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Boulmer beach - - 1716340.jpg
Boulmer beach
Boulmer is located in Northumberland
 Boulmer shown within Northumberland
OS grid reference NU265145
Unitary authority Northumberland
Ceremonial county Northumberland
Region North East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ALNWICK
Postcode district NE66
Dialling code 01665
Police Northumbria
Fire Northumberland
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament Berwick-upon-Tweed
List of places

Coordinates: 55°25′26″N 1°34′59″W / 55.424°N 1.583°W / 55.424; -1.583

Boulmer /ˈbmər/ is a village in Northumberland, in England on the North Sea coast to the east of Alnwick. It is home to RAF Boulmer, one of the main search and rescue helicopter bases in the northeast of England. Boulmer has an independent volunteer lifeboat station.[1]

Origin of the name[edit]

The name Boulmer, pronounced 'Boomer', is a derivation of Bulemer, from the old English bulan-mere (bulls mere).


Boulmer was notorious for its smuggling activities, much of which was centred on the Fishing Boat Inn. In the 18th century one of the most well-known smugglers was King of the Gypsies, William Faa, who lived some miles away in the remote Scottish village of Kirk Yetholm. During the 18th and 19th centuries the village was the smuggling capital of Northumberland.[citation needed]

A major change was the arrival of the Royal Air Force during the World War 2. Otherwise, Boulmer has changed little in over 100 years and is one of the few true traditional fishing villages left on the Northumberland coast.


The village consists of a row of cottages and the pub. Set within a natural haven, in a gap through an almost complete band of rock, Boulmer has no harbour.


Hauled-up fishing boat and lobster pots

Traditional blue fishing cobles are hauled ashore or moored in the water. The main catch is crab, lobster and sea salmon.

Filming location[edit]

During the spring and summer months of 2004, much of the filming for the comedy-drama TV series Distant Shores was carried out at various locations along the Northumberland Coast. Boulmer is featured in many scenes, including Hildasay Ferry and various settings depicted both inside and outside the cottages, including the beach and sand dunes, and the nearby countryside where the fictional new doctor's surgery was built.


Boulmer is in the parliamentary constituency of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]