Northumberland’s coast is the perfect place for a picturesque pint – and no matter whether you’re looking for a scenic snakebite by the seaside or a crafty half in one of the region’s many quaint and calm little villages, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.
Tourist traps like Alnwick, Berwick and Seahouses are all well equipped to serve up fresh pints of real ale to visiting parties, as the shores are swarmed with visitors making the most of the sunshine and sea breeze. But which are the most popular alehouses?
There’s no doubt that everyone has their own favourite home-from-home in the form of a pub or bar across Northumberland, whether that be a popular watering hole beloved by many, or a best-kept secret that only those in the know reap the benefits from.
We’ve put together a list of the best pubs across the coastal villages and towns of Northumberland – to perhaps give you a little bit of inspiration for your next travelling pint or two.
All of the following were ranked highest by Google reviewers at the time of writing.
The Red Lion Inn – 4.5 stars out of five based on 442 reviews
Stuart McCulloch, wrote: “Great little pub. Nice atmosphere. Dog friendly. Unfortunately no food when we were there but we’re advised on entering,” while Andrew, said: “Categorically one of my favourite places to enjoy a pint. Especially on a sunny day, enjoying the beer garden.
“If you’re lucky you’ll be able to get the far end of the beer garden with sea views but even without that you’re still enjoying the sun and the sea air.”
The Harbour Inn – 4.4 stars out of five based on 208 reviews
Daniel Hagin, said: “Called in for a few drinks and got a warm reception. Staff were so friendly and accommodating. Kids had chicken in a basket and it tasted awesome and the side of hot sauce was fab. Great place, will definitely come again.
“Adults just had beer and great selection for all tastes.”
The Castle Inn – 4.4 stars out of five based on 1,100 reviews
Robert Burley, said: “A really nice place for a drink or a meal. Very dog friendly with lots of space both inside and in the rear garden. We called in after a fascinating but exhausting walk around wonderful Bamburgh Castle.
“We needed a drink and this was the perfect spot. A warm welcome and quick and efficient staff with a good selection of beers made for a great lunch break.”
The Craster Arms – 4.3 stars out of five based on 1,400 reviews
Jessica Hollowell, said: “Visited this pub for dinner, had a lovely atmosphere with dogs welcome. The food is very reasonably priced for the huge portions! Overall lovely experience!” while Matt Thompson, added: “Lovely gastropub in rural Northumberland village, very quick service with the food arriving in 20 minutes for 8 people! Staff were also nice and friendly!”
Barn at Beal Restaurant & Campsite – 4.4 stars out of five based on 1,500 reviews
Claire, commented: “Had a light lunch here on our way back from the causeway linking Holy Island and the main land. There was parking outside the dining area but this didn’t impinge on the view.
“The tomato soup was, I am fairly sure, homemade and very tasty. The suroundings were lovely with views out over low lying ground to the sea.”
The Black Swan – 4.6 stars out of five based on 363 reviews
Anne Thompson, said: “Just been in to have a drink after our walk. Real friendly place. Ended up eating steak and ale pie with chips and peas. No frills, just great pub food and great staff – friendly and professional,” while Laney Williams, recommended: “Visited here in Feb 2023. Nice place had a few drinks.
“Bar staff and locals friendly plus the dog Dilly who made friends with me while I was there.”
Berwick upon Tweed
Brewers Arms – 4.5 stars out of five based on 1,100 reviews.
Stephen Pipe, wrote: “Cracking meals and Drinks in a nice setting, staff extremely helpful and friendly. Definitely dog Friendly. I’m fussy with standards, definitely worth the visit. Won’t find better value anywhere else,” while Steve Pullan, added: “Behind the amazing entrance is a spacious pub with nice decor, comfortable seating and beer garden. The staff are very welcoming and give friendly, efficient service.
“Both selection of beverages and food are very good, the meals are delicious and are so reasonably priced, well worth a visit or two.”
The Commissioners Quay Inn – 4.3 stars out of five based on 1,600 reviews
Em Robinson, penned: “Fabulous location by characterful Blyth port: I loved watching massive ships pass by so close to my balcony. Friendly and comfortable: a great place to stay,” while David Ramshaw, continued: “Nice pint of proper beer, comfy seats in an echoey barn of a room. May just have been where we sat causing that effect in large open space between sets of doors.”
Dunstanburgh Castle Hotel – 4.3 stars out of five based on 380 reviews
Deborah Turner, raved: “Marvellous place. Didn’t stay here but visited for Sunday lunch. Warm and cosy atmosphere, with friendly and helpful staff, the fire was kept well stoked. Beautiful decor and comfy seating at the tables, theres nothing worse than uncomfortable chairs. Dogs welcome and there was a comfy bed for them to snooze whilst you eat.
“Plenty of choice on the menu, I had roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with roasties and lots of veg, delicious and well presented, followed bu desert. The prices were very reasonable for the quality of food and the presentation. The front of house staff were all lovely and friendly. Going back later in the week for supper.”
The Brick Club – 4.3 stars out of five based on 24 reviews
Michelle McKay, said: “Lovely airy bar and lovely staff,” while Danny Hughes, went on: “Beautiful bar has everything you could wish for such as pool table, darts board numerous tvs with all the sports channels.”
The Crown and Anchor – 4.5 stars out of five based on 476 reviews
CM, wrote: “Absolutely tremendous. Best part was the hospitality, made to feel welcome by the owner and the staff in a place which is clearly well loved and looks after the locals and tourists alike. The food was outstanding, some of the best I’ve had in a pub/restaurant or anywhere.
“Great touch of keeping a table free for the four rooms each night for dinner if they wanted them, alongside all the other diners. 100% will go back.”
The Olde Ship Inn – 4.5 stars out of five based on 1,500 reviews
Janice Silverwood, commented: “Cant recommend this beautiful quirky pub enough not one thing bad to say. It is our favourite pub in Seahouses & we visit several times a year. Always have at least one meal food superb as is the service & staff.
“We came for the Sunday sleepover which includes dinner b&b fantastic value for money. The rooms are absolutely beautiful very clean nice selection of tea coffee biscuits & bottled water which were replaced Mon as we stayed a extra night. Definitely recommend a visit.”
Newbiggin by the Sea
Queens Head – 4.4 stars out of five based on 220 reviews
Luke Hume, wrote: “Best pub I’ve been in a while. Can’t fault the place, Great customer service. Great prices on beer and food. Do a lovely Sunday dinner also,” while Mark Chamberlain, said: “Nice pub, not the most exciting place but very friendly staff and locals. Excellent selection of beers and really good value too. Definitely worth a visit.”
Newton by the Sea
The Ship Inn – 4.5 stars out of five based on 1,700 reviews
Russ Lawson, wrote: “Great pub. This cosy pub has a great selection of pub snacks and locally brewed ale. Beer on choice was varied with mixture of light, pale and dark ales on offer.
“The food menu is limited but that means all food is top quality and fresh. Our party ordered a mixture of cheese toasties, goats cheese sandwich and local sourced crab sandwiches. All of which were impressive. The pub had plenty of outdoor space with stunning sea views.”
The King’s Arms – 4.5 stars out of five based on 1,100 reviews
Kevan Mitchinson, raved: “I first visited this pub age 16. Overlooking the sluice with a huge sandy beach stretching away into the distance it seemed to me quite exotic back then. Nowadays I appreciate it even more. Seaton Sluice is a gorgeous spot and so under rated, and this is an exceptional pub.”
Nicola Robson, echoed: “The views from pub are amazing, beautiful location, Well kept and full of character. Food was great. Well priced with friendly staff. I will be going back next time I’m there.”
Masons Arms – 4.6 stars out of five based on 1,100 reviews
Alan Carter, said: “What a great little pub, nestled away in the small Northumberland village of Warkworth. The food was tasty, prepared rapidly and with friendly staff who made our little one feel relaxed. Although we no longernown a dog, dogs are allowed and they do have a selection of dog treats on hand for free to keep your four legged friends content!
“Just bring in a dog blanket and they are allowed on the seats too.”
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