The sleepy fishing village of Beadnell is situated about 6 miles south-east of the coastal village of Bamburgh on the North Sea coast. Its population is just over 500, making it a tranquil and calm place to take a holiday. It does get busy with holidaymakers, however, during the summer season as the village is at the end of a spectacular stretch of sand known as Beadnell Bay - a horseshoe-shaped crescent popular with holidaymakers and locals alike for its fantastic golden sands and water sports potential.
There are many reasons to visit Beadnell, and we've put together just eight of them. Find our top things to do in Beadnell below:
#1 Head down to the sands
Fringed by huge golden dunes, Beadnell Bay beach is the ideal spot to spend a few hours relaxing under the sun. Take picnics and beach games down and enjoy simple pleasures in being together - it's the perfect place to enjoy some good old-fashioned holiday fun with all the family. Little ones can splash about and jump the waves as older children and parents try their hand at some water sports or grab a few minutes to do absolutely nothing. Stay into the early evening and watch the sun set over the North Sea before walking back to your holiday cottage for a sizzling BBQ.
Winter days are equally as lovely with bracing walks along the sands. The beach stretches for miles and really lends itself to long relaxed walks, so if you’ve got an enthusiastic dog or two with you, all the better!
For even more stunning sandy beaches, check out the best beaches in Northumberland.
#2 Get your wetsuit on
Beadnell Bay is one of the best spots across Northumberland for all types of water sports - surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing amongst others. Bring your gear yourself or hire from the school - if you have a boat to dock at the harbour, you’ll want to invest in some water skis or a wakeboard, or you could even try jet skiing if you haven’t before. There’s nothing better than zooming across the waves on a jet ski to work up an appetite for lunch!
When the waves are high, you’ll see surfers and bodyboarders coming out in their droves to the middle and south of the bay where the swell can reach up to 15 ft in height. Schools will give you tuition if you are not experienced enough to go it alone - try Northside Surf School or Active 4 seasons. They can deliver equipment and give lessons so even if you’ve never set foot on a board or ski, you’ll be in capable hands.
#3 Dive down into the deep
You’ll also see divers and snorkellers getting ready to submerge at the harbour. Depending on your level of experience, there are quite a few schools in the area offering tuition so give them a call to discuss. The Diving Centre in Beadnell runs courses from beginner dive sessions all the way up to instructor level, so you may find that you make Beadnell an annual pilgrimage to get your diving qualifications! If you already know your stuff, they have an active and exciting dive scene with local trips out, as well as a fully stocked retail shop to buy your next bit of kit.
As the beautiful Farne Islands are so near, there are some great dive sites to discover, including the Somali, a ship that was bombed during the Second World War. Speak to Farne Island Diving Charters who will guide you.
#4 Take a stroll along the harbour
Situated at the north end of the bay, the harbour is located slightly away from the village. Beadnell is different from other villages in the area in that it is almost separated into two parts, with the village and church to the north and then the tiny harbour sitting to the south. The harbour is an unusual one, being the only west-facing one on the east coast but it really is a lovely place to walk around. Watch the boats come in from behind its striking 18th-century triple lime kilns and then stroll down onto the sands of Beadnell Bay for a walk along the shore or a few minutes of rest and relaxation.
The best way to reach the harbour is to walk down the narrow access road which runs past Beadnell's circular tower. When you want to head back to the village, we suggest taking a bit of a detour to Ebb's Nook. Be careful as this narrow promontory does have some erosion so best to leave little ones at home if you want to explore properly. Apparently, Ebb's Nook was the site of a chapel dedicated to St Ebba which dates back to the 12th century - even to this day, locals and visitors gather here on the Sunday closest to St Ebba's Feast Day (August 25) to hold an open-air service. Read more about how TV's Time Team uncovered the secrets of this fascinating area here.
#5 Enjoy a nostalgic day out
You’ll be treated to more than a taste of nostalgia when you come to Beadnell. Big and little kids will love running down the dunes to the beach - you can get involved in some proper dune surfing here - just be careful not to disturb any wildlife, especially nesting birds at certain times of year. The beach has excellent water quality so it's an ideal spot for little ones to take their first splashes in the shallows while you take photos and help collect water to make sandcastles.
Pop into one of Beadnell's shops to buy colourful buckets and spades, rubber rings and a beach ball, ready for your day out. Grab some fresh local produce and make up a beach picnic - you can't go wrong with egg and cress sandwiches, sea-salted crisps and some lovely juicy strawberries, all washed down with fizzy drinks - ginger beer if you really want a vintage touch. If you need inspiration, read one of the Famous Five books while you're there - you'll never want to leave!
#6 Mess about on the water
If you are lucky enough to be able to bring a small boat with you, you can launch it from the harbour - the summer months get very busy here with the sailing club, so you will be in good company. If you are an experienced sailor, sail over to the natural beauty of the Farne Islands National Nature Reserve to spot the orange-beaked puffins and seabirds perching atop the rocky islands. Farne is also home to thousands of grey seals, and each autumn, hundreds of pups are born here - an amazing sight as you sail by.
If you don’t have your own boat, and let's face it, most of us don't, you can hop aboard a boat from Seahouses harbour and visit the islands - there are 28, but only three are accessible - Inner Farne, Staple and Longstone. If you prefer getting in the water rather than just sailing atop it, contact Active 4 Seasons at any time of year for some excellent kayaking or canoeing coaching. They also do guided expeditions if you want to see more of the area - just give them a call to find out the best options for your level of experience.
#7 Explore the coast
Head out and about along the coast on one of the wonderful walking routes available. Head south on a gorgeous country walk towards the pretty coastal village of Low Newton-by-the-Sea where you can stop to refuel at the Ship Inn before heading back. Taking in some spectacular countryside, it's about a four-hour hike (6.5 miles each direction), so make sure you are fit enough before heading off. You can also take the coastal path to finish at the same place - walks along the Northumberland coastline are exceptionally pretty and this is known as being one of the best in the area.
If you want to head north to the larger village of Seahouses, a shorter 2.5-mile walk will take you along the coastal path to this popular seaside resort. You can catch a boat over to the Farne Islands from the harbour, and then walk back to Beadnell, all, of course, depending on the length of boat trip that you choose and time of year. If you prefer to stay on dry land, carry on another 4 miles up to the majestic Bamburgh Castle to discover one of the British Isles' best-loved fortresses.
#8 Stop to refuel
Perhaps the best place to head for a bite to eat is one of the most famous pubs in Beadnell, The Craster Arms, right at the heart of the village. Dating back to the 15th century, it offers hungry visitors a great homemade menu, including huge burgers and everybody's favourite - giant beer-battered North Sea cod with crispy fries. The pub has been in the same family for many generations and is believed to have been a public house since the early 19th century. It's also the location for Crastonbury, an annual music and street entertainment event that takes place in and around the pub every August Bank Holiday.
For Beadnell restaurants, the Beadnell Towers Hotel next door offers some excellent fine dining, with fresh local ingredients topping the menu - it also hosts some quality live music events throughout the year. If you want something quick and traditional, pick up some tasty fish and chips from the chippy on Harbour Road and take them down to the beach to watch the sunset. Northumberland at its best.
Fancy visiting lovely Beadnell? Check out our excellent self-catering holiday accommodation in Beadnell for inspiration. Our Beadnell cottages are perfectly situated to visit Northumberland and its spectacular stretch of coastline.