Our Hidden Gem
With 1200 miles of walking routes, 80 miles of beaches, 7 awe-inspiring castles and one (very) long wall, Northumberland is a truly magical place. Both Smallburn Cottages are just two miles apart on the east coast of the county, an area perhaps most famous for its gloriously wide sandy beaches that seems to stretch for miles into the distance.
There's something for everyone in Northumberland however so allow us to summarise what we believe to be special and why you'll look no further than a Smallburn Cottage.
Birdwatching & Wildlife
The area surrounding Embleton and Low Newton are well known for excellent birdwatching opportunities and for wildlife. The beach is backed by huge sand dunes and 80 metres behind these, a little North towards Low Newton, lies Newton Pond, famous for the Newton Pool Bird Reserve. Here you'll find a wildlife haven with many seabirds, shorebirds and wildfowl to be seen from the two purpose built hides.
Just a 9 mile drive up the road and a short boat journey lie the Farne Islands. Once used as a pilgrimage for medieval monks, the Farne Islands are now a cherished destination for nature lovers from across the globe. The cliffs, stacks and grassy tops of this rocky group of islands come alive with sea birds between April and early August. Around 20 different species, as many as 100,000 birds in total, make their home here during the breeding season every year. Some of the birds you are most likely to see on the Islands include Puffins, Razorbill, Guillemots, Eider Duck, and Oystercatchers.
Windsurfing and surfing are both popular pursuits in the area creating some very good breaks for surfers in the right weather conditions. Many years ago when windsurfing was just taking off as a sport, Low Newton and Embleton Bay were among first places where the sport could be seen. Embleton is considered a little quieter (and some would argue more picturesque) for watersports than the slightly more popular Beadnell Bay. Bring your own kit or hire from Boards and Bikes and for those who have never tried but want a go, give Northsde Surf School a call to arrange a lesson.
Northumberland is blessed with many beautiful links courses and this stretch of coast is no different. Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Club, just outside the Village of Embleton, overlooks the beautiful bay and offers golfers an excellent 18 hole links course with views that just can't be beaten. It is a traditional, 18 hole links course designed by the great golf course architect James Braid and offers a challenge to golfers of all levels and abilities.
For those looking for a parkland course, Alnmouth Golf Club overlooks the splendours of both Foxton and Alnmouth Bay on the Northumberland coastline. It is widely regarded as one of the finest golf courses in the North East of England. Established in 1869, steeped in history, Alnmouth Golf Club is the 4th oldest golf club in England. Although the course has a coastal location it has parkland turf and a reputation for the fine quality of the greens and superb presentation. Recently chosen as one of the Top 100 Hidden Gem golf courses in the UK by Golf Monthly magazine.
These courses just happen to be our favourite but there's plenty to chose from. You can find a list of local courses and tee time bookings here.
Don't just take our word for it. Take a look for yourself...
Beaches and Walking
Without a doubt the main attraction for this area of Northumberland are the stunning beaches. With high praise from the Good Beach Guide, the beaches at Embleton and Low Newton are found in a sheltered bay with rock pools and rocky outcrops. Popular for water sports and bird watchers the water also and has the highest UK standard of bathing water quality. Both beaches can be accessed on foot from either The Arches or Lynecroft.
A recent development for Embleton is the Embleton Heritage Trails Project, funded by the Lottery Heritage Fund. There are six trails that can be followed that take in the local history of Embleton and the surrounding areas. The trails vary between the coast and heading more inland for views of the countryside and towards the Cheviot Hills. A booklet about the trail is available from the Village shop and also from local Tourist Information Centres.
Further affield you'll find Northumberland National Park. A walk along the Simonside Hills must not be missed. From the top, you have a 360 degree view encompassing the Cheviot Hills and North Sea coastline. As a Special Area of Conservation, it teems with wildlife such as the curlew, red grouse, wild goats, and even red squirrels in the forest below.