Things To Do In Amble & Warkworth, Northumberland – From The Locals!
The seaport town of Amble on the Northumberland coastline may be small, but the harbour, town, beaches and surrounding areas with plenty to offer visitors has been known as the ‘friendliest port’ since the 1930’s. It’s where Kieran is from so over the last five years I’ve spent plenty time up there, but for this post I’ve pulled in some extra help. A group of Amble and Warkworth locals that I’m so happy I get to call friends have really helped me put this post together. While I can give you the perspective of a frequent visitor, there are just some things you only know if you live there. So here’s our list of things to do in Amble and Warkworth, Nothumberland.
Things To Do In Amble
Walk along the harbour piers, that loop out from the main harbour and around the smaller beach. On a sunny day it’s lovely but wrap up if not as it gets cold up there.
Visit the Amble market right on the harbour, it’s on Sundays between 10am-4pm.
Take a boat trip around Coquet Island. Otherwise known as the Puffin Cruises the boat trips last around one hour and depart from Amble Harbour. You’ll see puffins, kittiwakes, plenty of other bird species and a grey seal colony. (Currently closed due to Coronavirus but details will be on their facebook page when they can reopen.)
After a walk around the harbour there is a grassy park area with outdoor gym, running water maze and views out to see. Kieran tells me this is called the Amble Links but I’m not sure if that’s true. It’s a good spot for a picnic or dog walk.
Go surfing or paddle boarding, as well as many other water sports. The guys recommended using local lad John Nolan to rent equipment from, he runs the local Northside Surf School.
For other water sports including canoeing, windsurfing and kayaking either on your own with private hire or as a guided group have a look at Coquet Shorebase Trust. They run activities from both Coquet Estuary in Amble or the lake at DrurIdge Bay.
See the colourful little beach huts.
Get an ice cream, sorbet, coffee or cake from Spurelli‘s. Located on Coquet Street it’s very popular and there’s often a big queue but it’s worth it.
Shop at the little Amble pod shops just before you get to the harbour. They sell all sorts including souvenirs, homeware, jewellery, food and drinks. My friend Hannah recommends the sweet shop pod, the Northumbrian Cheese pod, and the Urban Pooch pod that sells dog friendly ice cream.
Visit The Hatchery which is right opposite the pods, an initiative to help increasing numbers of lobster and shellfish survive before they’re released back into the wild. You can visit, see the process and how it works, as well as learn about other seafood and shellfish, or even buy fresh seafood from the onsite shop. Read more about The Hatchery and their work here.
Close to Amble is the Hauxley Nature reserve, where you can go wildlife spotting for all sorts including birds and red squirrels. Right on the beach see the view across to Druridge Bay, go on a nature trail, or enjoy it from the lookout cafe onsite.
Where to Eat in Amble
This sparked much discussion in the group chat, but here are the main recommendations they can all agree on.
Fish & Chips – any are good, and there were strong mentions for the Quayside chippy but the overall favourite by far is Harbour Chippy. The queue is always massive whenever I’m in Amble so I’ve not had them myself but apparently they’re legendary. When someone tells me they’re as good as Marshalls in Tynemouth I’m inclined to believe they’re very good!
Seafood restaurants – The Boathouse. Now I have ate here and I had a big pot of mussels and they were fabulous. Seafood is my favourite so I could have ate the whole menu, and it’s been done up lovely since I was last there so I’m desperate to go back. Right on the harbour front it’s in a great spot for a sea view too.
Sunday Lunch – the Amble Inn, the Wellwood Arms and Storehouse were all recommended. I’ve not had the Sunday lunch at the Amble Inn but I have enjoyed Other meals there, but I have ate at the Wellwood for a roast and it was nice. My favourite is in Warkworth which I’ll mention in a bit.
The Galley in Amble I’m told does very good pizza, it’s a sandwich and deli shop but looking at their Facebook page they seem to do a lot more than just sandwiches. Apparently it’s a hidden gem for takeaway lunches if you don’t want to sit in anywhere.
Get a sausage on a stick from Geordie Banger, one of the pod shops on the harbour. They do Toon Sausages called ‘Black & White’ Sausages which are black pudding and white pepper.
Radcliffes – a cafe bar in the Coble Quay complex right on the water front. You cant miss it as it’s the area with green and orange apartment buildings. The menu was put together after the owners motorcycled across Europe, and took inspiration from the different food, bottled beers, wines, gins and cultures they enjoyed. Read more on Radcliffes here.
Sea & Soil, a bistro restaurant on Amble’s Queen Street sparked a big discussion, with one of the group claiming it’s one of the best steaks he’s ever had. He’s a big food fan so it must be good, and I would like to try it sometime but all were in agreement that Sea & Soil although serves great food, is on the very pricey side. They’re currently doing picnic boxes, and £40 for a 2 person box is quite steep isn’t it.
I’m also going to mention the Brewis Beer bottleshop and taproom located on Coquet Enterprise Park. This micro brewery is great with indoor and outdoor seating, and a range of craft beers on the menu, as well as food trucks that park just outside.
Where to Stay in Amble?
The Amble Inn – I’ve stayed here and it’s quite new so very nice, with a big bar and restaurant area, outside terrace with play area, dog friendly rooms with an external entrance and plenty parking. I’ve had great pizza there before and I really enjoyed their breakfasts.
Amble Links Holiday Park – a park with holiday homes, caravans and onsite facilities. Have a look at the Links Holiday park website here for more details.
Coble Quay offers 3 or 4 bed apartments right on the waterfront. They’re pretty new so at the moment it looks like you can only book some of the options, but would be a good option for a group. See more info on Coble Quay here.
Not far from Amble is the lovely Eshott Hall which would make for a lovely stay, or just pay a visit for afternoon tea or Sunday dinner.
Things to do in Warkworth
Top of the list has to be Warkworth Castle. The English Heritage site sits on top of the hill, and you can walk up to and around it without paying. The castle is reopening summer 2020 from 1st August but you need a ticket and allocated time slot to visit, bookable on the website here.
If you just want to admire the castle from a bit of a distance, one of my favourite things to do in Warkworth is have a drink in The Sun beer garden across the road.
Walk along the Warkworth River, which is a low level easy walk with beautiful views. It can get a bit muddy if it’s wet, but it’s a really nice walk to do which can be extended to a full loop around back to the village.
Visit the Hermitage in Warkworth. A private Chapel carved into the rock of the cliffs it’s reached by boat across the river. Unfortunately it’s not yet reopened in 2020 following closure for Coronavirus, but details are here for the future.
Take a walk or picnic to Warkworth beach. Dogs are allowed.
Hire a rowing boat to go up the River Coquet which runs past the castle.
Get an ice cream from Morwick Ice Cream parlour, which is located on Morwick Dairy, a working farm where you can see the cows themselves. Although most people head to Spurelli’s, my friends think this ice cream is even better.
Visit some of the boutique shops. Grays is like a gift shop selling scarves, jewellery and handbags, The Greenhouse which I love and it’s right on the corner by the car park. Similar to Grays but sells more unique homeware pieces, and Fenwick Gallery Hannah tells me is slightly pricier but has amazing jewellery, art work and home pieces all by local artists.
Where to eat in Warkworth
If you want fish and chips in Warkworth you’ll need to get them from Amble and drive up.
For Sunday dinner my favourite is the Mason’s which has a big beer garden and their burger or pies are really good too. They have dog friendly ice cream, and it’s always a good atmosphere. Just leave the big table at the back free, that’s where we sit! Another recommendation is The Hermitage.
Go to Bertrams Cafe in Warkworth, apparently the lemon and courgette cake although sounds a bit of an odd pairing is delicious.
Where to stay in Warkworth
The Sun is an obvious choice and I’ve stayed there after our friends wedding, it was lovely waking up to a view of the castle and I LOVED the proper Northumbrian breakfast the next morning.
Bertrams also has B&B rooms as well as their cafe I mentioned before.
There are quite a lot of holiday cottages in Warkworth, which you can find either by google or Air BnB. Alternatively you could stay in one of the options mentioned for Amble as it’s just a few minutes down the road.
So I hope this has given you a bit more of an in depth insight into these two little towns, and the things you can do in Amble and Warkworth. I love visiting both of them. Thank you to my lovely friends based in both places who helped me write this and passed on their suggestions and recommendations.
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