The Location

Howick beach is about 7 miles north-east of Alnwick.

What's there

A made up path that runs beside or above the beach right down to Boulmer village. At the start of the walk you can find some pretty, rocky coves. Further round the walk, you will see the remains of a 10,000 year old round house, once the oldest known house in the UK.

How to get there

Postcode for Satnav - NE61 4JB
From Alnwick, take the B1342 by the war memorial, signposted Bamburgh, Denwick. Follow this road to Denwick, then at the end of the village, take the right turn for Longhoughton and Howick. Drive through Longhoughton on the B1339, then half a mile past this village, the main road turns left, but carry straight on on the side road marked 'coastal route'. Follow this road past Howick hall and down to the coast, where you will see a car park on your right, by Seahouses Farm (nowhere near the tourist spot Seahouses village). The post code for this farm is NE66 3LH.

The Walk

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You will see a gate at the entrance to the car park, with a track leading straight down to the sea. Go down this track and at the bottom, turn right and follow the footpath. You can take a detour here down to a sandy cove by the beach. Further along the path, you can detour again to a headland, where you will see 2 rock arches by the sea. Care is needed as the cliffs are both high and steep here, but the view can be spectactular in rough seas, as the waves crash through the arches. Continuing along the made up path, you eventually leave the rocks and come to a calmer, beach area. If you look out to sea here, you will see a cubic object at the end of the rocks. This is the remains of the French trawler Tadorne, now a perch for cormorants. The path now runs uphill, and through some gorse bushes, until you eventually reach a footbridge over the Howick burn.

Here, we decided the leave the beach path, and try the pathway that runs up alongside the burn. However, the beach path will take you all the way to Boulmer village if you wish to try it. The path by the burn eventually reaches a gated fence, which is the boundary of Howick Hall estate, so we had the retrace our steps. Back at the beach, it is worth having a look at the sandy bay, especially if the tide is out. On the return journey, rather than retrace our steps, we took a gateway off the beach path. At the top of the slight hill, as the rough ground on the right becomes a field, you will see a small fenced off area with a gate. This is the site of the Mesolithic roundhouse. The trackway runs directly to Seahouses Farm, and so the the car park.

Howick beach


Howick Hall was once the home of Prime Minister Earl Grey, the man who had the tea named after him. He built the house on the cliffs on the right, at the start of the walk, as a bathing house for his 15 children. If you look down from the cliff path, you can see the square bathing pools he had hewn out from the rocks.

At the end of the rocky area, you can see what at first sight looks like a concrete block out at sea. This is the remains of a French fishing trawler the Tadorne, which was wrecked in 1913. Most of the crew were saved by the Boulmer lifeboat, but 5 sadly died, and you can see a memorial to them in the graveyard of Howick Church. Apparently a British Submarine also struck the rocks in 1918, and while it was mainly salvaged, you can still see some of the remains in the rocks.

The Mesolithic roundhouse that you see on the way back is called Howick House. It was built around 7600 BC, which makes it nearly 10,000 years old. It looked like a large wooden wigwam, and was occupied for abourt 100 years. If you look carefully in the nettles and bracken, you can just make out the outline of the circular bank. Given the age of the site, and that fact that at one time it was the oldest known house in Britain, it is very easy to miss as you walk by.

Facilities on this Walk

Walks Near Here

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