The Northumberland Coast Path
Cresswell to Berwick in 4 days Walking Code: NC5
We have three different holidays for the whole Northumberland coastal route - choose from 4, 5 or 6 days walking, depending on how far you want to go each day. For each holiday there's the option of adding an extra day to walk across the sands to Holy Island.
This is our shortest holiday covering the whole of the Northumberland coast path. As most of the walking is reasonably flat the distances should be quite comfortable for reasonably fit walkers.
|Day 1||Travel to Morpeth for your first nights accommodation|
|Day 2||Transfer to Cresswell then walk to Alnmouth||16||26|
|Day 3||Alnmouth to Seahouses||18||29|
|Day 4||Seahouses to Fenwick||17||27|
|Day 5||Fenwick to Berwick-Upon-Tweed||13||21|
|Day 6||Depart from Berwick-Upon-Tweed after breakfast|
Cresswell – Alnmouth
After spending your first night in Morpeth, a taxi will take you to Cresswell. The route starts in Cresswell village and follows 8 miles of the sandy Druridge bay to the fishing port of Amble. Offshore Coquet Island can be seen, where there are large seabird colonies. The river Coquet is then followed upstream to Warkworth, dominated by Warkworth castle, the ancient seat of the Percy family.
On leaving Warkworth, the route quickly returns to the beach and onwards to Alnmouth. The Aln Estuary provides an important habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. Alnmouth was once Northumberland’s major port, today’s hotels and guesthouses were once vast silos storing wheat.
Alnmouth – Seahouses
Continuing north, the path passes through Boulmer, one of the only true remaining Northumberland fishing villages, having changed very little in over 100 years. It’s then on to Craster, another fishing village dating back to the 17th century, famous for the kippers produced in the village smokehouse.
Just beyond Craster, the route reaches the imposing ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, originally built in the 14th Century by Thomas Earl of Lancaster. Puffins and guillemots nest on the cliffs below.
The rest of this section is characterised by the two long sandy beaches of Embleton and Beadnell Bays, a haven for birdwatchers and beach goers! Low Newton is home to sea and shore birds, whilst the nearby pool with its bird hide is a good place to see wildfowl, especially in winter.
Beyond Beadnell the route continues along the coast to Seahouses, once an important fishing port and now a centre for the local tourist industry. Boats can be taken from the harbour to the Farne Islands, a cluster of small islands lying just offshore.
Seahouses – Fenwick
From Seahouses harbour head towards the village centre to then pick up the coastal path towards Bamburgh. Founded in 547 by King Ida, Bamburgh was once the capital of ancient kingdom of Northumbria. Perched on a basalt outcrop, Bamburgh Castle now dominates the village.
Just after Bamburgh you will reach the vast sands of Budle Bay, a National Nature Reserve and an important habitat for waterfowl. Holy Island and Lindisfarne Castle can be seen across the water.
The quiet village of Belford sits below the Kyloe Hills on the fringe of the fertile Northumberland coastal plain. A change of scenery follows as our route heads inland, woodland and farmland replacing seascapes. The route briefly visits the hills and passes close to the dramatic sandstone overhang of St. Cuthbert’s Cave. Near to Fenwick you will pass through Kyloe Old Wood, which in the 19th Century was owned by the Leyland family of nearby Haggerston Castle.
Fenwick – Holy Island (Optional day)
Originally known as Lindisfarne, Holy Island is only accessible at low tide,* either by the causeway (approximately 3 mile walk) or by the Pilgrims’ Way across the sands (not recommended). As well as its many historic attractions, Holy Island is situated at the heart of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve. If you wish to take this option, please select a rest day at Fenwick. (The Castle is closed on Monday’s). *check tide times.
Fenwick – Berwick-upon-Tweed
The final stage starts near the causeway to Holy Island, it then heads north through some of the remotest areas of the coast. Cliff top paths and more beaches lead to historic Berwick-upon-Tweed, the capital of the Borders, with its magnificent town walls, spectacular riverside and three bridges, the oldest of which was built in 1624. Take time to explore this lovely old town and in particular the Victorian ramparts.
Easy to Moderate
This is not a technically difficult walk and should be easy to tackle for most reasonably fit people. The paths are good, and there are no major route finding challenges.
Terrain: A coastal path mainly through farmland and moorland on the cliff tops, with stretches along sandy beaches.
What’s it like underfoot? Generally good paths and tracks, although a few sections can get muddy after heavy rain.
How Much Up & Down? More than you'd think! Although you never reach more than 200m above sea level (and most of the time not more than 100m) there are many short steep sections. On completion you will have ascended more than the height of Everest! Most days involve ascents of 200-500m metres, although no section is very steep for very long.
Signposting: Good - the path is well waymarked.
Navigation: Pretty straightforward – good signposting, and generally well defined tracks.
Weather: You may be lucky enough to encounter warm, dry weather over the whole route and enjoy dry paths and tremendous views, but you must be prepared because the weather can change quickly. Good clothing and waterproofs are essential, but don't forget you sunhat, sunblock and shorts!
|Accommodation||Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs.Full English or Continental breakfast.|
|Guidebook||A guidebook with route information, maps, photos and background information.|
|Information of Services Along the Route||A comprehensive Service Info sheet, including services such as cash points, banks, post offices, village shops, inns, cafes and taxis.|
|Maps||2 Ordnance Survey Landranger (1:50000) maps covering the entire route.|
|Personal Itinerary||A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large scale maps of each accommodation, to ensure you find it easily.|
|Emergency Telephone Support||If you get in to difficulties during your holiday, we are always available to help, even out of office hours.|
|15% discount at Cotswold Outdoors||We will issue you with a 15% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores, and online, for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.|
|Luggage Transport||We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop – if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s walk.|
| Packed Lunches
||Provided for each day’s walking and recommended on this holiday as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.|
|Off Road Parking||If you are travelling by car we can usually arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip. (There may be a small charge for this).|
|Arrangement of return transport||We can also arrange your transfer back to your car, (or advise you when public transport is a better option)!|
What’s not Included
|Evening Meals||Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.|
|Transport to the Start & Away from the Finish||Have a look at the “Travel Info” tab above for suggestions. If you’re still struggling, get in touch and we’ll help you sort it out.|
|Travel Insurance||Even if you are based inthe UK travel insurance is worth having.|
Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements. As well as visiting the accommodation ourselves, we ask all our customers to complete a short evaluation on each night’s accommodation, which then gives us an insight in to the day-to-day operation, and lets us spot any potential issues before they become a problem.
We use a variety of accommodation, including small country house hotels, guest houses in market towns, bed and breakfasts in farm houses, country cottages and Victorian town houses. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. For example, over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, on a working farm, and in a Georgian hotel.
We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.
General travel information for the Northumberland Coast area will be in your holiday pack including train and bus timetables where available.
Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s accommodation by car, or on foot from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.
If you require secure car parking whilst walking this route, please contact us for information.
By Air: The nearest airport to Morpeth is Newcastle (NCL). Travel by train or taxi to Morpeth (16 miles).
By Public Transport: Travel by train to Newcastle, and then by train or taxi to Morpeth (16 miles).
By Road: Morpeth is on the A1, 16 miles from Newcastle.
Returning from Berwick upon Tweed:
By Public Transport: There is a railway station in Berwick upon Tweed. Trains to London take approximately 4 hours.
By Road: From Berwick upon Tweed you can take the A1 north or south. To travel west take the A698.
Seahouses is known as the Gateway to the Farnes and is well worth a rest day. Famous for its outstanding natural beauty, superb attractions and bustling harbour. Boat trips can be taken to the Farne Islands where you can experience an abundance of wildlife, including entertaining Puffins and lazy seals.
Choose a rest day at Fenwick to allow an extra day to visit Holy Island. Holy Island is only accessible at low tide, either by the causeway (approximately 3 mile walk) or by the Pilgrims' Way across the sands (not recommended). The tide table is included in your holiday pack.
Originally known as Lindisfarne, the island has many historic attractions and is situated at the heart of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve. Please note that Lindisfarne Castle is closed on Monday's.