Part 2 of “Traveling to Seaham for Sea Glass”
I’ll start by explaining the best way to get from London to Seaham, England, then move on to places to stay and eat once in Seaham. Part 3 of the Series “Traveling to Seaham for Sea Glass” will go over exactly where to search for sea glass on Seaham Beach.
How to Get From London to Seaham, England
I flew Virgin Atlantic from Orlando, Florida into Gatwick Airport. See my previous Part 1 blog, “Best Way to Get from Gatwick to London”.
I finished that blog at Kings Cross National Railway Station in London, so let’s pick up where I hopped on the train to Newcastle with a pre-purchased ticket for the Quiet Car. That is by far the best way to travel as long as you don’t have children with you, or a chatty traveling companion. The ride is about 3.5 hours with minimal stops. I think my train had 3 stops before getting off at Newcastle Station. There was a pudding trolley for any concerned, and they had a fair selection of drinks and snacks. But I always bring my own just in case.
Newcastle Train Station
This station is small with only about 8 tracks, but be careful which end of the track you stand. Sometimes one platform can have two numbers, one at one end of the platform and a different number at the other end. This works well for short trains. When you get off at Newcastle, you have to head to the main area where the shops are to find the schedule board. You can’t miss it because regardless of which track you come in on, because you can see the coffee shop and other stores at one side of the station.
The main schedule board is there. Once you find the destination of your next train, you’ll see what track to go to. Always make sure that you know the destination of the train, because it will show on the very front of the train, so you can see it as it comes into the station. The tracks at the far end of the station require you to cross a tall bridge over the other tracks.
Traveling by Train
I used a handy app called Trainline to track all my travels by train. I booked my ticket with them, so when I downloaded the app and logged in, all my information was there. It shows you the destination and all the stops in between including where you get off plus the wait times in between trains. It even shows a little dot for where the train currently is.
The local trains will be much shorter (mine was only two cars) and typically the conductor will get out and open the doors for you. They can be crowded, so you may not get a seat. Make sure you always keep your ticket handy for them to punch. You will also need it to get out of most of the stations.
The trains there can be tricky with regard to opening doors. First of all, for those of you traveling from the U.S., not all doors open automatically. Many trains and subways require you to press a button to open the door to your car. This particular train required one to open the window that was on the door, reach out and pull open the latch from the outside. Our latch didn’t work, so we all had to trot over to the other door which someone kindly opened from the outside.
The train to Seaham was only two or three stops. Seaham station is tiny, and has two platforms, one for either direction. We were able to easily walk to our Airbnb from the station, which only took about 10 minutes.
Where to Stay in Seaham (County Durham)
We used Airbnb to book an apartment that my cousin had stayed at previously. The owner’s name is Nina and she is wonderful to work with. Her place was just perfect for what we needed, and located right on Church Street where you can easily walk to the Hat & Feathers Pub, the grocery store ASDA, and the beach!
Nina’s Airbnb had 3 bedrooms and one bathroom and a large living room. The kitchen was well-equipped and we were able to cook all our meals there without issues. The beds are incredibly comfortable and the bathroom was large. We will definitely stay there again.
Since writing this article, there have been some additional Airbnbs which have opened up in Seaham, some of which are closer to the beach. However, they are much more expensive. Nina’s may be a little farther from the beach (about 1 mile – 1.6km), but the price is right and it’s closer to the shopping and pub.
Where to Eat in Seaham
The Black Truffle
We had coffee and cake several times at The Black Truffle. Not only is the building a historic landmark, and quite beautiful, but it’s right along the main street overlooking the sea and was a perfect stop on the walk back from the beach. The people there are friendly, and I find myself still thinking about their Pistachio Lime Cake since I’ve gotten back. It was one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten!
Another of our favorite’s was Tonia’s. Her place is right at the top of the stairs at the far end of the parking lot along the main entrance to Seaham Beach. It was the first place we went to every day after hunting for sea glass. Their lattes were warm and tasty and we also enjoyed their scones with cream and strawberry jam. One day was a little warm so I tried their mint chocolate chip ice cream and it was fantastic!! One of the best I’ve ever had. Tonia was a great help in giving us directions to local sea glass artisans and was a delight to talk to.
Hat and Feathers Pub
I find myself saying this a lot, but I had another of the best meals ever…at The Hat & Feathers Pub. If you go on “Curry Night”, which is Thursday night, you can get a cocktail included in the price of the special which is an absolutely fabulous curry! They had several different kinds of curry, including an excellent vegetarian option. Their naan bread was well cooked and the drinks were spot-on. We enjoyed chatting with the bartenders who were patient in explaining all the local brews. At the time we were there, they had Strongbow Dark Fruit Cider on tap. Once I tried that, it’s all I drank for the whole week. If you are a fan of hard cider, I highly recommend it. I purchased a glass and now keep my sea glass in it.
Grocery Shopping in Seaham
Lastly, you’ll need to go to ASDA, the very large grocery store right on the main street that goes along the beach, on the south side of town. They had everything we needed, the prices were very reasonable and it was only a short walk from Nina’s flat. There are some other fruit and vegetable stands on the shopping street (which is a walking street down through the middle of town), however, ASDA is the place for all other groceries. It’s attached to a small indoor shopping center which has clothes and other items.
Seaham is a very small, quiet town which we found to be quite charming with very friendly locals. We thoroughly enjoyed staying in town and I recommend that anyone planning a trip to Seaham for sea glass hunting stay close by and walk around in the evenings. It was very relaxing.