Designated: April 1992
A bright, wild, lonely coast stretching from the Scottish border in the north to the sand dunes of Druridge Bay in the south, sweeping along some of Britain's finest beaches including Ross Bank Sands and Newton Links.
In places, the coastline is broken by the thrusting black basalt of the Whin Sill. Its ancient rocks, meeting the sea in low headland and rocky havens, give a dramatic setting to Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh Castles, and shelter fishing ports such as Craster. North of the fortress town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, high sheer cliffs march to the Scottish border.
Offshore are the rocky islets and stacks of the Farne Islands, a major National Trust reserve, where grey seals bask and puffins and kittiwakes jostle on the cliffs.
Rare birds also winter on the dunes and gleaming tidal mud flats of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve. Historic Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, is cut off daily as tides race over the flats.
The impacts of tourism are growing on the coast, and there is a need to safeguard its fine scenery and quiet, almost isolated character.