Travel: Duneside House, Northumberland - our holiday to the perfect Beadnell beach property

This is a new destination for Crabtree & Crabtree’s books
Duneside exterior Pic: Tracey BloxhamDuneside exterior Pic: Tracey Bloxham
Duneside exterior Pic: Tracey Bloxham

It’s safe to say that Northumberland doesn’t scrimp on sand.

Some of their beaches go on for what seems like an eternity. I’ve never walked along a stretch like the one that runs from Beadnell to Seahouses.

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It’s so peaceful when there’s so much to spare. To misquote The Stranglers, you can walk on the beaches without looking at any peaches. Or at least, not very many, and half of them are furry and belong to dogs.

Duneside House's open plan living space Pic: Tracey BloxhamDuneside House's open plan living space Pic: Tracey Bloxham
Duneside House's open plan living space Pic: Tracey Bloxham

The perfect base to explore this part of the world has to be Duneside House in Beadnell. It’s just been added to holiday home rental company Crabtree & Crabtree’s curated property portfolio, which is an excellent endorsement in itself

The detached two-storey property sleeps eight people, so the two of us were happily rattling around, like mice in a mansion.

The space felt very contemporary in appropriately coastal whites and blues, with the biggest collection of paperbacks and cookbooks I’ve seen.

The downstairs is almost entirely open plan, apart from the porch and shower room, and has byfold doors onto the enclosed garden. It also boasts three huge comfy sofas and a dining area with a wooden table to sit ten. I’d want to come here in the winter too, purely to have a shot of the wood-burning stove.

Duneside's kitchen area Pic: Tracey BloxhamDuneside's kitchen area Pic: Tracey Bloxham
Duneside's kitchen area Pic: Tracey Bloxham

The kitchen has a bar seating area and is so well equipped, there’s even a bread maker and an instant water boiling tap. You could host a soiree and invite everyone including your most distant cousins.

Upstairs, there’s a room with a trio of single beds to suit triplets, blind mice or bears, plus a double, a family room (one king-sized bed and a single) and a double en-suite.

We spend a lot of time snoozing, since we’re enjoying the comfort and silence, which is only broken by the kerfuffle from local swallows.

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The property is also a shell's throw from the two-mile-long and horse-shoe-shaped Beadnell Bay.

Dining table at Duneside Pic: Tracey BloxhamDining table at Duneside Pic: Tracey Bloxham
Dining table at Duneside Pic: Tracey Bloxham

You can explore the harbour that’s topped with empty creels and the cavernous 18th century Beadnell Limekilns, owned by the National Trust.

In the water, there are yachts named Bounce and Banjo, alongside kite surfers doing their thing.

You’re never too far from the Mr Whippy van, which is parked in the car park, near the popular cocktail bar and restaurant, The Landing. For something more substantial, in the older part of the village, there are other places, like The Craster Arms, near St Ebba’s Church, or the slightly more upmarket Beadnell Towers.

Inspired by one of the guest book recommendations, we took that hour-long walk to Seahouses, where you can play fish and chips roulette.

There are too many of these purveyors to choose from and there’s also the original home of kippers, Swallow Fish.

After lunch, if you can stomach a boat tour out to Farne Island to see the puffins, you’ve earned your sea legs.

We did something less challenging and visited The Alnwick Garden, which is like a modern version of the ones at Versailles, with dancing fountains and swings among a cherry blossom orchard.

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In these recently revived grounds, they also have the less romantic Poison Garden, with a skull and crossbones on its gates. There are regular tours round this attraction, and you can learn more about familiar plants, like the laburnum, cuckoo’s pint, nettles or cannabis, but also common rue, which can cause third degree burns.

We were most scared of the deadly ricin, which is produced by the castor oil plant. It was used to assassinate Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in 1978, when a poisoned pellet was fired into his leg from an adapted umbrella. Anyway, the talk is fascinating and I remind myself to wear thick gardening gloves next time I’m doing any pruning.

As well as beaches and gardens, Northumberland has castles galore. We snubbed Alnwick and Dunstanburgh in favour of Bamburgh, which is dramatically perched on a promontory.

Although its earliest recorded history dates back to AD547, industrialist William George Armstrong bought it in 1894 and stuffed it with treasures.

The armoury is probably more typical of this style of building, but I enjoyed the ceramics, and oil portraits of residents past. There’s also an opportunity to check out the old dungeon and the scullery, either of which I’d be relegated to, back in the day.

Anyway, even their grand kitchen can’t measure up to the one at Duneside.

It’s our own castle for the weekend.

7 nights at Duneside House, Beadnell, Northumberland (sleeps 8) available through Crabtree & Crabtree from £1,646. 3 nights from £1,316. To book visit or call 01573 226711

Adult admission to The Alnwick Garden is £18, see

Adult admission to Bamburgh Castle is £15.50 see



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