Whin Sill outcrops and limestone between the villages of Boulmer and Craster come together to create a very striking and unusual shoreline particularly near Craster where horizontal sheets of rock heave in great shelves on to the beach. Hidden along this coastline are three sandy bays perfect for families. The middle beach is Sugar Sands – one of Northumberland’s finest secluded coves.
The bays are reached in quick succession from the coast path (a rough track for most of the way from Boulmer to Howick and suitable for cyclists). If driving or cycling to Sugar Sands, take the paved lane east from Longhoughton where there’s a rough parking area at the end of Howdiemont Sands.
Such an evocative name for a beach (just north of Sugar Sands) piled with rocks and with plenty of holes and channels for the sea to roar through. At low tide, this is a great bay for rockpooling and beachcombing. At the north end of the cove, there’s a tempting swimming hole cut into the rock.
The Victorian house on the headland (now a very popular holiday cottage) is the Bathing House, built by the 2nd Earl Grey of nearby Howick Hall for his 15 children to stay in while enjoying a dip in the sea below.