Most of the beaches in the AONB are shallowly sloping sand beaches in wide bays, making them generally quite safe. That said, there always hazards, such as rip currents and submerged rocks to look out for. None of our beaches have lifeguards – you are responsible for your own safety and that of your children.
Rip currents sound complicated but are essentially fast flowing bodies of water that can drag people and debris away from the shoreline and out to deeper water.
Rips can be very difficult to spot, but sometimes can be identified by a channel of churning, choppy water or debris on the sea’s surface.
Watch this video to learn more abour rip currents
Tidal cut off
Because tide times and heights vary throughout the month, a beach or rocks that were clear yesterday at 5pm might be completely covered in sea at the same time today.
Because our beaches are gently sloping and are backed by sand dunes, you are unlikely to get cut-off on the beach. If you venture onto the rocky shore or onto outlying rocks you are more at risk of being cut-off. Check the tide times before you venture out.
Other safety precautions
- Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back
- Take care when walking on rocky shores as they can be very slippery. Bright green rocks are normally slippery
- Do not touch jellyfish either in the water or washed up on the shore, even if they look dead
- Watch the tides! Always check the tide times before you set off and be careful of being cut off by an incoming tide.
- Don’t use inflatables
- If you see someone else in trouble call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard
- Find out about the beach you're going to before you visit
- Some beaches have safety signage, read the signs before you go onto the beach
- Be Sun Smart
Bathing Water Quality
Bathing water quality on the Northumberland Coast AONB is generally excellent, exceeding the highest EU standards. There are five EU designated bathing beaches in the AONB where water quality is monitored weekly during the bathing season (May to September).
- Bamburgh Castle
- Seahouses – St Aidan’s
- Low Newton-by-the-Sea
Information about the water quality can be found on a sign at each beach or on the Environment Agency Website.
Bringing your dog to the beach
There are no dog bans on beaches in the AONB. We do expect dog owners to act responsibly when they bring their dog to the beach however.
We have developed some simple guidance for dog owners which can be found here.
There is a seasonal restriction, asking dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead in Beadnell Bay to protect breeding shorebirds between May and August. Please observe local signage and Ranger’s instructions.
Within Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve there is a byelaw requiring to keep your dog on a lead at all times.