Isn’t it wonderful when things just turn out right? Last week Mr AWTYK had to visit Blyth, UK in the North East for work so being half term we thought we’d tag a long. A visit to the seaside was exactly what we needed. Although I had never considered a visit to Blyth before, it quickly became one of my favourite secret spots in Northumberland.
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Why Blyth is one of the best secret spots in Northumberland
So why is this a secret spot I hear you ask? It’s not exactly unheard of but it is probably one of the less popular holiday destinations in the North East. We’ve no doubt all heard of Whitley Bay, Seahouses and Alnwick. As gorgeous as they are, they can get very busy in the summer months which is why I totally fell in love with Blyth. Whilst the whole of the UK seemed booked up during the school holidays, it still felt really quiet, yet retained its seaside resort feel.
It has a gorgeous stretch of sandy beach with all the facilities you’ll need, a lighthouse, fish and chips galore and brilliant open spaces to play.
The Beach in Blyth
Blyth beach is absolutely brilliant. And I’m guessing if you’re visiting Blyth with kids you’re going to spend a good portion of your time here.
There’s plenty of sand for building castles and pebbled areas for exploring little rock pools. There are lovely walks through the sand dunes and in the summer months, plenty of water sports in the sea. The waves when we were there were absolutely magnificent!
The Blyth Beach Huts
A mainstay of any UK seaside town are a row of colourful beach huts and Blyth does not disappoint. These vibrantly coloured huts can be rented out and are way cheaper than some of the other famous beach huts in the UK. They come equipped with a kettle and deckchairs. You’ll need to contact Active Northumberland for more details.
We were happy just to admire them from the outside.
Dogs on Blyth Beach
Dogs are not allowed along the full stretch of Blyth beach. Around the main carpark and bandstand you’ll see clear signs restricting dogs. They can however enjoy the sand and sea on the light house side of the beach. This is a popular area for dog walkers.
Facilities on Blyth Beach
Blyth beach has heaps of FREE parking, just another reason to love the town! It’s also home to a couple of car charging points. Which came in very handy as we were driving an electric vehicle. The other nearest one we could find was in the Morrisons Carpark in town.
Just in from the beach you’ll find a couple of brilliant play parks for different age groups. Piper had a go on all the equipment and it made a nice break from the sand. I was able to sit with the dog and enjoy a takeout coffee whilst watching her play safely.
Just across the carpark from the beach you’ll find Coastline restaurant. This looked like a great place to pick up some fish and chips or cooling ice cream and there was plenty of outdoor seating available. There’s also a takeout van serving burgers, hot drinks and sweets. We picked up hot drinks from the small takeaway kiosk up near the showers.
You’ll find free, well maintained toilets and showers up near the main carpark.
What else is there to do in Blyth, Northumberland?
Blyth is home to one of the very best parks in the North East. Ridley Park has several play areas, all with age appropriate equipment, a water play area (which is currently closed), bowling green, basket ball net and tennis courts. There’s loads of space to spread out and enjoy a picnic and the paths are plenty wide enough for bikes or buggies.
When we were there there was a little funfair with an inflatable slide and an ice cream van parked up all day.
Ridley park has toilets and a sweet cafe which has parasols on the grass when the weather is good. There’s a small free carpark on site or various roads to park in around the park. You could always park at the larger beach car park and walk the 15 minutes along the road to Ridley Park.
There’s also a great play area near the main entrance to the beach. Blyth really is set up so well for kids.
I’m a bit obsessed with lighthouses so was delighted to discover Blyth is home to a recently restored one. It is located on the East Pier and was originally built in 1907. Just imagine the stories it has to tell. There’s also a second lighthouse in town. Blyth High lighthouse is one of Blyths oldest buildings, construction started in 1788. It’s now a grade II listed building. The High Light is inland a bit, around 100m from the current quay as land has been slowly reclaimed.
Explore the history of Blyth
To do this we mainly need to recognise that Blyth was and still is an industrial seaside town. The historic port is still working today. And actually has a huge focus on renewable energy. The sight of all those windmills definitely made me happy.
The original Port dates back to the 12th century when the town was predominantly focussed on ship building and then coal mining. In the 1960’s the port was one of the busiest in the UK.
Antartica was actually discovered by a ship from Blyth. You can visit the heritage centre at the Blyth boathouse.
If you’re down by the main part of the beach you’ll also be able to explore some Replica Mark V11 6″naval guns. These would have been used in WWII and are to celebrate 70 years of the Blyth Battery. There’s also a Battery Observation Post. It’s a good spot to talk to the kids about some World War history.
Visit Blyth Harbour
The marina in Blyth is a small harbour with little to do other than watch the pretty boats bob up as down whilst moored and wander along for great views of the lighthouse. It is a great spot to escape to on a busy day and we were able to wander a short way along the pier.
Check out a cool sculpture
At the quayside end of Blyth, just in front of the Commissioners Quays hotel you’ll see a brilliant sculpture. Created by Simon Packard and titled Spirit of the Staithes. When viewed from the correct angle this depicts a train pulling a coal truck. To me it just looked like a very cool mish mash of steel arms and panels.
Where to stay in Blyth, UK
For me, the best place to stay in Blyth with kids is the Commissioners Quay Inn. Located right on the Quay overlooking the sea. This is a friendly, modern hotel. It feels more like a pub with rooms than a stuffy seaside resort hotel.
We opted for a large family room as we were traveling with Piper and we had a huge King Sized bed plus a large and super comfy sofa bed. We also had our dog with us so I loved that this is a very pet friendly hotel.
The view from our room first thing in the morning was absolutely beautiful. I loved watching the amazing wind turbines out out sea, generating clean energy.
Breakfast in the morning is taken in the pub/restaurant and was freshly cooked and very tasty. Think sausage, bacon, eggs cooked as you want, mushrooms and tomatoes. Absolutely delicious!
Where to eat in Blyth, UK
We ate at the brilliant Caboose restaurant at the Blyth boathouse. We stumbled on this place as we were walking from our hotel, The Commissioners Quays down to the beach. It’s just round the corner from Ridley Park and actually looks nothing like a restaurant from the outside!
We popped in for a drink hoping they wouldn’t mind us sitting outside with our dog only to find they were super pet friendly and found us an indoor table for dinner. I do recommend booking though, just to be sure you’ll get a table when you want.
They have a small kids menu which had everything you would want on it. Piper opted for the burger and wolfed it down.
I had the absolutely massive halloumi and grilled veg which was really fresh and tasty. Mr AWTYK opted for the fish, again it was wonderfully cooked and tasted delicious.
Of course we shared a desert which ended the meal perfectly.
The staff were really friendly and helpful and the views out the back to the lighthouse were absolutely stunning.
Caboose at Blyth Boathouse,
Day trips from Blyth, Northumberland
Northumberland is a beautiful part of the UK. It’s home to some amazing coastline, stunning beaches and quaint seaside towns. If you’re looking for a few day trips from Blyth it’s easy to find somewhere special. For another seaside town, this one with a holiday resort feel, head to Whitley Bay. It’s got a brilliant amusement park over the summer months the beautiful Spanish City, and Whitley Bay Beach is one of the best in the area. It’s less than a 20 minute drive along the coast from Blyth.
You could also head to the Seaham beaches, around 45 minutes drive from Blyth. The town has a fabulous Marina and a couple of beaches, some pebbly, some sandy. We love walking along the coastline here. It’s also one of the best places in the UK for finding sea glass.
While you’re in the area I highly recommend a trip to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. On the Island (which is only accessible by a causeway) is an impressive castle built in the 1500’s. Its definitely another of my other favourite secret spots in Northumberland and is less than an hour and a half drive from Blyth.
A little further away is Whitby, located by the sea in the North York Moors. Famous for being home to Captain James Cook and Dracula.
Getting around Blyth
We were able to walk around all the top spots in Blyth. From the Commissioners Quays Inn where we were staying through Ridley Park to the Blyth Beach huts took just 20 minutes. Admittedly a large part of that is along a pavement next to what feels like an industrial estate but it didn’t bother us. The same trip will take 5 minutes if you’re driving.
Where do you thinks are the best secret spots in Northumberland? Let me know in the comments.
If you’re looking to explore more of the Great British coastline then have a read of these best beaches in North Cornwall. Or if you’re looking for somewhere a bit quieter I recommend North Wales and these Llyn Peninsula beaches.
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