest there's not much between them. Go for the one with the shortest queue!
Other things to visit are the RNLI Visiting Station. It's free to go in and take a look around and see the lifeboat. Tours can also be prebooked for larger parties. There is also a small gift shop with money going back to the RNLI. These guys do a great job, with the area having a lot of tourists, they are regularly called out to help people in difficulties.
There is a small crazy golf course, this seems very popular among families. It is always packed with people and personally not my idea of fun so I've never been in.
Opposite the crazy golf is the entrance to the small pier. I like to have a slow walk down here with an ice cream and watch the boats coming in and out of the harbour. From here you can book trips via boat round the Farne Islands. There are different tours to book depending on what you would prefer to see. There is lots to see and they are very interesting. More to come in a later review!
Unfortnately, like lots of tourist towns, Seahouses has become victim to falling visitor numbers. This has resulted in a couple of places closing down. The Seahouses Museum closed Summer 2009 due to lack visitors and a branch of Barter Books, a secondhand bookshop also closed for the same reason. Both sad losses, especially The Seahouses Museum as this was particularly interesting to look round.
The historic town of Bamburgh is a few miles away and is a nice drive through scenic countryside or you can leave the car and walk along the beach. We tend to walk there and get the bus back. The bus is pretty regular and the times are displayed at the stop. When the tide is out the beach is massive. There are usually lots of people with the same idea and we see dogs everytime so they must be allowed. On a clear day, the Farne Islands can be seen along with the boats visiting them.
If you plan on visiting Bamburgh, a visit to Bamburgh Castle is a must. The main focal point of the village, it sits on top of a large hill and is a very interesting place to visit. I have reviewed it in the past, check it out for a more detailed review.
There isn't really much to Bamburgh, the main attraction is the beach. It's really quite spectacular and has in the past been voted 4th best beach in Britain. Once thing that I would recommend visiting is the Grace Darling Museum. She was only 22 years old when the SS Forfarshire got into trouble over a mile away from the Bamburgh coast. Grace and her father rowed in an open boat, risking both their lives to reach them on 7 September 1838. For this bravery she was given the RNLI's Silver Medal for Gallantry and in 1938 the museum was opened to commemorate her life.
The museum has recently reopened thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund along with some other trusts. The new facilities are much improved and have transformed the museum from dank and old to bright and welcoming.
Opening times are as follows
October to Easter - Tuesdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays - 10am - 4pm
Easter to October - Monday through Sunday - 10am-5pm
In summary I think it will show through how much I love this part of the world. It's the perfect place to spend a lovely summers day and I would recommend it to anybody.
Summary: Fab place to visit
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