Keyhole Cottage, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

Keyhole Cottage, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

What’s Keyhole Cottage like?

This recently restored stone cottage is just moments from the sandy beach of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea on the Northumberland Coast. The two-bedroom property has a real artsy vibe and sleeps up to four people. Newcastle-upon-Tyne is approximately a 25-minute drive away.

How dog-friendly is Keyhole Cottage?

It’s like a home from home. Throws are provided for the beds and sofas and there are also dog beds, bowls and towels for guests to use. Visiting pets can help themselves to the stash of balls, toys and treats, which are regularly restocked. There are even coats and jumpers to borrow, as well as things like doggy shampoo and collar tags featuring Keyhole Cottage’s address. Outside, there is a rear enclosed courtyard and a gated front garden – although this is not secure. Up to two dogs are welcome to stay at a time, free of charge.

Lounge at Keyhole Cottage, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

Tell me more about Keyhole Cottage

This quirky two-bedroom cottage has a real homely vibe and is packed full of cool little touches, pops of colour and local artwork. Access is via the covered rear courtyard, which – with its patio furniture and range of plants – is a fantastic place to relax. It’s also a real sun trap. You park right outside the cottage’s funky blue gates and enter through the well-equipped kitchen-diner with its eye-catching mosaic floor tiles. This leads in to the spacious lounge at the front of the property where you’ll find two comfy sofas, retro furniture, a cosy electric fire and a collection of books, DVDs, games and vinyl to keep you entertained.

Upstairs, you’ll find the huge master bedroom and a separate twin room, both of which are simply decorated but have a retro luxe vibe. The cool green and pink bathroom comes complete with a green rolltop tub and lovely shower, as well as complimentary toiletries such as Northumbrian goat’s milk soap. The cottage has an eclectic range of wall art and decoration, utilising everything from maps to tapestries to posters for local attractions. Children are welcome to stay, but must be over the age of seven.

Kitchen at Keyhole Cottage, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

What’s the food like at Keyhole Cottage?

This is a self-catering property so you’ll need to bring your own, but a good few essentials are provided to get your holiday started. Owner Angie left us some eggs, milk, a great selection of locally-produced tea and coffee, Newbiggin jam, some Tunnock’s teacakes and a can of craft beer. We had also been provided with enough gin, whisky and sherry to enjoy a few tots, which was much appreciated! The main street in Newbiggin has an independent butchers, bakers and a decent Co-op but bigger supermarkets can be found in nearby Ashington.

If you don’t fancy cooking, you certainly won’t starve in Newbiggin. The Artisan Tea Room serves lovely cakes and lunches and the Seaglass Eatery on the promenade does excellent stotties – the Northumbrian version of a sandwich. Both cafes are dog-friendly and hold regular supper club evenings. Ladhar’s Fish Bar also comes highly recommended and the majority of pubs in town are pet-friendly. These include The Ink Spot – a dinky craft ale bar run by cottage owner Angie. It doesn’t do food but is well worth checking out if you’re a beer lover.

Are there resident dogs at Keyhole Cottage?

No, but if you’re lucky you might get to meet Angie’s staffie, Tia. You will also bump in to lots of dogs down on the beach and prom.

Ernie and Stan enjoy Newbiggin beach with The Couple statue in the background

Where are the best dog walks near Keyhole Cottage?

Stay here and you’re just moments from the beach. Once Ernie and Stan realised this, it literally took us less than a minute to get down on to the sand! There are seasonal dog restrictions on North Beach – the main section of sand in Newbiggin – but dogs are allowed on quieter South Beach all year round. To get there, just head to the promenade and turn right. Newbiggin Bay is also home to a pod of dolphins, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for them.

Art lovers should look out for the stone carvings, ceramics and mosaics dotted around town, too. These form part of the Newbiggin Art Trail and many were created by locals. The trail, which takes around two hours to walk, covers over 50 installations. The most famous is The Couple by Sean Henry, which has been looking out over the bay since 2008. Queen Elizabeth II Country Park, on the way to Ashington, is also worth a visit for the lakeside walks alone.

Quirky covered yard at Keyhole Cottage, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

What Ernie and Stan loved about Keyhole Cottage

Being so close to the beach, the warm doggy welcome, having so much space to spread out in

What I loved about Keyhole Cottage

The quirky decor, the location, the fact the cottage felt like a real home from home

How to book Keyhole Cottage

Stays start from £90 per night, plus a cleaning and service fee. There is a two-night minimum stay. For more information or to book, check out the Keyhole Cottage listing on Airbnb.

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