A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast

This post features a press stay at the Seaton Inn Lane. All other costs were covered by ourselves. I have not been paid to write this post and the Inn Collection have had no editorial control.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast


It's no secret that I love our beaches here in Northumberland. They go on forever, are beautiful and sandy and are always so quiet and peaceful. Because of this, I've never really had any inclination to explore any of the other beaches in our region and just preferred to visit my same old favourites again and again.


A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaham Hall Beach
Seaham Hall Beach

You might have heard that I'm a #Durham19 ambassador this year and this is a role I take very seriously. I'm on a mission to share all that County Durham has to offer so on a sunny bank holiday weekend we decided to take a trip along to Seaham and discover the heritage coastline here. It's really not far from my home in Northumberland - maybe around a 30-minute drive from our house and Seaham has it's own train station and is served by buses from Durham too.

Durham's Heritage Coastline runs from Sunderland to Hartlepool. With dramatic landscapes celebrating the region's industrial past, the coastline here is very different from the beaches I am used to in Northumberland and I can't believe there are only 20-30 miles between the two as the landscapes couldn't be more different.

An Afternoon at Seaham Hall Beach 


We parked our car in a car park on the seafront (just past Seaham Hall Beach Car Park - postcode SR7 7AF). Parking is free and plentiful with no restrictions on how long you stay. I honestly cannot remember the last time I visited a seaside town where this was the case. The sun was shining, the temperature was around 25 degrees and I was amazed that it wasn't busier. We found a parking space no bother - in comparison, if we'd have visited Whitley Bay up the road I know we would have struggled to find a space and would have been charged to park.



We walked along the seafront into town, stopped to pay our respects to Tommy (apologies - there were too many children around for me to take any photos) and then decided to stop for toasties and ice creams at Creams. It's a lovely little dog-friendly cafe and cheap as chips too. Our lunch including drinks was only £22 for the 5 of us.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - creams cafe seaham


The kids were itching to head to the beach and we almost stopped at Seaham Harbour beach which is small, shallow and perfect for toddlers, we decided to save that for another day though and found a nice spot along the Seaham Hall Beach which is much larger.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - seaham hall beach

Seaham Hall Beach is dog-friendly and although parts of it are sandy, it's pretty rocky underfoot. It's also one of the best beaches in the world for finding sea glass.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - walking along seaham prom


I've heard tales of people travelling all over the world to visit this beach and hunt for sea glass - there's an abundance available with each new tide thanks to Seaham being home to the UK's largest bottle works and dumping lots of glass in the sea here between 1850-1921. It's mad to think that the sea glass discovered here is over 100 years old. We're amateurs but the kids managed to find quite a bit and I was certainly amused watching the professionals with their rakes and collecting pouches following the tide out. Sea glass is commonly used for art, jewellery and interior design and no two pieces are the same.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - sea glass from seaham hall beach



We spent a good few hours at Seaham Hall Beach and we literally had to drag the kids away when it was time for tea. I liked this beach as I love watching happy dogs on the beach, the kids were entertained for hours with the task of collecting sea glass and skimming stones in the sea and it wasn't too busy so there was no stress of trying to keep an eye on the kids in a crowd.



An Evening at Seaton Lane Inn


We've stayed in a few Inn Collection Group pubs now and I love how you're always guaranteed the same warm welcome. The Seaton Lane Inn is less than 2 miles from Seaham Hall Beach and we were there in a matter of minutes. After an afternoon at the beach, a pint in the pub's small terraced area was more than welcome. After check-in and our quick drink, we headed straight to our rooms to shower and get rid of all the sand - we had appeared to have brought home the entire beach.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton lane inn conservatory


Family rooms sleep up to 4 here (so we had two rooms next to each other) with a double bed, bunks, desk area and en-suite. There was more than enough room and towels for us and our stay was more than comfortable. The kids loved the complimentary eye masks, free WiFi and Ringtons biscuits left for us on arrival. 

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seato Lane In Family Bedroom

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn double bed

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn eye mask

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn bunk beds

We were starving (what is about the sea air that does that to you?) so after our shower, headed straight down to the pub for dinner. The conservatory room here is absolutely stunning and such a lovely spot to relax and enjoy an evening together.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn conservatory

Starters of nachos and mushrooms went down a treat. I'd recommend ordering a couple of plates of nachos to share as the kids couldn't keep their mitts off mine. The toppings are served as a dip so perfect for fussy eaters.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn nachos

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn mushrooms starter

Kids meals were lovely and there were the usual options of fish and chips/pasta/pizza/burger etc... All served with a choice of veg/salad on the side for £6.95 with a drink.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn - kids pizza

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn - kids fish and chips

Steve asked for the pub's signature steak pie but it had been so busy that day that they'd ran out. I know that Steve was torn over ordering a steak - after such a good experience at Ramside Hall a few weeks ago, he didn't want to be disappointed. Nothing worse than a bad steak. In the end, he decided to risk it though and his gamble paid off. The steak was cooked perfectly to his liking with plenty of homemade chips, onion rings and a rich peppercorn sauce. I couldn't resist stealing a few chips - they were lush!

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn - steak and chips

I was intrigued by a particular salad on the menu. Parma Ham, Mozzarella and Orange. I wasn't sure about this combination of flavours but couldn't resist giving it a go. I was also delighted with my choice and it was, in fact, delicious and a nice change from Caprese Salad which is my usual go-to.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn - salad

The kids ordered desserts (which we ended up sharing) and they were gorgeous. I especially enjoyed the chocolate brownie which seemed to have a hint of cherry. I found the prices to be very reasonable considering the standard of food on offer and service was prompt, you can view their menu online here. The Seaton Lane Inn is a dog-friendly pub and worth a visit if you're with your four-legged friend.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn - cheesecake


After the best night's sleep, it was back in the beautiful conservatory for breakfast again. We could help ourselves to cereals, yoghurts, fruit juice, pastries and hot drinks and ordered cooked items from the menu. Breakfast was brought out quickly and there were certainly no complaints from us. Back to the room where the kids watched cartoons as Steve and I packed up for the second beach of the trip.


A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn - breakfast room

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Seaton Lane Inn - cereal




Exploring Blast Beach 


Blast Beach is a couple of miles from the Seaton Lane Inn and has a really interesting history. This stretch of the Durham Coastline was once home to the biggest coal mine in Europe and was one of the worst areas of coastline in the world with lots of pollution. Thanks to a massive clear-up job though, the vast majority of the waste has been removed and the area is now open to visitors to enjoy. The whole place does still feel very industrial and it's very different to the other beaches I've visited along the North East coast but it's also pretty special and unique and actually stunningly beautiful too. I've never visited a beach like it and can't believe it's on our doorstep. The kids have asked to return asap. 

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Blast Beach from above

Blast Beach is a dog-friendly beach with ample free parking at Nose's Point (postcode SR7 7PS). There are no facilities here that I could see so make sure you've popped to the loo and have packed a snack/drink before you set off.


You can turn right from the car park and walk right across the clifftop. The views are spectacular and I'm no plant expert but I believe there are some rare plants here too.




A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Blast Beach

Or turn left from the car park and walk down the path onto the beach. It looks pretty steep but it looks worse than it is. It would be fine for toddlers (if supervised) but I would say that trainers with a good grip are better than the sandals I was wearing.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Blast Beach path to beach

Harry couldn't be bothered to walk down (that's teens for you!) so he waited at the top. I almost waited with him but a dog-walker overheard us and urged us to go down saying it 'was mint' so off I went. Harry couldn't be persuaded though and I wasn't going to force the issue and have him moan the whole time. His loss though. 



There wasn't another soul down here and this was on Bank Holiday weekend! It is so peaceful here. Blast Beach is a shingle beach and isn't the kind of place you would go to sunbathe or build sandcastles but it offers something completely different so don't let that put you off.


I loved sitting on the grass on a raised ledge over the sea and just listening to the sound of the waves/taking it all in. Definitely a place of calm for me.


Steve and the kids ran off to explore the beach and discovered fossils, more sea glass and unique stones. If your kids are inquisitive, they could easily spend hours here hunting for treasure. Blast Beach is where the opening scene for Alien 3 was filmed and Steve said he could recognise it straight away.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Blast Beach shingle beach




A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast - Blast Beach sea glass



The climb back up to the top was fine but Jack (and I) did get a little nervous as Heidi decided to get a little too close to the edge for a better view.


A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast

If we'd had a little longer, we'd have continued along to Hawthorn Dene which is further along the cliff. Apparently, it's even more remote and also worth a trip but we'll save that for another day.

I'm always one to say I prefer sandy beaches to shingle ones and I just didn't think the beaches at Seaham would impress me but this couldn't be further from the truth. They're a real hidden gem and a trip here is perfect for families with kids of all ages and of course, perfect if you're looking for a dog-friendly beach too. The Seaton Inn Lane in the perfect place to rest your head after a day exploring or pop in for a dog-friendly meal or drink too.

Have you visited Durham's Heritage Coastline? Let me know if you fancy a trip. 


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3 comments

  1. That is so interesting about the sea glass, I never knew that was the place to go! Another gorgeous coastline here in North England. Blast beach looked lovely!

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  2. Both beaches look lovely, I have never been to either so will have to visit someday as the kids would love hunting for sea glass x

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  3. I love hunting for sea glass, it's always so pretty and fascinates me too. You found some fab spots, definitely going on my beach wishlist

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