The Northumberland coast is a fantastic area for the various forms of kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.
Kayaking is a great way to explore the coast and estuaries, but care must be taken as the prevailing wind direction is off shore and so some experience and planning is required. At one end you have sea kayaking – suitable for people who have kayak experience and involves specialist craft designed to deal with paddling along the coast or visiting off shore Islands. At the other you can use a Sit-on-Top (SOT) kayak – more suited to the beginner and only suitable for sheltered bays in low wind conditions.
Good access points can be found in the following areas:
• Berwick – Tweed estuary. Care is required after high water and especially if the River Tweed is high.
• Spittal - beach near the promenade. Care is required to the north at Spittal point, there are strong currents after high water!
• Cocklawburn beach – Rocky reefs to north and south, use the sandy beach.
• Holy Island Harbour – permission is required from Harbour Master and there is a small launch fee. No unauthorised landing in the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve.
• Bamburgh Castle beach. Height restriction barriers are in place at the car parks.
• Seahouses - St. Aidan’s Dunes. Roadside parking – Take care when unloading and loading
• Seahouses harbour. Permission required and fee payable to the harbour master.
• Beadnell Bay. Parking and seasonal toilet facilities. information regarding access is displayed
• Low Newton-by-the-Sea. Drop off required before parking in car park away from the village, please do not restrict traffic movement around the village.
• Craster Harbour – As above drop off kayak and then park in pay-and-display car park in the quarry.
• Boulmer Haven
• Alnmouth. Launch from the car park next to the beach
• Amble Harbour and Coquet Estuary – there is a small beach but as with most estuaries strong tides can be felt after high water especially when river is high.
Hire and training
If you are inexperienced or want to learn to kayak the following firms offer training:
Active 4 Seasons, North Northumberland – Offers sea kayak coaching and guided trips for all levels – some kayak experience required for guided trips on the coast or Farne Islands. They also provide surf kayak tuition and open canoeing on estuaries.
Adventure Northumberland – offer sit-on-top kayaking in sheltered coastal areas.
K A Kitesurfing - offer sit-on-top single and double kayaking, hire and tuition.
Boards and Bikes offer sit-on-top kayaking hire, tuition and tours throughout the AONB
Coquet Shorebase Trust, Amble – offer sea kayak guiding and coaching around Coquet island and the coastal area as well as trips along the Coquet estuary.
Stand up paddle boards
Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Boarding is the fastest growing water sport in the world and the Northumberland coast is a superb place for this new and exhilarating activity.
The area has something to offer every SUP enthusiast with conditions to suit beginners and experts. With its open beaches, sheltered bays and flat-water rivers there is always somewhere to SUP that suits everyone’s ability.
KA Kitesurfing offer SUP hire and lessons
British Stand Up Paddle Association Website - provides useful advice