Recently revamped by Auberge Resorts, this hip hideaway is looking better than ever. Perched on a rocky outcrop presiding over two rub-your-eyes-they’re-so-bright beaches, this sun-drenched pocket of paradise ticks all Brides’ boxes: roomy interiors with a dapper retro vibe, an exquisite spa specialising in treatments using local ingredients such as rum and bananas, and a deliciously zesty menu in its restaurant overlooking Meads Bay (red snapper ceviche and squid ink garganelli, courtesy of Michelin-starred chef Jeremy Bearman).

With its fashion-shoot backdrops and cool country club feel, it’s got beauty and buzz.


They were eventually taken to South Shields but a further nine were left stranded on the Big Harcar, waiting for daylight and rescue. At 0700 hrs, Grace Darling and her father, the lighthouse keepers on Longstone, saw three or four men on the rocks and decided to launch their rowing boat to try to rescue them. By this time the tide had dropped, which made access to the Harcar slightly easier. On arriving at the rock they found eight men and one woman clinging to life, but because of the size of their boat, they could only take the woman and four men back to the lighthouse. Two of the men bravely agreed to return with William Darling and between them they rescued the others. Meanwhile, North Sunderland lifeboat coxswain William Robson had been informed about the wreck of the steamer and decided to launch a local coble instead of the lifeboat, because he considered it would be better suited to getting close in amongst the rocks. He was, however, oblivious of the courageous rescue by William Darling and his daughter. Six local men – Thomas Cuthbertson, William Swan, James Robson, Michael Robson, Robert Knox and the lighthouse keeper’s son, William Darling – bravely set out into the storm from North Sunderland harbour for the Longstone. In those days, of course, the boat had to be rowed. On reaching the Harcar Rock, they found that all had been rescued, but they picked up three dead bodies, a man and two children, which they placed higher up on the island and then made their way to the Longstone Lighthouse as the sea state made it impossible to return to North Sunderland.

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