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
A nice place to explore the Northumberland coast.
Member Name: kama0529
Advantages: Good base. Basic needs met. Gorgeous beach. Several pubs and eateries.
Disadvantages: Some tackyness.
***Where is it?***
Seahouses is "up north" - a long way up north!! Its on the North East coast, about 50 miles north of Newcastle, 60 miles south of the Scottish border, and about 15 miles from the Alnwick. I don't know about getting there from other directions, but if you're coming from the south (and I assume most people would be!) it is a fairly easy drive with the majority of the driving being down on motorway or dual carriageway. However, when you get to within 5 miles of Seahouses and have to turn off the dual carriageway, the roads are very windy and the locals drive pretty fast.
When you get to Seahouses, the roads are fairly narrow and so there isn't a lot of on-road parking and even fewer houses / cottages with driveways. However, there are two large car-parks right in the centre of Seahouses - and we left the car there for the whole week with no problems. The owner of our cottage had a parking permit which meant we could park in these carparks free of charge - and I know several other people who also have been given parking permits when staying here.
The High Street has a number of shops - including all necessities like a large Co-op Supermarket, a pharmacy, newsagent, bakery, petrol garage, pet shop etc. There are also a number of souvenir type shops, such as The National Trust Shop. All of these shops are quite basic but they are fine for everyday things. If you want something a bit more special or want more variety then Alnwick is about 30 minutes away (by car) and has a pretty good selection of shops for a market town.
For people with mobility problems, Seahouses could be tough. Although it is mostly flat, there is a pretty steep hill down to the harbour and the beach is about a 15 minute walk from the centre of the town. In addition, to get onto the beach you need to navigate some small dunes - which may be tough for someone with mobility issues.
***Eating and Drinking***
There are a number of places to eat in Seahouses which are of okay quality. For lunch there are a couple of cafes (I liked Rosemary's cafe) which does basic home-cooked food. For the evening, there are several pubs all in the centre of Seahouses that serve decent enough pub food. I personally think that the Bamburgh Castle Inn is probably the best of the bunch, and is definitely the most friendly. There are also several Fish and Chip restaurants that are pretty good quality, and an Indian takeaway. If you want fine dining though, I don't think there is anything like this in Seahouses and so it would mean traveling further afield.
If you're planning to do some cooking yourself, I recommend buying some fish from Craster (about a 20 minute drive) as there is a good selection and their kippers are legendary.
***What to do***
Seahouses isn't an exciting place, but it is a nice relaxing place. There are some tacky tourist attractions which have obviously come in since the place has become popular - such as a few amusement arcades and crazy golf - but, at heart, this remains a small relaxing town. So, if you're looking for excitement then this isn't your place.....but if you're looking to relax and chill out for a week then Seahouses is a nice option.
To be honest, most of our days involved walking on the beach with the dogs (the beach welcomes dogs year round). The beach is gorgeous....beautiful yellow sand, sweeping dunes - and at one end stands the iconic Bamburgh castle. The beach is long and wide and basically its easy to find a bit to yourself away from everyone else if that's what you want. However, there are no amenities on the beach - and so you need to bring everything you want with you.
Bamburgh Castle is worth a visit - but for me the outside of the castle is the money shot, although it was interesting to see it on the inside. The town of Bamburgh is also really pretty and its worth having a wander through here and maybe stop for lunch.
There are several small towns dotted around which are nice to stop at if you want to go for a drive. Craster is a little sleepy town and a nice place to wander, as is Beadnell. Dunstanburgh Castle is worth stopping off at also. I personally quite liked Alnwick, particularly Barter Books which is a massive secondhand bookshop in the centre of Alnwick.
You can take a boat trip out to the Farne Islands - where the big draw is the birds, especially the Puffins. I personally didn't do this as I didn't want to leave my dogs for the day, but I do know people who have done this and say its worth it. We did drive over the causeway to Holy Isle (about 30 minutes drive) and spent an afternoon there. There isn't a lot to the little town, but its quaint and picturesque. Make sure you know the causeway times though because its only open at certain times of the day because the rest of the time its under water.
I enjoyed my time in Seahouses and if you're looking for a relaxing break, it is a beautiful part of the world and serves as a very good base for exploring the Northumberland coastline.
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