Low Newton by the Sea, Northumberland
Low Newton by the Sea is an isolated 18th Century fishing village on the Northumberland coast, about half way between Newcastle Upon Tyne and Berwick Upon Tweed. Low Newton is renowned as one of the most picturesque villages on this part of the coast, a area recognised for its outstanding scenic beauty, and it has become a popular year-round tourist destination.
The village is now owned by the National Trust, and consists of a square of cream-washed 19th Century fishermen's cottages around the village green, and looking out to the North Sea across the beach of Newton Haven. Many self-catering cottages are available in Low Newton, and more are available at the nearby village of High Newton, about a mile inland from the coast.
The unusual parish church of St Mary's was established in the 19th Century - constructed from corrugated steel sheeting and fitted with pretty stained glass windows, it was purchased in kit form and brought to the village in parts to be erected. For matters more worldly than spiritual, the social hub of the village is the historic Ship Inn, which occupies a converted 18th Century house in the heart of the village. The inn now operates a micro-brewery producing real ales, and has earned fame on British Television for the quality of its food and drink. An inn is said to have stood on the site since the 17th Century.
Low Newton has become a popular destination with yachtsmen, dinghy sailors and windsurfers, who take advantage of the sheltered conditions in the wide bay of Newton Haven. Low Newton was one of the first towns in the UK to develop windsurfing as a tourist attraction when the sport was first introduced to the country more than thirty years ago. The town has since been the venue for several windsurfing regattas. Windsurfers and sailing dinghies are available for hire near the Newton Haven beach.
A path inland from the beach leads to Newton's Pool, a freshwater nature reserve that is a popular site for observing migrating water birds, especially during the breeding season in May and June. Bird-watching hides have been set up beside the reserve, including one with disabled access. There is also a protected breeding colony of terns, at Long Nanny Burn beyond the north end of the beach.
Visitors who are up for longer walks can venture to Newton Point for outstanding views of the Northumberland Coast and the Farne Islands, or south to the fine sandy beach at Embleton Bay. The coastal path to Embleton continues to the 18th Century fishing village of Craster and Dunstanburgh Castle - one of the most romantic ruins in Northern England and the inspiration for several paintings by the English artist William Turner.
Embleton is also home to the fine Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Club - a traditional 18-hole links course designed famed British golfer James Braid. Fishing from the rocks, building sand castles and exploring the rock pools of the soft rock shore are also popular family activities in the area.
Low Newton by the Sea is located on the Northumberland coastal road near the town of Alnwick, about 40 miles north of Newcastle Upon Tyne and about 30 miles south of Berwick Upon Tweed. The nearest train station is at Alnmouth, about 8 miles to the south, and regular buses run from the station to Alnwick, and from Alnwick to Low Newton.