Beadnell Bay Camping and Caravanning Club Site The Camping and Caravanning Club
There is something strange and ever-so slightly out of kilter about the north Northumberland coast, which is much easier to sense in the air, than put your finger on by mere expression. It’s almost as if time is travelling on a different plane – that something of the past is constantly reaching forwards through invisible chasms in the layers of time. Or it may just be that this remote coastal strip remains as it has been for hundreds of years, and that the only real signs of development are a collection of amazing fortresses built nearly a thousand years ago.
Just in case you aren’t sure whereabouts in England this unchanging oasis of tranquillity and beauty lies, it’s in the far northeastern corner of the country, very nearly in Scotland. At the moment it’s in England, but you never know around here.
Beadnell Bay campsite, situated next to the sea at Beadnell Bay, is about two miles south of Seahouses – surely the smallest seaside resort in the world. Small it may very well be, but Seahouses boasts a couple of pubs, a couple of chippies and a working fishing harbour, with boats running out to visit the famous Farne Islands – home of birds, but nothing (nor anybody) else. The village of Beadnell itself even has a chip shop and a pub to sustain the active camping life.
The site would be best described as unremarkable in itself, with a flat little field presenting nothing in the way of shelter to soften the occasionally wicked east wind from pummelling your tent. Facilities too are fairly average, but there is everything you need in the ablutional department to keep visitors from becoming social outcasts. However, all this is unimportant really, for nobody comes here to sit and ponder how glamorous the toilet block is, or isn’t. To come here is to fall under the spell of the empty coastline, and the history still trembling through the air.
What you will definitely need at Beadnell Bay is your bike, for these quiet, level back roads all along the coast are perfect for velocopedic exploration. The first place to explore is the coast road through Seahouses to Bamburgh. Pedalling out of Seahouses will give you a first ethereal glimpse of Bamburgh Castle – miles away, piercing the heavens, and apparently floating on sand. As the miles disappear under your wheels this hazy mirage gradually solidifies into an elegant but enormous red edifice, impressive and noble in the soft Northumberland sun.
Despite all this beauty and excitement, the real thrill of this coast is to walk south from the campsite along the sands, past Beadnell Bay, Newton Haven and the empty, exotic-looking Embleton Bay, to take in the dramatic views of Dunstanburgh Castle. Although you probably will be drawn towards the atmospheric ruins, there’s no need to get any closer to confirm that something is indeed going on in the ether, and to feel a deep and magnetic attraction to this deserted landscape and seascape.
FacilitiesDecent facilities with toilets, disabled toilet and shower, unmetered showers and washing-up sinks; gas refills at reception.
Food & DrinkHead to Swallow Fish Ltd (01665 721052) in Seahouses for supplies of local wet fish, including crab and sea bass. For something a little pricey but worth it, try The Treehouse at Alnwick Garden (01665 511852). For a breakfast fit for a king – Craster kippers from L. Robson & Sons Ltd (01665 576223).
If you’re desperate, The Craster Arms (01665 720272) is a mere 5 minutes’ walk away in Beadnell, but a more worthwhile journey is to The Ship Inn (01665 576262) at Low Newton-by-the-Sea, a lovely, wellmanaged pub with a menu rich in local seafood.
The Owner Says
Beadnell Bay Camping and Caravanning Club Site, Beadnell, Chathill, Northumberland NE67 5BX
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