Spring on the Northumberland Coast
There are lots of ways to have fun and make memories on the Northumberland coast this spring.
From rock pooling with the rangers and beach activity days to castles, boat trips and spotting seabirds, seals and dolphins, an outdoor adventure is guaranteed – unleash your wild ones into nature.
Lindisfarne Castle is now open until 30 October, and offers a unique opportunity to experience an immersive soundscape installation by artist Paul Rooney. Key items of the castle collection have been brought back to help to weave a story of excess and unsustainability, culminating in Paul's work " Song ( After Nature)" - an auditory glimpse into a future where nature remains only as a ghost.
Outside, explore the very well preserved Lime Kilns, take a walk on the castle headland, listen to the ghostly calls of seals drifting over the island and visit the small and peaceful Gertrude Jekyll garden. The garden was designed to be at its best during the summer months, to coincide with when Edward Hudson was at his “holiday home” and is a riot of beautiful colours and fragrance until September. After this time it offers a tranquil, sheltered spot to sit and take in the wonderful views.
Opening soon, the Farne Islands are a short, exhilarating boat ride from Seahouses and are, without doubt, one of the best places in the country to get outdoors and closer to nature. At this time of year, the breeding birds are beginning to arrive for the season. On Inner Farne, St Cuthbert's Chapel, built in the 14th century and heavily modified in the 19th, is open to the public. The other buildings, which are not open to the public but can be seen, include a medieval pele tower (which is home to the rangers) and a Georgian lighthouse.
The first puffins begin to arrive back on the Islands in April, and can be guaranteed to be seen in significant numbers from May until the end of July. The Farnes during the breeding season become a spectacular place to be fully immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of a seabird breeding colony in full swing - a temporary home to tens of thousands of seabirds including Guillemots, Shags, Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Eider ducks, Terns and of course the charismatic Puffin.
The Farnes are also home to a large breeding colony of grey seals. During the autumn the seals had their pups which by now will be getting fat and have shed their white fur coats. Children and adults alike will be amazed by the close up views of them from the boat, and dolphins are frequently spotted around the islands too. The Farnes are also a “stopping off” point for migrating birds, for both keen and amateur birders the opportunity to spot something rare is always a possibility.
The stretch of coast between Embleton and Low Newton is a gorgeous spot to spend a beautiful spring day– clean, golden sands, views to the magnificent ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle (National Trust members can visit for free) and the pretty fisherman’s square at Low Newton make for a picture perfect day out where the kids can build sandcastles, hunt for rock pool creatures and fly kites all day long.
For spectacular views of the coast and woodland walks head to Ros Castle or St Cuthberts Cave - places of fascinating history and natural beauty.
Be sure to pick up a souvenir from one of our shops on Holy Island and at Seahouses, or maybe even stay a bit longer with us in one of the 5 holiday cottages on Holy Island and at Low Newton.