Northumberland coast bags two BBC Countryfile awards

The Northumberland coast has bagged two awards in a prestigious national competition.

Tuesday, 14th March 2017, 9:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd March 2017, 3:42 pm
Embleton Bay. Picture by Jane Coltman

The Northumberland coast was voted as the Holiday Destination of the Year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2017, while one of its beaches, Embleton Bay, won Beach of the Year after a public poll.

In her submission for the Northumberland coast, Anita Rani, BBC Countryfile presenter, said: "Oh, the beauty of this coast: fine sandy beaches arc along the North Sea; spectacular castles stand guard on the shoreline; natural glories, pretty villages and jolly pubs abound. Puffins and seals enthrall visitors on the Farne Islands, and frazzled urbanites unwind while inhaling the calming monastic airs of Lindisfarne. A magical mix of mystery and merriment."

Mull, in the Inner Hebrides, finished second to the Northumberland coast.

And one of Northumberland's beaches, Embleton Bay completed the impressive double, picking up the Beach of the Year gong.

Hermione Cockburn, BBC Coast presenter, who nominated the beaches, said: "Northumberland’s coast garners another endorsement with this win. Stretching for miles, this enormous sandy silver beach is dominated by the epic ruins of 14th-century Dunstanburgh castle on its southern tip. Fringed by dunes, with ample birdwatching opportunities, the bay is perfect for family outings or long walks."

Second in the beach category was Balephuil Bay on Tiree in the Inner Hebrides.

The Farnes Islands were shortlisted for Nature Reserve of the Year but was pipped into second place by Abernethy Forest.

Brett Westwood, naturalist and BBC Radio 4 presenter, who selected the nature reserves, said: "The Farne Islands offers the closest seabird encounters you’ll ever have. Go in early summer when chick-rearing is at its fast and furious best and revel in the sights and sounds.”