13 July 2018

Great Drives in the North East: Alnmouth to Lindisfarne

Explore Your World

Picture of Bamburgh Castle in the North East

When thinking about how you can #ExploreYourWorld, there is no better way to do so than going on a road trip with friends, family or just you and your car.

In the third of our series of ‘Great Drives’ we take you on one of the best drives in the North East that pleases everybody and is a treasure trove of delights. Alnmouth to Lindisfarne in Northumberland.

  • Starting Point: Postcode NE66 2SE – Alnmouth. The route includes B1339, B1340, B1342 and A1

  • Ending Point: Postcode TD15 2SE – Holy Island, Lindisfarne Castle

  • Best For: People that want a lovely calm drive, castles and coastline views.

  • Why Do It: Beautiful views and a great road. The drive can also provide a meandering walk

  • How Long: approx. 30 miles with a drive time of 45 minutes. 

The Route:

Named as one of the best drives in the North East, the Alnmouth to Lindisfarne route is a fantastic way to spend some time with your family and car. The route is easily accessible to residents that live further north as the route stretches quite a bit up north.

The route captures in just over 30 miles what makes Northumberland one of the most attractive regions in the whole of the UK – God’s own country to some. There is a long history of castles that dot across the horizon, the awesome sweep of the rugged coastline, the rich variety of picturesque villages.

The picturesque village of Alnmouth was once an important trading port, mainly involved in the export of grain and in smuggling. John Wesley who helped found the Methodist church reputedly visited Alnmouth in 1742 and stayed at the Schooner Hotel and afterwards said the village was “famous for all kinds of wickedness”. It also reportedly contains the fourth oldest golf course in England founded in 1869. 
Picture of Alnmouth in Northumberland
On the coast road to Boulmer, you can sometimes come across the distinctive small wooden fishing boats sitting on the road side. You join the B1339 at Longhoughton, winding through the rural lanes. Turn right onto Windyside Hill to raster, famous for its delicious kippers. It is a truly beautiful site to see while enjoying your car. To the north you can see the splendid ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle now administered by English Heritage. 
Great drive view of Dunstanburgh Castle
Back to the B1339 you travel via Embleton and its tower build in 1395 as protection against the marauding Scots. 
The B1339 soon merges onto the B1340 and you’ll reach the harbour at Beadnell. Big limekilns dominate the harbour, with sand dunes stretching and swerving in the distance. 

Three miles north lies the spectacular village of Sea Houses where you can admire the great views with your great car!

Continue along the B1340 to Bamburgh, dominated by the amazing Bamburgh Castle sat on the crags up above. 
Bamburgh Castle in the North East
Leaving Bamburgh, take the B1342 past the RNLI museum dedicated to Victorian heroine Grace Darling. The road follows Budle Bay, now an English Nature reserve and home to numerous species of wildfowl, so a great place for some bird spotting.

Then head back towards the A1 for one of Northumberland’s most famous sites - Lindisfarne.

Lindisfarne Castle was built in the reign of Henry VIII and its walled garden, designed by Gertrude Jekyll, lies outside to the north. But whenever you go, read the tide timetables carefully and obey them to the letter before crossing the two-mile causeway, if you get stuck out there, a helicopter or life boat will have to be called to rescue you. 
View of Lindisfarne Castle in the sunshine
This is a brilliant drive for anyone who wants to enjoy some quality roads and views with your car. Enjoy!

Map of great North East drive Alnmouth to Lindisfarne

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