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Holidays

Self-Guided Walking: Northumberland Coast Path

England
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Discover the Northumberland’s sweeping coastal scenery and the historic castles of Bamburgh and Holy Island’s Lindisfarne on this self-guided walking holiday

Trip Code: MNC7
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking: Northumberland Coast Path

Highlights
  • Northumberland’s stunning coastline with long-sandy beaches – Bamburgh Beach was voted Britain’s most beautiful in 2020
  • Historic castles stand guard over the long-distance trail including Warkworth, Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh
  • Extend the trip by one day and walk across the sands of the tidal causeway to Holy Island with Lindisfarne Castle and Priory
  • Extensive route notes, recommendations for local meals, daily luggage transfers and B&B in local guesthouses included in the holiday price

At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 6 days walking
  • Average of 18km walking per day
  • Packed lunches available on request
  • Recommendations for excellent local meals
  • Join In Morpeth / Ends in Berwick-Upon-Tweed

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 7 nights Guesthouse
Overview

The Northumberland Coast Path is steeped in the evidence of 7000 years of history and offers you sweeping beaches with many castles standing guard on this dramatic coastline. At 64 miles long the walking trail follows a coast full of long-sandy beaches, rolling sand dunes and high rocky cliffs, with a short inland detour between Belford and Holy Island. 


Dotted with majestic castles such as Warkworth Castle, Dunstanburgh Castle and Bamburgh Castle (the stunning beach below the castle was voted Britain’s most beautiful  in 2020), perhaps the crowning historic glory is a walk across the sands to Lindisfarne Castle and Priority on Holy Island. Add to this a wealth of conservations sites including two National Nature Reserves plus the charming little sea-side towns and settlements of Alnmouth, Embleton and Bamburgh, this is a self-guided walking break that boasts a host of delights. 


The trip includes all accommodation, breakfast and full luggage support meaning you can travel light and concentrate on the beautiful coastal scenery and its rich history.  


We offer a range of itineraries depending on your preferred daily walking distance ranging between 4 days walking and 6 days walking. It’s also possible to add an additional day to spend on Holy Island.

Is this holiday for you?

This is a mainly flat coastal walk, and can be completed by people with limited walking experience. Terrain: Flat walking along the edge of the coastal plateau. A small excursion into the low lying Kyloe hills. Coastal paths, and country lanes, beaches, a couple of sea cliffs, and a golf course or two! What’s it like underfoot? On the whole the paths are well defined and maintained, …

This is a mainly flat coastal walk, and can be completed by people with limited walking experience. Terrain: Flat walking along the edge of the coastal plateau. A small excursion into the low lying Kyloe hills. Coastal paths, and country lanes, beaches, a couple of sea cliffs, and a golf course or two! What’s it like underfoot? On the whole the paths are well defined and maintained, but at times a bit sandy. Walking in soft sand on the beach can get tiring – but there’s usually a parallel path further inland. How much up & down? Not very much at all! Most days are pretty flat. The high point of the route, near St Cuthbert’s Cave, is only just over 200m. Signposting: Generally good. Navigation: Pretty straightforward.

Why KE?

We operate this trip in collaboration with our sister company Mickledore Travel, which is also based in Keswick in the Lake District. Mickledore have a long tradition of operating self-guided walking holidays along some of the finest trails in England, Scotland and Wales. Route notes, maps, luggage transfers and bed & breakfast accommodation in the best B&Bs, guesthouses and inns along the way are all included. Recommendations are also made for the best places to find delicious local meals at each night stop.

Mickledore have a near perfect customer satisfaction score (99%), and we have no doubt that you will find their knowledgeable and friendly team able to answer even the most detailed of questions. Mickledore have a near perfect customer satisfaction score (99%), and we have no doubt that you will find their knowledgeable and friendly team able to answer even the most detailed of questions. 

Different durations of this holiday are available on request.

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Itinerary

Travel to your first night's accommodation in Morpeth.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

After spending your first night in Morpeth, a taxi will take you to Cresswell. The route starts in Cresswell village and follows 13 kilometers 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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

86 M

Distance

18 KM

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.

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 Howick where the route culminates today.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

270 M

Distance

18 KM

We start our walk today heading into Craster, another fishing village dating back to the 17th century, famous for the kippers produced in the village smokehouse. Just beyond the village, 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 Bay and Beadnell Bay, 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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

145 M

Distance

21 KM

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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

255 M

Distance

14 KM

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.

Holy Island (Optional Additional 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 request an additional rest day at Fenwick. (NOTE: The Castle is closed on Monday’s). *check tide times.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

160 M

Distance

13 KM

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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

173 M

Distance

21 KM

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at your accommodation. You may wish to take a stroll around Berwick-Upon Tweed before making your onward journey.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Direction Direction
Transfer
Trek

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Self-guided infomration pack containing your map and route notes
  • Luggage transport

  • Travel Insurance
  • Evening meals
  • Packed lunches (can be booked at an additional cost)
  • Off road parking (available at most locations on request)
  • Transport to the start and away from the finish
  • Personal equipment
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

This holiday is operated by our sister company, Mickledore Travel. KE is not acting as an agent, but is marketing the holiday on Mickledore’s behalf. All bookings and payments will be processed by Mickledore, and you will enter into an agreement directly with them under the terms of their booking conditions.

You will be posted your self-guided holiday pack once we have received the balance (normally around 8 weeks before the start of your holiday).  We supply one holiday pack per booking and this will be posted to the person that made the booking. Extra packs can be purchased at £30 per pack. Please contact us a minimum of 6 weeks in advance if you require an extra pack. 

Your holiday pack comprises of:

  • Your itinerary with details of each night’s accommodation; information on your evening meals, as well as luggage transport and transfers, (where applicable).
  • Directions and detailed maps to each accommodation
  • A guidebook that describes the route in detail, and covers the whole route with a series of maps, as well as providing a wealth of background information.
  • Map(s) which cover the entire route(s).
  • Luggage Tags (if luggage transport booked) which the luggage courier will use to identify your bags.
  • Information on local facilities, such as cafes and other recommended places to eat, cash points, taxi companies, etc.

As part of the standard charge we will issue the following:

  • 1 guidebook and map for up to 4 people
  • 2 guidebooks and maps for 5-7 people
  • 3 guidebooks and maps for 8 people or more

You may purchase extra copies from us at a discounted price.

This holidays starts at your accommodation in Morpeth. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a land only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you.

Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s and returning from your last night's accommodation by car, or on foot from/to the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.

This holiday is on a B&B basis. Packed lunches are available on request and we offer recommendations for each evening meal.

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.

Pack lunches can be provided on this holiday for an additional cost from £62 . We recommend this as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

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.

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.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Where luggage transport is included in the price, this will be a standard of 1 piece of luggage per person, usually up to 20kg in weight. On some routes the weight limit may be less, but we will advise you if this is the case. If you leave your luggage at your accommodation in the morning, it will be waiting for you on arrival at the B&B that evening. Any extra bags can be transported (at an additional charge) as long as they are pre-booked.

On certain holidays we also offer a storage service for extra luggage not needing to be transported for the holiday. Please contact us for for information on which holidays and a quotation.

All you need to carry is a small day sack to hold your waterproofs, personal items, packed lunch, map, guidebook and camera. You should be prepared for all weathers, at all times of year.

YOU SHOULD BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

  • Walking boots – need to be comfortable and well broken in
  • Several pairs of thick walking socks
  • Mittens/gloves
  • Warm hat and/or sun hat
  • Raincoat: (waterproof and windproof with a hood)
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Thermal long-johns & thermal top
  • Jacket
  • Fleece tops
  • Fleece or polypropylene trousers (no denim or cotton)
  • Spare clothing for the evening
  • Shorts and t-shirt (ideally made from synthetic fibres)
  • Map case
  • Compass
  • Torch: with spare batteries
  • First aid kit: insect repellent, sunscreen, blister kits, pain relief and assorted bandages
  • Water bottle
  • Walking poles (if you already use these)
  • Small day sack (20-30L) for carrying your personal items
  • Day sack liner / black bin bag / day sack waterproof cover
  • Camera and memory card
  • Phone and charger
  • Binoculars
  • Sunglasses
  • Whistle
  • GPS (if you already use one)

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

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