We’d had a great time on the east coast and it was now time to take a look at wheelchair accessible Northumberland.
Starting in Berwick upon Tweed, we made our way down the Northumberland coast to Amble, calling into Spittal, Holy Island, Bamburgh Castle and Seahouses along the way.
Northumberland tourism is currently working with Visit England as part of the Access For All programme. The aim of the programme is to promote accessible tourism, so consider this post our small contribution to the cause!!!
Wheelchair Accessible Northumberland
Berwick upon Tweed
We left Washington early to avoid the traffic on the A1, we might as well have stayed in bed because the roads were uncomfortably busy. Once we’d cleared Newcastle, the road opened up and it was a pleasant drive all the way up to Berwick.
Berwick upon tweed is the last English town on the east coast, it has been fought over for hundreds of years. When we arrived the town centre was very busy, so we drove up to the coast.
Returning to the town, we parked up by the River Tweed to get pictures of the boats and three bridges.
Bridget waited on the quayside whilst I took a short wander through the Elizabethan ginnels and up onto the town walls. It’s actually like walking back through time, I just wish we’d had more time to explore.
We found a disabled parking space on the quayside quite easily. I didn’t take Bridget up onto the walls in her wheelchair or into the town centre, I’m sure we’d have got around the town centre without too much problem. We needed to crack on, we set off and grabbed a couple more pictures of Berwick on our way out.
Berwick Upon Tweed Resources
On our way out of Berwick, we tried to take a look at the seafront in Spittal! Parking was a bit of an issue, the weather was nice so why wouldn’t it be. Apparently, Spittal has one of the best beaches in Northumberland, but we’ll have to take their word for it.
We decided to carry on down the coast, next time we’re up in Berwick we’ll definitely check out Spittal beach.
Visiting Holy Island highlighted the need for forward planning, not least because the island is only accessible when the tide is out. You’ve probably guessed it, we arrived when the tide was in, so we couldn’t get to the island.
The island is cut off by the tide twice a day, I’m not sure how accessible it would be if we had managed to get across, but it would have been nice to check. Obviously, I wanted to see Lindisfarne Priory up close, it’s just one of those places you need to see before you die – maybe next time.
Holy Island Resources
Scenic Coastal Route – Brown Signs
As you drive south down the Northumberland coast there are plenty of brown signs (I love brown signs). We followed the one for the scenic coastal route. It’s a pleasant and stress-free drive with plenty of stopping points along the way if you fancy a bimble!
I wasn’t prepared for Bamburgh Castle. I’m not sure if it’s the elevated position on a volcanic rock or just the sheer size of it, but it certainly got my attention. I suppose that’s the point, attackers take one look at it and turn on their heels because it looks impenetrable.
We’d already decided (on this visit) we didn’t have the time to go inside the castle. We knew we’d need more time to explore, so decided on this occasion to just take a look. I did, however, contact Bamburgh castle about disabled access and they were very helpful.
I was told to drive to the main car park and advise the supervisor we are wheelchair users, I did and the supervisor offered to get us parking closer to the main entrance.
It was explained, not all areas of the castle are accessible to people with mobility issues, this is understandable given the age of the castle. They do however offer virtual tours for people who can’t access all areas.
We opted to bimble around the outside instead and took these pictures…
Bamburgh Castle Resources
I think Seahouses sums up what the Northumberland Coast is all about, you’re not expecting it!
I didn’t have any preconceived ideas about Northumberland, I’d heard it was nice and it is, but then we stumbled across Seahouses and it all fell into place.
Seahouses boasts a pretty working harbour and is a hub for boat trips to the Farne Islands. The village is reasonably easy to get around, there are plenty of seaside type shops and fish n chips are in abundance.
Our last stop of the day was in Amble. We headed for the harbour and finally had some fish n chips, and what fish n chips they were!
Being city dwellers, our choice of fish n chips is limited, most of the time we have no idea what species of fish it is. In Amble, there was no end of choice, also, they sell “Scraps”?
I think scraps are the bits of battered fish that fall off during the cooking process – who eats scraps?
Just kidding, I know they’re popular in some parts …
Although they were closed when we got there, the harbour boasts a little shopping village. Independent shops and boutiques housed in pretty wooden huts, I would have liked to see them open and sample their wares.
The whole harbour area was wheelchair accessible so we bimbled and took a few more pictures of boats …
The Northumberland Coast
Northumberland was the last leg of a tiring 3 days on the road. I know we didn’t see the best of it. But, we did see enough to know we must return to the area.