Tughall Mill Links is a pretty beach walk between the villages of High Newton and Beadnell, about 15 miles north of Alnwick. This is real tourist country, and most of the houses in the area are holiday lets or cottages. This makes the place hectic in summer, and almost deserted in winter. Summer car parking is difficult, and most of the big cark parks are pay-and-display. They usually give you 1 hour free, which is not long enough for a decent walk, then £6 for 3 hours, which is a bit steep for a dog walk. However, the car park at High Newton is free all day, but it does involve a bit extra walking.
A 2 hour plus beach walk and dune walk part way through a nature reserve. Pubs at either end of the walk, shops, cafes and public toilets in Beadnell.
Postcode for Satnav - NE66 3DH.
Turn offf the A1 at Charlton Mires, on the B3647 for Seahouses. Follow this road round, past the main railway line crossing at Christon Bank, and half a mile past there you join a main road. Turn left then sharp right where the signpost says "Newton by the Sea" and "Joiners Arms", and you will find the car park on the right, just as you reach High Newton village.
You can also catch a Travelsure bus from Alnwick to High Newton.
Click here to see a detailed routemap of the walk. This opens in a new tab.
From the High Newton car park, take the footpath in the corner that leads into the village, then walk through the village keeping left past the Joiner's Arms and follow the road down to Newton Links house. This road is narrow, but has a wide grass verge for walkers. Walk past the Link house (all holiday cottages) and car park, through a gate, then head right for the beach. You could park here if you are willing to pay the charge.
The beach is wide and sandy, with good views south to Snook Point. However, turn right and head north towards Beadnell for quite some way until you reach a stream. The stream is an easy swim for a dog, but too wide and deep for humans who wish to keep their feet dry. The good news is that there is a footbridge just a few hundred yards inland, so head up the stream, past the old WW2 tank traps, and up to the bridge. Now you have a choice. You can head up to Beadnell, with a pub and cafes, and so extend your walk by about an hour, or you can skip the next paragraph and turn back here.
To extend the walk, cross the bridge, then keep left over the bridge. This is the UK coast walk which runs behind the dunes and eventually up to a caravan park. The coast path runs right through the caravan park, then reaches the main car park in Beadnell, where there is a cafe and public toilets. Turn right in the car park, and through the dunes to the beach. Now walk back down the beach past a sailing club, then all the way to the stream, which has carved steep sandy cliffs on the northern edge. At the end of the cliffs you climb up to a gate, which takes you back to the bridge.
Once back over the bridge, follow the pathway through the nature reserve, behind the dunes, and all the way back to Newton Link house.
From here, you can retrace your steps back up the road to High Newton, or you can take a short diversion through the links to High Newton farm.
Be aware, though, that there is a broken gate on this route that may be difficult for large dogs. People cross by a style, and there is a hole in the gate for small to medium size dogs.
Once past the gate, you walk up by the farm, then turn left at the end of the farm roadway.
Now you are nearly back to your car, but you have to pass by the Joiner's Arms pub again, where they serve food and drinks, with outside tables. After a long walk, it is hard to resist the temptation to stop off for a while.
If you go beyond the car park in Beadnell and past the harbour, you will come to a promontory called Ebb's Nook. This was the site of a Channel 4 Time Team investigation in May 2011, where they found a 1000 year old chapel dedicated to St Ebba. St Ebba, or Aebbe, was a Northumbrian princess turned abbess and her story is told on the St Abbs page.
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