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The Northumberland Coast & its Castles

From Warkworth to Bamburgh
 
Discover a region rich in history as you follow leisurely routes along Northumberland’s unspoiled coast. This self-guided walking holiday features a charming mix of accommodation, and offers the opportunity to visit magnificent Alnwick Castle and to take a boat trip to spot seals and puffins on the Farne Islands.
The Northumberland Coast & its Castles. 6 nights
The Northumberland Coast & its Castles. 6 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in Northumberland

Northumberland was once the powerhouse of England, a land where saints and kings – and Viking raiders – played central roles in shaping the destiny of the country. Today, peace reigns over this rural and remarkably unspoiled region, making it the perfect place for a leisurely walking holiday. Discover vestiges of its turbulent past in the mighty castles along the coast; enjoy spectacular views of land and sea; look out for fabulous wildlife, from red squirrels in the woods to the seabirds of the islands; and savour some tasty local cuisine.
This relaxed holiday begins in Warkworth, an ancient village enclosed within a picturesque loop of the River Coquet and located on the Northumberland Coast Path – the spectacular walking trail that forms the basis of many of the week’s routes. You are aided in your journey north to medieval Alnwick and beachfront Beadnell by the excellent local bus network, whose frequent services enable you to adapt the routes as you wish – so that you also have time to take in the area’s wealth of historic interest, its vast and oft-deserted sandy beaches, and its wonderful variety of wildlife.
 

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Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    East England is less prone to rain than the west, but you should always be prepared for wet weather. The breeding season for seabirds is from spring to late summer, with large numbers of puffins on the Farne Islands between April and late July.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 6 7 9 11 14 16 19 18 16 13 9 7
    mm 46 39 40 52 48 56 57 59 47 54 49 46
  • Arrival in Warkworth
    Night 1: at Warkworth House Hotel (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Linear route to Warkworth: 10km (6 miles), 3.5hrs
    Your first day’s walk begins on the northern fringes of Druridge Bay, a seven-mile-long beach reached by a short bus journey from Warkworth. You pick up the Northumberland Coast Path close to Hauxley Nature Reserve, which you may like to explore before following the Path north, enjoying superb views back along the sweeping sands and over to Coquet Island as you go. Coquet Island is an RSPB sanctuary known for its profusion of nesting seabirds – puffins come in their thousands each year to breed – and boat trips around the island sail from the nearby fishing port of Amble, the next stop on your walk. Spend some time visiting Amble’s pretty marina and inviting independent shops before returning inland to Warkworth, where a visit to the imposing castle – the medieval seat of the Percy family, then Earls of Northumberland – comes highly recommended (castle closed Mondays and Tuesdays in March).
    To Warkworth: 10km
    Coquet Island
  • Warkworth to Alnwick: 11km (7 miles), 3.5hrs
    Today sees you leaving Warkworth and heading north across sand dunes and coastal grasslands to Alnmouth, a delightful village clustered on the north banks of the Aln Estuary. From here, you complete the remainder of your journey to Alnwick by bus, where you stay a short stroll from the medieval centre at Greycroft – a family-run guesthouse which regularly wins awards for its hospitality. You also have the option here to upgrade to the stylish Cookie Jar, a stone’s throw from Alnwick Castle’s imposing gateway.
    Warkworth to Alnwick: 11km
    En route to Alnmouth
  • Choice of routes from Alnwick: 5 or 11km (3 or 7 miles)
    On your full day here, we highly recommend visiting magnificent Alnwick Castle, home to the Dukes of Northumberland and star of the silver screen – the castle has famously featured as Hogwarts Castle in two Harry Potter films, and has played a part in many other productions (castle closed until 26 March 2021).

    We also provide notes for two circular walks from Alnwick, each offering a different perspective of the surrounding countryside:

    The Alnwick Garden: 5km (3 miles), 2hrs
    Adjacent to the castle is The Alnwick Garden, an exciting and ambitious 21st-century garden planted on the site of a long-forgotten plot. The current Duchess of Northumberland led the redevelopment, and installed such popular features as the Poison Garden, where you can learn more about the world’s deadliest plants on a guided tour. From here, our route crosses the Aln and meanders through river pastures to the Lion Bridge, which enjoys an excellent view of the castle. Return to Alnwick via tranquil meadows. 

    Hulne Park: 11km (7 miles), 3.5hrs
    For those who prefer a longer walk, we suggest a circuit through scenic Hulne Park, designed by the celebrated landscape gardener, Capability Brown, and the only one of the three parks that originally surrounded the castle to survive today. The neat landscapes of this former ducal hunting ground offer a fabulous contrast to the coastal scenery you have encountered so far, and within the park you will find the ruins of ancient Hulne Priory, and the Brizlee Tower, an elaborate folly which dates from the 1780s.
    The Alnwick Garden: 5km
    Hulne Park: 11km
    Alnwick's mighty castle
    Explore the surrounding countryside
  • Alnwick to Beadnell: 13km (8 miles), 4hrs
    Today, you return to the coast, calling first at Craster – whose famous kippers you’re almost certain to have encountered at breakfast earlier in the week – before re-joining the Northumberland Coast Path for one of its finest sections. The highlights now come thick and fast: atmospheric Dunstanburgh Castle – among the most photographed ruins in the country (closed Mondays and Tuesdays in March); the generous sweep of shimmering Embleton Bay; and the acclaimed Ship Inn at secluded Low Newton, renowned for its superb seafood and on-site microbrewery. At day’s end, you reach Beadnell Towers, a beautiful boutique hotel where you spend your final two nights.
    Alnwick to Beadnell: 13km
    Embleton Bay
  • Beadnell to Bamburgh Castle: 10.5km (6.5 miles), 3.5hrs; longer option: 14.5km (9 miles), 5hrs
    In keeping with the rest of the week, your last day is packed with interest. Our recommended walking route begins with a short stretch to the popular fishing village of Seahouses, from where you can choose to take a boat trip (weather dependent) to see the inquisitive seals and incredible seabird colonies of the Farne Islands. From Seahouses, our route continues to the Armstrong family’s impressive home, Bamburgh Castle. Once you have toured this imposing fortress – one of the largest inhabited castles in the country – it’s well worth calling into Bamburgh village to visit the small, modern museum which tells the inspiring story of local heroine Grace Darling. Return to Beadnell by bus or, for a longer walk, continue on foot to Budle Bay, whose seemingly endless golden sands are a paradise for wading birds. The return leg from Budle Bay to Beadnell is also by bus.

    Visit Lindisfarne
    Alternatively, Beadnell lies within easy reach of Lindisfarne, which – tides permitting – you can access by car or taxi. The ‘Holy Island’ is home to a number of places of historic interest, not least of which are the ruins of the priory founded by St Aidan and St Cuthbert, and the museum dedicated to the famous Lindisfarne Gospels (now in the British Museum). We provide notes for a circular walk (7.5km/4.5 miles, 2.5hrs) around the island, passing the medieval castle (redesigned by Sir Edwin Lutyens) and the gardens (laid out by Gertude Jekyll) before heading on to see the wildlife that inhabits the dunes of the northern coast.
    Beadnell to Bamburgh Castle: 10.5km
    Beadnell to Budle Bay: 14.5km
    Bamburgh Castle
    Another option is to visit the iconic island of Lindisfarne
 

Accommodation

Each of our hand-picked places to stay offers a typically warm Northumbrian welcome.

We offer an upgrade option in Alnwick. Please indicate your preference at the time of booking. Whichever accommodation you choose, we recommend an extra night here for time to visit both Alnwick Castle and Garden, and to enjoy our walking route in Hulne Park.
 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
Currency converter

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  • 6 nights: 01 March 2021 - 31 October 2021 & 01 March 2022 - 31 October 2022

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 Mar - 30 Apr 2021 £740 £340
    1 - 31 May 2021 £765 £355
    1 Jun - 31 Aug 2021 £795 £380
    1 - 30 Sep 2021 £765 £355
    1 - 25 Oct 2021 £740 £340
    1 Mar - 30 Apr 2022 £775 £360
    1 - 31 May 2022 £795 £375
    1 Jun - 31 Aug 2022 £835 £400
    1 - 30 Sep 2022 £795 £375
    1 - 25 Oct 2022 £775 £360
    3rd & 4th person discount -£30 to -£45
    Single traveller supplement £30 to £45
    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, and any connecting travel detailed below.

    Included travel: transfer Beadnell-Warkworth (if driving) OR from Alnmouth railway station to Warkworth

    Please note: dogs are not permitted on Inntravel holidays

  • 6 nights, staying at The Cookie Jar: 01 March 2021 - 31 October 2021 & 01 March 2022 - 31 October 2022

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 Mar - 30 Apr 2021 £840 £540
    1 - 31 May 2021 £865 £555
    1 Jun - 31 Aug 2021 £895 £580
    1 - 30 Sep 2021 £865 £555
    1 - 25 Oct 2021 £840 £540
    1 Mar - 30 Apr 2022 £870 £570
    1 - 31 May 2022 £895 £585
    1 Jun - 31 Aug 2022 £940 £610
    1 - 30 Sep 2022 £895 £585
    1 - 25 Oct 2022 £870 £570
    3rd & 4th person discount -£30 to -£45
    Single traveller supplement £30 to £45
    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, and any connecting travel detailed below.

    Included travel: transfer Beadnell-Warkworth (if driving) OR from Alnmouth railway station to Warkworth

    Please note: dogs are not permitted on Inntravel holidays

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Beadnell Towers, Beadnell
    'Delightful': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2021 £20
    'Delightful': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £22
    'Heritage': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2021 £40
    'Heritage': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £42

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Greycroft, Alnwick (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2021 £75 £100
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £80 £105
    Beadnell Towers, Beadnell (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 31 Mar 2021 £140 £230
    01 Apr - 31 May 2021 £145 £245
    01 Jun - 31 Aug 2021 £160 £270
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £145 £245
    01 Mar - 31 Mar 2022 £146 £240
    01 Apr - 31 May 2022 £152 £258
    01 Jun - 31 Aug 2022 £168 £284
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £152 £258
  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Beadnell Towers, Beadnell
    'Delightful': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2021 £20
    'Delightful': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £22
    'Heritage': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2021 £40
    'Heritage': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £42

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    The Cookie Jar, Alnwick (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2021 £125 £250
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £132 £264
    Beadnell Towers, Beadnell (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 31 Mar 2021 £140 £230
    01 Apr - 31 May 2021 £145 £245
    01 Jun - 31 Aug 2021 £160 £270
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £145 £245
    01 Mar - 31 Mar 2022 £146 £240
    01 Apr - 31 May 2022 £152 £258
    01 Jun - 31 Aug 2022 £168 £284
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £152 £258
  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - via Alnmouth

    Outward route Price per person Latest train
    arrival time
    taxi Alnmouth station to hotel (0h10) included flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest train
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Alnmouth station (0h45) £5 flexible

    Connecting travel options - via Berwick

    Outward route Price per person Latest train
    arrival time
    Berwick not recommended for outward travel
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest train
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Berwick station (0h45) £15 in 2021; £16 in 2022 flexible
What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 2 dinners
    6 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • taxi between first and last hotels (if driving)
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • If your holiday plans go awry because of Coronavirus, rest assured that we’ll do right by you. Since the start of the pandemic, our flexible booking policy and prompt issuing of refunds to customers who prefer not to defer their holiday have earned us high praise in the national press.
  • We sincerely hope that your holiday experience will be as enjoyable as it would have been before the pandemic – walking holidays are ideal in these times of social distancing, and we’re not operating holidays if the key highlights can no longer be delivered – but, naturally, there will be some changes to ensure your and other people’s safety, not least taking tests before and after your holiday for many destinations.
    Your holiday experience: what to expect >
    Safety measures being taken by hoteliers & others >
    Entry requirements for non-UK destinations & for re-entering the UK >
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • Yes, absolutely. Over the years, we have arranged a great many walking holidays in the UK for customers living in the USA, Canada, Australia and beyond.

    If you've never travelled with us before, it's worth reading the web pages which explain how we can cater for customers who live outside the UK. The main thing to bear in mind is that our tour operator's licence doesn't allow us to book flights that originate outside the UK, and nor are we able to book rail travel in the UK, so we can't make travel arrangements for you, other than pre-arranging taxis between the local railway station and the accommodation – see the ‘prices & travel’ section for the options available.

    For practical information about travelling to the UK, see the 'what do I need to know about travelling to England, Scotland and Wales?' question.
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to take out our recommended travel insurance policy (if you live outside the UK you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
  • Unfortunately not. The Inntravel team includes many dog owners, but the extra considerations – such as whether taxi firms accept dogs for transfers to the start of walks, whether routes cross private land on which dogs are not allowed, and proximity to a vet’s – would add another layer of complexity to what are already quite complex holidays.
  • As a minimum, you will need a passport to enter the UK; requirements vary according to your nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. You’ll need to check requirements on the website of your own country’s government or that of the British government. Our essential travel information page provides links to websites where you can find out about the applicable requirements, along with general official travel advice.
     
    English is the most widely spoken of several official languages; in Wales, for example, Welsh has equal status. The currency is the British pound (Scotland issues its own bank notes, but Bank of England notes can be used in Scotland and vice versa). The UK follows Greenwich Mean Time during autumn and winter, but switches to British Summer Time (GMT + 1) from late March until late October.
Last fetch time is : 7/25/2021 3:41:59 AM