Travelling around Seahouses
The Northumberland coast is an area of outstanding natural beauty – think remote craggy cliff edges and little-visited beaches. The popular coastal town of Seahouses is a colourful fishing village with a natural harbour and a warren of independent cafes and gift shops to explore.
The unspoilt landscape is the biggest lure of Seahouses. People come to gaze out at the vast, windswept North Sea, but there’s plenty more to do besides. Think boat trips to the fascinating remote islands and historical exploration in the area’s heritage tours, as well as horse-riding sessions along the beach and cosy pubs to visit when you want to escape a grey day.
Seahouses is famous for the story of Grace Darling, who was the daughter of the lighthouse keeper at the Longstone Lighthouse in the Farne Islands. In the early hours of 7 September 1838, Grace, looking from an upstairs window of the lighthouse, spotted the wreck and survivors of the ‘Forfarshire’ on Big Harcar, a nearby low rocky island. The Forfarshire had foundered on the rocks and broken in half: one of the halves had then sunk during the night.
Grace and her father William determined that the weather was too rough for the lifeboat to put out from Seahouses (then North Sunderland), so they took a rowing boat (a 21 ft, 4-man Northumberland coble) across to the survivors, taking a long route that kept them to the lee side of the islands, a distance of nearly a mile. Grace kept the coble steady in the water while her father helped four men and the lone surviving woman, Mrs Dawson, into the boat. Although she survived the sinking, Mrs Dawson had lost her two young children during the night. William and three of the rescued men then rowed the boat back to the lighthouse. Grace remained at the lighthouse while William and three of the rescued crew members rowed back and recovered four more survivors.