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Northumberland Kitesurf Guide

The coastline around the Northumberland area is stunning. It’s Englands big secret! The opportunities for kitesurfing here are awesome and, owing to the range of locations, there is nearly always somewhere to ride in whatever wind direction.

Blyth1. South Blyth – Large sandy beach just in between Seaton Sluice and Blyth town in Northumberland.

Wind Direction – The middle / south end of the beach works on a NNW to SSE wind with ESE being onshore.

Parking – There is a free car park running alongside the middle of the beach and another car park at the Seaton Sluice end.

Rigging / Launching – Just rig and launch on the beach. The spot is usually quiet and there is always plenty of beach, even at high tide due to the its steep shelving gradient.

Description – Whilst the beach is huge, kiting is best from the middle to the South end due to a number of pipes and groynes further north. The beach has a steep gradient, which causes the water to get deep quite quickly so not really a good spot for beginners. This beach also picks up plenty of waves and the shore break can be quite big on a large northerly swell. This spot is great for intermediates and wave riding enthusiasts, especially being so near to Newcastle. There are shops at either end of the bay for food / drinks and a great chippy at the North end.

Druridge2. Druridge Bay – Sandy 7 mile long beach just north of Lynemouth in Northumberland.

Wind Direction – The kitesurfing location is at the north end of the bay, which works in winds from NNE to SSW with ESE being onshore.

Parking – There is a road, which runs alongside the north end of Druridge Bay, which you can park alongside. Be careful not to park on the dune area itself as this is protected.

Rigging / Launching – There is little room for rigging, launching 2 hours either side of high tide as the high water mark runs right up to the sand dunes. At all other times there is plenty of space, just try to keep your equipment up the beach to leave room for the buggiers/landboarders that often ride here.

Description – A really beautiful beach that is often deserted. The beach is gentle shelving so relatively shallow for quite a way out and generally picks up less swell / waves than other spots. There is a reef 400-500m away from the launch spot that people need to be aware of. This becomes exposed at low tide. As previously mentioned, the spot is no good for kitesurfing 2 hours either side of high tide. There are no shops near by so make sure you bring food etc with you.

Beadnell3. Beadnell Bay – Sandy beach next to Beadnell village on the North East coast of Northumberland.

Wind Direction – The north end is the most popular and works on NNE to SSW wind with ESE being onshore. The south end at High Newton works on a NW to SE with NE being onshore.

Parking – There is parking at both the north and south end of the bay. Parking tickets are required. A 1-day ticket at the North end costs £2.

Rigging / Launching – The north end gets much busier during the summer than the south end. If using the north end, park in the car park and then walk 200m further down the beach to set up away from most of the tourist (and the harbour walls). Anywhere on the beach at the south end is fine although winds can be a bit shifty on a SE right in the corner due to high sand dunes running along the bay.

Description – Beadnell bay is a fantastic beach for kitesurfing and is the most popular spot for local kitesurfers on a S-SE wind. Nice large sandy horseshoe shaped beach working on a number of wind directions if both ends of the bay are used. There is a local shop for amenities as you enter the north end of the bay. There are 2 reefs at the north end that are exposed during low tide. These provide excellent flat water conditions as long as you don’t get too close to them! The beach works on all states of the tide although high tide can be pretty tight for setting up and launching right next to the sand dunes.

Budle4. Budle Bay – A tidal lagoon located just north of Bamburgh village in Northumberland.

Wind Direction – The launch spot of the lagoon faces due north and the outlet to the sea is relatively small meaning that westerly/easterly winds are cross-shore with northerly winds being directly onshore.

Parking – There is room for a few cars at the top of a small lane entering Budle Bay.

Rigging / Launching – Park at the top of the lane and walk 5 minutes down the track to Budle Bay. The best launch spot is to the right where the beach widens and the ground becomes sandy as opposed to small rocks.

Description – Budle Bay is a fantastic flat-water spot and works in a wind direction that would otherwise be offshore along most of the Northumberland coastline. The bay is tidal so only has enough water 2 hours either side of high tide. Caution needs to be taken as the tide goes out as strong currents can build. Budle Bay is only open to kitesurfing from the beginning of April until the end of October due to it being a nature reserve with a large migratory bird population during winter. Please abide by these rules. This is a remote spot with no shops etc nearby.

Bamburgh5. Bamburgh – A huge, sandy beach right in front of Bamburgh village and most famous for the amazing castle that sits right behind the beach. This really is a stunning location to kitesurf.

Wind Direction – The north end of Bamburgh beach works in NW to SE winds with NE being onshore.

Parking – There are a number of small car parks along the beach. Some have voluntary parking fees, some are ticket based and some are free.

Rigging / Launching – Just rig and launch on the beach. There is still some beach left at high tide. This spot is very popular with tourist so the beach can get quite busy in summer. However, the spot is huge so just go find yourself some space.

Description – A real favourite in the summer. Bamburgh beach can be kitesurfed in all states of the tide. There are rocks to the north and south of the beach but plenty of space in between. The spot also picks up a lot of the waves in a large northerly swell. There are plenty of shops and pubs for food in Bamburgh village.

Gullane6. Gullane – Sandy beach located near North Berwick, Scotland. Faces into the firth of forth estuary.

Wind Direction – Works in NE to SW winds although SW can be pretty gusty due to the large headland at the west end of the beach, westerly winds are great. NW winds are onshore.

Parking – There is a large car park at the top of the beach. Parking is free outside of summer, otherwise £2 for the day. Park here and walk for 5 minutes down to the beach.

Rigging / Launching – Set up on the beach. The beach gets very busy during the summer due to being so close to Edinburgh so kitesurfers tend to gather at the west end of the beach.

Description – This beach is a great alternative in westerly winds. The beach has a gentle gradient so relatively shallow. Being in the estuary, the water is also fairly flat. There is little beach left in a high tide so care must be taken when it is busy. This spot is very popular with kitesurfers and windsurfers from nearby Edinburgh. This spot not too far from the centre of Gullane if you need to get some food and there is an ice cream van at the car park during weekends in summer!

Many thanks to NEKitesurfing for this guide. They offer a range of IKO/BKSA kitesurf courses/lessons that provide the fundamental skills and knowledge required for beginners to progress to the next level of kitesurfing safely and proficiently and also provide powerkiting lessons. Visit their website at www.nekitesurfing.co.uk or contact James on 07971412058.

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