Amble and Alnmouth
the Warkworth road there is a striking view of this small red-roofed town
piled beside the estuary where the Aln flows into the North Sea. Once
an important grain-shipping port (and reputedly a smugglers haven) it
is now a holiday resort with yachting, good sands both North and South
of the oldest golf courses in England. A pleasant walk along the sands
leads 3 miles to Warkworth past a pile of rocks called Birling Carrs.
The National Trust is in charge of 1,400 acres of coast between Seahouses
and Druridge Bay. Some of the granaries have been converted to houses.
In a terrible storm on Christmas Day 1806, the crashing seas broke through
the North East bank of the river and the Aln changed course, pouring into
the sea through the new opening on the North side of Church Hill. The
harbour was left on the south side where it gradually silted up. Church
Hill is the site of an Anglo-Saxon church and the ruins of the later Norman
church were finally destroyed by the 1806 gale. Alnmouth is the probable
site of the great Synod of 684 in which Cuthbert was chosen Bishop of
Lindisfarne. The little town witnessed several naval encounters in the
18th century war with France and in 1779 it was itself bombarded. The
American John Paul Jones, who had been cruising along the coast, fired
a cannon at the old church. He missed, and the cannon ball weighing 68
lbs., hit the ground, bounced three times and crashed into the end of
a farmhouse. Beacon Hill north of the town is an ancient British camp.
stands at the mouth of the River Coquet, owed its rapid development to
the coal trade, but is of ancient origin as a township. There is
evidence of prehistoric burial grounds on the links, and at Gloster Hill
there are signs that Romans once lived there. IN 1090, the priory
of Tynemouth was endowed with the tithes of Amble, and a Benedictine monastery
grew up there.
that has long since disappeared and coal, not religion, came to
dominate the town. The harbour was built in the mid-19th century
and by 1900, the town was handling over 7,000 vessels a year. Today, Amble
is Northumberland's most important fishing centre north of the Tyne, and
leisure sailing has also become important. Amble Marina accommodates
200 yachts and motor cruisers. Trips around Coquet Island operate
from Amble between May and June. Although landings on the island
are not permitted, the trip is a must for any visitor to the town.
South of Amble is Druridge Bay, the southernmost part of Northumberland's