Visiting Historic Blyth
Situated approximately 13 miles NNE of the international airport at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the town of Blyth is a great place to go to establish a centrally located “home base” for visiting all that Northumberland has to offer. Once the property of the Radcliffe family i.e. the Earls of Derwentwater; the property was confiscated in 1715 as a result of the Jacobite uprising. Once famous for its large coal fired electric plant, this harbor town is now the home to wind turbines where people can see these green energy producing marvels in action up close and personal.
With one of the few ports where yachts can seek safety from the hard waters of the North Sea at almost any time, the Blyth harbor is home to the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club (RNYC). Berths are available at the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club for those that wish to visit Blyth by boat instead of by automobile. For those that are not traveling by boat, the RNYC can provide crewing and sailing, and power boating options for those that want to take to the water.
For the sports minded traveler or vacationer, the Blyth Sports Centre provides a wonderful array of venues for participating in swimming, squash, an outdoor skate park, fitness suite, sauna, and more. The Blyth Golf Club, located nearby at New Delaval, offers an 18 hole golf course (par 72) for those interested in taking in a round of golf.
A walk down Blyth’s beach and sandy dunes is a walk down Blyth’s largest and most naturally open spaces. Declared a Local Nature Reserve in 2003, this area is of interest for conservationists due to the notable and diverse range of butterflies, birds, moths, and plants. It is also one of only two coastal locations in the UK inhabited by both species of banded snails.
Local landmarks of interest are the High Light lighthouse, one of Blyth’s oldest structures at over 60 feet tall and the sculpture The Spirit of the Staithes standing at 50 feet high x 22 feet wide. The Spirit of the Staithes, representing Blyth’s long history with coal distribution (an industry in which Blyth was the largest exporter), was unveiled by Princess Anne in 2003.
Although located on the coast, the Northumberland National Park is within easy driving distance and offers those that wish to take in its scenic beauty spectacular views for those that want to take in a little hiking or cycling. Blyth, with a wonderful array of hotels, bed and breakfast’s, pubs, restaurants, and a new shopping centre make this a great place to call home while you travel through the Northumberland area.
This area, well know to have been populated during Roman times offers evidence of an old Roman camp nearby. With the priory church of St. Mary and St. Martin, part of a Benedictine monastery built in 1088; Blyth boasts some of the oldest Norman architecture in the area.