I think it would be fair to say that Warkworth is one of the most picturesque places on the Northumbrian coastal drive. Sat between the Coquet rive and estuary Warkworth has not just pretty places to see but has history, cafe’s, shops and activities to help you experience it’s offerings from all sides – with so many lovely things on offer its not hard to see why its a favourite with visitors.
Approaching from the Alnmouth side of the Coquet River the first thing you will come across is a beautiful stone arch bridge crossing the Coquet into town with wonderful views left and right. Over the bridge there is a large church too sat almost on the banks of the river and as you drive towards the centre you will see ahead Warkworth Castle up high on the hill at the far end. A stop in Warkworth is highly recommended especially around coffee or lunch time as Bertrams Cafe and Bistro offers, I am sure some of the best home made cakes and bakes in Northumbria as well as super lunches and afternoon teas. This little café is warm and welcoming and you can sit inside its stylishly modern, yet traditional surroundings or if the weather is kind, in the courtyard just behind. I would call Bertrams a hidden gem and once found a place you will want to return to.
More information can be found at www.bertrams.co.uk
Once fed and watered you can choose to take a walk down to the river bank which can be accessed from the car park just behind the church or dip in and out of the independent shops and galleries within this tiny town. If you wish to walk to the castle to take in the view of the estuary a few minutes walk will take you to the castle walls where you can either go into the castle or take the path to the right which will take you gently back down to the river. It really is beautiful.
For those looking for action and adventure you can book activities through Adventure Northumberland who can offer a variety of things to do including paddle boarding,canoeing
and kayaking from the banks of the river in Warkworth.
More details can be found at www.adventurenorthumberland.co.uk
Leaving Warkworth behind , its time to head to Amble which is just a few minutes drive by car but can also be reached on foot or by bike! Following the road out of Warkworth with the castle on the right you will round a bend and then pick up the Coquet again as its wends its way to the sea. Following the estuary towards Amble is a treat in itself as you will see wonderful views of the river and any sea birds that may be taking a break on the sand banks and drift wood such as Cormorants, Terns and gulls.
Once in the town the best place to head to is Amble Harbour Village where you will individual retail pods offering hand made gifts, food and drink, ice cream and sweets! A short wander down to the water’s edge will provide you with unbroken views over the sea back as far as Warkworth and over to Coquet Island. For something educational , drop into the Northumberland Seafood centre and Lobster Hatchery which is a multi purpose building offering a wet fish counter, small gift shop and for a very small fee, a tour of the lobster hatchery, which includes a small and very personal tour around the tanks and trays where all the baby lobsters are cared for. Conservation is a key word here and it’s something they are passionate about. You can see for yourself the lobsters journey from tiny in the tank to free in the sea as once grown they will be released back into the sea to keep the numbers healthy. For such a small admission fee you will receive , education, experience but most off hope for the future! its well worth taking tome out to stop and see for your self the efforts being made to protect the female lobsters in order to keep populations from dropping.
Once the tour is concluded and all questions answered you will be invited to look into the live tank what contains lobsters and small sea life. There are also many beautiful star fish and under supervision guests are encourage to dip their hands in the tank and pick them up for a few moments. Be assured that the lobsters lie at the bottom and will be nowhere near small fingers! There is another opportunity to ask questions and find out more as well as a large hand-washing station that guests are encouraged to use before leaving! the tours are not tied to times and I have have found more than once that you can just ask for a tour and thy will accommodate almost immediately. the other great news is that your tour fee lasts a year so you can return any time for the next 12 months and go in for free when you show your pass – issued with your tickets. This can only be described as another hidden gem and is appealing to guests of all
More information can be found by visiting www.northumberlandseafood.co.uk
Once your time on the harbour has come to a close it will probably be time for an ice cream which can only take you to one place 2 minutes walk away and that is Spurelli! This is quite possibly the best ice cream in Northumberland and its a wonderful way to finish a great day out! Spurells is described as a boutique ice cream parlour which has has a cafe for eating in, an out door area of an impromptu cone or a small covered eatery that sits by the pavement and is perfect for watching the world go by. They have some wonderfully original flavours and its easy to fall in love with new additions to the ice cream menu such as Turkish Delight, Seabuckthorn, Rhubarb and Ginger, Lime and coconut. they also offer vegan and dairy free options. Spurellis has won many national taste awards and was also named best UK ice cream parlour in the UK by Trip advisor. for those looking for a decent cup of coffee, tray bake or glass of Prosecco then you will find these on the Spurelli’s menu too. Something for everyone will guarantee you keep coming back for more. I would suggest it’s unmissable! see for yourself at
Amble is such a lovely spot and its worth knowing it is very accessible to wheelchair and mobility scooter users which certainly helps your day run smoothly for all the family and anyone who requires wheels to get about easily!