Cresswell Foreshore - Duncan Hutt

Cresswell Foreshore. Image by: Duncan Hutt.

An interesting site for its geology, Cresswell Foreshore is a large wave-cut platform with many shallow rockpools attracting varied marine wildlife and wading birds.


1.5km north of Cresswell Village

OS Map Reference

NZ 283 944
A static map of Cresswell Foreshore

Know before you go

32 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Local authority car park just north of the village.

Walking trails

The terrain is largely soft sand until the high tide mark is crossed, when the sand becomes firmer. From the main entrance, the paths are level, wide and firm. After the boat club, however, the path becomes soft sand which can be difficult for people with mobility problems. The entrance from the locked barrier is via a very narrow path which leads to soft sand. Finally, the entrance from Cresswell village is initially a wide, level surface which gives good views over the beach, but is then followed by 14 steep, concrete steps.


The main access to the reserve is from the public car park north of Cresswell Village. From the car park a locked barrier leads onto a broad track (a gap alongside the barrier, 80cm wide, gives pedestrian access). A smaller public car park about 800m further north also gives access via a narrow, grassy track. The foreshore can also be accessed from Cresswell Village itself. The path down to the beach is indicated by a large noticeboard opposite the public toilets. However, this requires descending 14 steep, concrete steps.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times


Best time to visit

Please check tide times – when tide is on its way out this reserve is at its best.

About the reserve

Acquired by Northumberland Wildlife Trust in 2006, the site extends up to the sand dunes and is used by a wide variety of wading birds, including turnstone, purple sandpiper, sanderling and ringed plover. The gently sloping sand is backed by extensive sand dunes and can seem to go on forever at low tide. Unspoilt Cresswell beach (one of the best on the Northumberland coast) has achieved a Quality Coast Award and is listed in the Good Beach Guide.

At low tide, rocky patches are exposed which offer some great rockpooling. Five species of crab have been recorded, including the porcelain crab, and both butterfish and shanny have also been seen. There is a good variety of seaweeds, including kelp and the pink, feathery coral weed.

There are public toilets and a shop in Cresswell Village.

Contact us

Northumberland Wildlife Trust
Contact number: (0191) 284 6884
Contact email:

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)