Alnmouth has fast become one of our favourite places on the Northumberland Coast since moving to the North East three months ago
It’s only a short drive - about 45 minutes - from Newcastle but once you arrive it feels so far away from the hustle and bustle of the city and there is so much for dogs to do!
We took Daisy and Tommy’s girls Hannah and Millie there last May and stayed at a gorgeous little place called The Owl's Nest in Ulgham which is a short drive from Alnmouth.
The Owl's Nest is a group of holiday lets and we stayed in a super cosy Sanctuary. It has one bedroom and bunk beds in the main part of the Scandinavian style chalet, a kitchen, bathroom with power shower (much needed after a day on the beach) and a barbecue and outdoor seating area.
Reasonably priced and beautifully maintained, it’s all you need for a family trip away and it’s in a former animal sanctuary that was once open to the public.
We stayed at the Owl Sanctuary, a gorgeous chalet in Ulgham
Daisy meets one of the resident horses
The animals are still there - donkeys, horses, goats and chickens - the kids absolutely loved it
When we arrived we found a mini bottle of wine for us, Haribos, and chopped up apples and carrots to feed to the animals - such a lovely touch - and we got our own treats for them too!
We also have to confess Daisy escaped from the chalet one afternoon and went chasing the goats around the field - thankfully we caught her fairly quickly and the goats didn’t seem to mind having a crazy ginger terrier to play with.
Daisy saying hello to a super cute Shetland pony
Alnmouth is a pretty little village steeped in history and heritage. It was established as a Roman village back in 1152 and flints and pots have been found there dating back to the Bronze Age.
It had a port and a market from the 13th Century and was renowned for exporting coal, wool and corn, and was famous for harbouring pirates. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism visited in 1748 and described it as: “A small seaport town famous for all kinds of wickedness.”
Nowadays, you won’t see pirates but there’s a lot of fun to be had and the thing we loved the most is how dog friendly it is. Pretty much every pub lets dogs in, as does the local post office and sweet shop and among the jars of traditional sweets is a big tub of gravy bones - a lovely touch!
For golfers, there’s a course right in the middle of the village overlooking the North Sea and for shoppers, try Alnmouth Gifts, a lovely gift shop and gallery if you’re looking for souvenirs to take home.
Daisy loved dashing up and down the sand dunes!
The main beach in Alnmouth can get busy in the summer. It’s lovely and clean and if you’re feeling peckish, try Gwen’s Ice Cream van - she’s been serving up ice creams there for decades!
Dogs are allowed to play on there all year round - yay - and every time we’ve been there have been loads of dogs, so if you have a pup who likes playing they’ll be spoilt for choice.
Ideally, your dog will have a good recall, but we know pets can get excited on the beach but you will feel safe there, as there is only one road going in and out of the village.
If you drive south of the Estuary, you’ll find a little dirt track and that will take you to another beach which is really quiet all year round. It’s best if you have a robust car - I don’t think my Mini would make it but Tommy’s VW Transporter is fine.
Here, you’ll find stetching golden sands and dunes for dogs to play in, Daisy loved racing down them with Hannah and Millie.
We went one day and saw a family of SEVEN Golden Retrievers playing in the sea - it was like something from a Disney film. All the beaches are super clean too.
Cooling off in the sea!
Places to eat
There’s plenty of choice for a small village from Artisan coffee shops like Scotts of Alnmouth which is also a deli and the Bistro 23 Tearoom.
Beaches seafood restaurant looks gorgeous (I don’t eat fish myself) and the Hope and Anchor pub do takeaway fish and chips (they smell amazing) or you can sit down and have a meal in their Italian restaurant.
We ate at the Red Lion which is a lovely cosy pub with a beer garden overlooking the Estuary. I can vouch that the sandwiches with lovely chunky chips and steak pie are amazing, and the roast dinners one of the best we’ve had for a long time. Dogs are allowed in the bar area and beer garden.
The Red Lion is dog friendly, with excellent service and good pub food - we only ate there once. Tommy had fish and chips and I had the steak pie. It’s an olde worlde with a good range of beers and friendly staff.
There are other pubs in the village but we only write about places we’ve visited and sampled! I would suggest a look on Trip Advisor if you’re thinking of anywhere else and you can view the list of places here.
The walks around Alnmouth are glorious
We went on two walks along the beach and coastal path.
The first was to Warkworth Castle - this is a 12 mile walk from Alnmouth and is stunning. You can either walk on the sand or the coastal path.
It’s a small village with a local shop selling ice creams and everything you need for a day out, a gallery and nice gift shop called Present Time.
There’s also tea rooms and a couple of pubs - we ate in the Mason’s Arms - the portions are very generous!
The second was in the opposite direction to Boulmer - this was more like eight miles and again, you can walk along the beach or coastal path.
It’s pretty fishing village but quieter than Warkworth and Alnmouth. We stopped for a drink in the Fishing Boat Inn, a traditional pub that serves food.
There’s a gallery in a gorgeous little Shepherd's Hut close to the village hall run by retired teacher Jenny Allen which has some gorgeous paintings and prints and is worth a look.
Fancy trying Alnmouth?
Prices at the Owl's Nest in Ulgham start from £50 a night. Their Trip Advisor page is here.
The Hope and Anchor in the village is dog friendly too and looks lovely! We haven't stayed but hope to soon and you can see their rooms on the website, www.hopeandanchorholidays.co.uk
If you have any questions about things to do in Alnmouth or suggestions for places to try, pop a comment below or you can send us a message here.