Other walks in Northumberland
Around Warkworth and Alnmouth
a beautiful beach walk, but watch out for
dangerous section

 
Warkworth and Alnmouth can be reached from the A 1068 coastal road. Once in Warkworth, cross the river bridge and almost immediately take the road signposted 'Beach' which after 1km will take you to a large car park and toilets. Walk down past the golf course and through the dunes to the beach. Now turn left and start to head for Alnmouth, which can just be seen in the distance. Straight away you'll see the large, concrete cubes lying along the sand. These are anti tank blocks and were probably placed further up the dunes but have tumbled down into the sand. The concrete has been reinforced with iron bars. The few remains of a sandbagged pillbox can be seen at NU 2564 0680, almost directly opposite the rusted outline of a ship which has ended up on the beach. These sandbags may well be washed away by the tides soon, but at the moment are still visible. Further along the beach at Nu 2549 0717 are slightly better preserved remains but only some walls and a few sandbags are left. The outer walls are a mixture of concrete and sandbags with the inner walls constructed of brick. Some sides are flat and others curved. Just 50 metres along the beach from here are even more scattered sandbags next to a very large, rusty metal buoy and yet more anti tank blocks.
       
 The rocky outcrop called Birling Carrs now comes into view and this can only be crossed on the beach path when the tide is low. It is dangerous to attempt to get over the rocks if there is a high tide and you must climb up to the dunes well before reaching the rocks. There may have been a pillbox on the south side of the Carr as there are remains of one at NU 2535 0776. The Birling Carr pillbox is on the northern side at NU 2530 0790.  You need to look up to the caravan site and there, perched high on the dunes is the box. Take care when climbing up. The box is built into the dune and has the number 499 written on the back wall. One large window faces the beach with a large concrete platform. It's difficult to see the exact shape as it's covered in sand and grass but just below it you can see the outline of a sandbagged concrete shelf that has been built to support the pillbox.
    Birling Carrs - below caravans
 Continue up the beach past a small stream which has a few concrete cubes nearby. Alnmouth is very close but it can only be reached at extreme low tide. There is a fast flowing river estuary between the path and the other beach and the water is very deep. It can be crossed safely (you'll have to paddle) when the tide is at it's lowest point, but you must wait until it is obviously safe to cross otherwise it is very dangerous. Once safely on the Alnmouth side of the estuary turn left along the road and then right, walking alongside the golfcourse and follow the steep footpath climbing up the hill. Soon you'll see 4 large concrete cubes which someone has turned into dice. These protect the entrance to Alnmouth Battery which is at NU 2512 1107.
 This artillery battery was originally built in 1881 by the Duke of Northumberland for the use of the Percy Artillery Volunteers to counter the threat of invasion from the French. An inscribed plaque on the front is difficult to read but commemorates the Duke's gift. The building is L shaped and has a small rectangular room and an ammunition store built below ground level. The turret was altered during the Second World War and a pillbox built. This Grade II listed building is well worth taking some time to explore.


 
 Walk back down the hill to the beach, and now a decision must be made about whether it is still safe to cross the estuary. If not, then walk through Alnmouth to the road bridge and cross the river here. Follow the cycle path going towards Warkworth until it is possible to turn back to the dunes. If the river has been safe to cross, turn right straight away and head for St. Cuthbert's Cross on the hill.  On the way to it there is a large concrete block which could well be another pillbox - it's at NU 2470 1012 and overlooks the boats in the estuary basin. Climb up to the cross and there, completely buried in the dune is a pillbox at NU 2458 1005. Only the top is visible, but it's worth sitting here for a while and enjoying the view. The path now goes back to Warkworth along the dunes. One more pillbox can be seen on the journey out of Warkworth and it is certainly worth a look. Drive back across the river bridge and head out of town, up the hill past the castle. Do not take the road to Amble, but carry on round the corner until the road on the left, signposted Togsten. About a mile down this road is an unusual box built of stone and looking like a farm building. It's on the right hand side against the wall.

 Warkworth  Castle
 Alnmouth