Visit the North East coast in 2021 and explore the extraordinary outdoors

20 January 2021

For travel inspiration around the North East, visit Englandscoast.com/en, the browse-and-book tool that guides you along the coast and everything it has to offer, from walking routes and heritage sites to places to stay and family attractions. You can plan a trip, build an itinerary and book directly with hundreds of restaurants, cafes, pubs and accommodation providers including hotels, B&Bs and campsites.

“With its dramatic views across the North Sea, inspiring historical and geographical features, this lesser-known stretch of coastline is ideal for escaping the crowds,” says Samantha Richardson, Director National Coastal Tourism Academy which delivers the Discover England-funded England’s Coast project.

“Star-gaze under its dark skies, explore the small harbour town of Seaham with its stunning cliff-top views or feast on Pacific oysters and world-famous Craster kippers, this coastline is one of our hidden gems.”

Whether the wonderful North East coast is on your doorstep, or you’re planning a trip later in 2021, here are some highlights coming to the region this year, and ways to plan your trip with Englandscoast.com/en.

Lumiere Light Festival returns to Durham
Proudly made in Durham, the UK’s largest light festival, Lumiere, is set to illuminate the city once again for four nights from 18 – 21 November 2021. Each Lumiere festival invites local and international artists to design illuminations which will transform the city’s urban spaces and familiar public buildings. This year, anyone over 18 in the UK can apply and suggest their dazzling idea for a light-based piece of artwork to be displayed at this magical exhibition. Find all the details here.
Book with England’s Coast: Stay at nearby five-star Seaham Hall on the Durham Heritage Coast and rest your head in one of the spacious suites, relax in the award-winning spa and dine on the finest local ingredients in The Dining Room. B&B from £175 per night for two, with use of the spa –https://www.englandscoast.com/listing/seaham-hall-and-serenity-spa

A new coastal hub and café for Crimdon Dene, Hartlepool
An exciting boost for the English coast in 2021, a new community hub and café at Crimdon Dene is set to open in the summer. With much-needed funding from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund and Durham County Council, locals and visitors from further afield will soon be able to enjoy the wide sandy beach and scenic views towards Hartlepool and the Cleveland Hills, along with the colony of little terns which migrate from West Africa to breed each summer. Offering space for volunteers and community groups, the hub will also feature an area for schoolchildren, who will learn all about Crimdon’s unique coastal wildlife.
Book with England’s Coast: Stay at the Crimdon Dene Holiday Park, featuring a great range of family facilities, including a heated indoor pool, outdoor play park and all-weather sports court. From £56 pp per night – https://www.englandscoast.com/en/listing/crimdon-dene-holiday-park

The North East seafood trail
From traditionally smoked kippers to oyster beds dating back to 1381, Northumberland’s seafood specialties are a must-try. At the north of the county lies Ross, part of the Lindisfarne Nature Reserve, and where the Sutherland family today farm their ‘Lindisfarne’ Pacific Oysters. This secluded part of the coast has been home to oyster beds since the late 1300s. The world-famous Craster kipper is smoked in Northumberland at L Robson and Sons smokehouse in Craster and, further up the coast in Seahouses, is Swallowfish – another excellent smokehouse which has been in business since 1843. They use the same methods of smoking their cod, haddock, kippers and salmon as they did back then, and the shop itself is a real delight to visit, with old photos and a smorgasbord of fish and shellfish.
Plan a trip to the seafood coast with England’s Coast: https://www.englandscoast.com/en/seafood-coast

Fresh air and adventure in Northumberland
What better way to enjoy the outdoors after months of staying in than with a staycation on the wonderful scenic coast of Northumberland? Head to the glorious wide, sandy beaches at Beadnell Bay and enjoy water sports, including surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing and scuba diving. The nearby Farne Islands are a popular destination to sail to from Beadnell and visitors can often be found wakeboarding, waterskiing or taking a jet ski to get there. The Farne Islands have unrivalled views of 23 species, including around 37,000 pairs of puffins. It’s also home to a one of the top grey seal pupping sites in England, with more than 2,000 pups born every autumn.
Plan a trip to Northumberland with England’s Coast: https://www.englandscoast.com/en/create-itinerary?categories=1&region=2

Woodland and wonder at Castle Eden Dene in Durham
There is so much to explore at Castle Eden Dene, one of the most important areas of woodland in the North of England and is an example of the ‘wildwood’ that once covered most of Britain. This ancient deep gorge in County Durham, on the doorstep of Peterlee, is a mysterious tangled landscape of trees, rocky outcrops and steep cliffs. Located on the edge of Durham’s urban fringe, Castle Eden Dene is home to an extraordinary variety of birds, more than 450 species of plants, and mammals such as roe deer and fox. The Reserve is a magical place full of legend and folklore, which has been left to spread and sprawl for over 10,000 years, with yew, oak, ash and dying elm serving as a home for many other plants and creatures.
Plan your visit here with England’s Coast: https://www.englandscoast.com/en/listing/castle-eden-dene

England’s Coast advises visitors to adhere to the national lockdown and to plan their travels for post-lockdown, when it is safe to do so. Details can be found on the Gov UK website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home