Boulmer and Howick
Boulmer is a traditional fishing village where the local blue cobles are still used to catch crab, lobster and sea salmon. The village has changed little in the last 100 years. Boulmer is perhaps best know for its RAF base - sadly the yellow Sea King rescue helicopters are no longer the common site they once were.
Howick is a farming hamlet which is now popular with visitors for its accommodation and Howick Hall Gardens. Howick Hall, owned by the Grey family since the 1300, is now a popular destination for garden enthusiasts.
The geology of the area is dominated by the great whin sill
What can I do?
- Stroll around the unspoilt fishing village, steeped in smuggling history.
- Look out for the rare sight of a traditional wooden coble fishing boat launching off the beach or being dragged ashore by tractor.
- Explore the geology of the area using our geo-walk
- Explore the rocky shores of the natural harbour and watch wading birds on the mudflats at low tide.
- Walk along the Northumberland Coast Path and discover hidden bays and rocky outcrops.
- Explore Howick Hall Gardens, the home of Earl Grey, great for snowdrops in February, daffodils and crocuses in March, camellias and rhododendrons in April and spectacular formal gardens in June. Visit the Earl Grey Tearooms for home-cooked scones and cakes.
- Take a bike ride along the National Cycle Network Route 1 - the section to the north of Boulmer is virtually traffic free.
What do I need to know?
- There is a toilet and public house in Boulmer
- Howick Hall Gardens is open from March to November - to visit the tearoom you must pay to visit the gardens
- The Northumberland Coast Path and Coast and Castles Cycle Route both pass through Boulmer
Getting to Howick and Boulmer
Howick Village (and the entrance to Howick Hall) is served by a two-hourly service between May and September, there is a less frequent service in the winter. Two buses a day visit Boulmer.
Howick is served by the Travelsure 418 service and Boulmer is served by an Arriva X18 service.
The Arriva X18 Coast and Castles Service and the Travelsure 418 Service connect Boulmer/Howick to Seahouses, Bamburgh and Belford to the north and Alnwick via the coastal villages to the south. The X18 continues north to Berwick-upon-Tweed and Morpeth and Newcastle to the south.
Howick Hall Gardens
These fabulous gardens, chiefly created by the 5th Early Grey in an informal style, are best known for the spring bulbs and woodland garden.
But there are also summer borders, an arboretum, a bog garden and a rockery.
There are good visitor facilities including the Earl Grey tea hall (garden visitors only) and walks to the coast.