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Hello, Arselings! If you wanted to visit the Icelandic beach where Uthred, Helig, and Finan were trying to escape Sverri’s slavery, you only need to visit Blast Beach on the Durham Heritage Coast.
Despite the Netflix Last Kingdom series being based almost entirely in England, there aren’t that many UK filming locations at all. In fact, most of the show is filmed in Hungary.
Blast Beach was chosen by the production team as it has black sand and lots of blood-red deposits by the cliffs that made it look like a volcanic beach.
Many call this area of the coast an ‘alien beach’ as it used to be one of the largest coal mines in Europe and one of the worst polluted chemical beaches in the world!
Here is a complete guide on how to visit the Blast Beach Last Kingdom filming location on the Durham Heritage Coast.
Blast Beach history – an alien beach?!
Blast Beach or Dawdon Beach didn’t always look this pretty on the coastline and couldn’t be enjoyed as a tourist attraction like it is today.
In fact, it used to be the location of the largest Coal Mine in all of Europe. The name Blast Beach derives from the blasts of the furnaces that used to line the area of Nose’s Point.
This area of the Durham Heritage Coast used to be the location where tonnes of colliery and chemical waste were dumped. It was some of the worst coastline pollution found in the entire world!
It got the nickname of ‘alien beach’ as the toxic chemicals left here created other-worldly colourful pools that could be seen from the cliffs above. You can still see one blood-red pool today.
Once the coal mine was closed, a huge clean-up project took place and this area was then owned and protected by the National Trust.
Now, it is a beautiful beach on the coastline that everyone can enjoy on the Durham Heritage Coast!
Blast Beach Last Kingdom filming location
Fans of Netflix’s Last Kingdom series may recognise Blast Beach as a filming location from season 2.
Indeed, this location was chosen as the Icelandic beach where Uthred, Finan, and Helig try to escape Sverri’s slavery!
This is one of the only Last Kingdom filming locations in the UK despite the series being based in Saxon England. The majority of this series is filmed in Hungary using specially made sets.
The production team picked this beach as it had black sand and blood-red pools that gave the illusion of it being a volcanic beach.
How to Visit Blast Beach on the Durham Heritage Coast
So, if you wanted to visit the Blast Beach Last Kingdom filming location for yourself, you only need to head to the Durham Heritage Coast!
Blast Beach is around a 25-30 minute drive from Durham so it’s easily accessible if you were spending a few days in the city.
The nearest town to Blast Beach is Seaham which is a popular seaside resort. Nose’s Point is around 2 miles from Seaham on the A19 road.
You can either drive here or you can visit as part of an extended hike along the Durham Heritage Coast!
Blast Beach postcode is SR7 7PS. Click here for a Google Pin!
Blast Beach parking
There is plenty of free parking available on Nose’s Point that you can use to visit Blast Beach.
It’s accessible down a single-track road and the parking area right at the end will be closest to the pathway leading down to the sea.
This is the perfect place to park for the entire day if you were going to be exploring the Durham Heritage Coast. There are plenty of walking routes you can take in this area.
All the coastline is protected by the National Trust so the trails are well maintained and so you can easily head down to Nose’s Point!
How to get to Blast Beach
Okay, so once you’ve parked up at Nose’s Point the hardest part is working out how to get to Blast Beach below.
The parking area is on top of the cliffs so it does look like it’s impossible to head down to the beach.
But, there are two options that you can use to get down to the beach below and visit the Last Kingdom filming location!
Option 1 – Walk down the steep pathway nearest the car park
The easiest option, in my opinion, is to walk down the steep pathway that is nearest to the car park.
So, from the parking area, head forward towards the cliffs. You’ll see an old stone building which acted as a lookout point.
From there, you’ll see a steep pathway that leads all the way down to the beach. It’s made of gravel and is uneven, so make sure you have a good pair of shoes on for the steep hike down.
I was a little dubious at first but, as long as you take your time, you should be okay and it leads all the way down to the coastline.
Option 2 – Take the steep stairs down the coastline near Nose’s Point
If you didn’t want to risk the steep slope down, there is an alternative route that requires you to head towards Nose’s Point.
If you walk along the National Trust pathway on the clifftop, you’ll eventually find a series of steep steps that lead all the way down to the beach.
I was going to take this route down but a local told me that both routes down to Blast Beach are as bad as each other. So, I decided to go down the steep slope as it would be the quickest.
Blast Beach Last Kingdom Filming locations you can visit!
Once you’ve finally made it onto the beach, you can then explore and find some of the Last Kingdom filming locations here.
In Last Kingdom series 2 episode 3, Uthred was captured as a slave on Sverri’s slaver’s boat and they land in Iceland.
They are working in the woodland with a guard called Hakka. Hakka accidentally chop Helig’s rope while he’s cutting down a tree and then Uthred, Finan, and Helig seize the opportunity to make their escape.
1. The rushes where Uthred, Finan and Halig run out of on the beach
So, once Uthred, Helig, and Finan escape Hakka they then run through some rushes and head onto Blast Beach!
If you can believe it, the woodlands in the previous scenes where they were fighting the guards were actually in Hungary.
It’s amazing how the production team made the transition between the two locations so seamless.
After they escape the woodlands, they then run onto the beach. They keep running with the angry guards and hounds on their tails. Trying to recapture them.
You can find these rushes on Blast Beach by the cliffs.
2. The beach where Uthred tries to escape in the boat
Despite the guards chasing them, Uthred, Helig and Finan continue running on the beach.
Thankfully, they come upon a small boat and try to drag it out to the ocean to make their escape.
Before they can drag the boat out to the sea, an archer takes aim and injures Helig in the leg and he falls.
Uthred is instantly by his side trying to help him while Finan continues to drag the boat out to sea. But, it’s too late and they are all recaptured on the slaver’s boat.
You can find this location near the end of the beach by Nose’s Point. Just continue walking along the coastline until you reach a pointed standalone rock. The boat was placed near there.
Exploring Blast Beach & Nose’s Point
So, beyond the Last Kingdom filming locations found here, Blast Beach is a beautiful place to visit and there is lots to see here.
Blast Beach is one of the best places to see wildflowers in the meadows. You can usually see devil’s-bit scabious, bloody cranesbill, or dyer’s greenweed growing here in summer.
There are also lots of birds and wildlife to spot from the cliffs. Grasshopper warblers are a common sight.
Many people today call this an ‘alien beach’ as you’ll find blood-red pools hidden away by the bottom of the cliffs.
This is some of the last remaining colliery chemical waste to be found here. It’s quite fascinating to look at but equal parts disturbing. You can check it out but don’t touch it as it could be harmful.
You can also make your way up the stairs at the end of the beach and head around to Nose’s Point. Then, make your way back to the car park along the clifftop walkway.
Blast Beach opening times
Although Blast Beach is protected by the National Trust, it’s open 24 hours a day so you can visit at any time. It’s also completely FREE.
However, I would always aim to visit with a reasonable amount of daylight as you won’t see much otherwise!
Although I did have a moonlight walk over the cliffs once the sun went down and it was gorgeous. The moon glittered on the waves and the stars came out. It was breathtaking.
My top tips for visiting Blast Beach
- If you’re going to walk down to the beach nearest the car park, come with a good pair of shoes! The walk down to the beach is pretty slippy.
- There are steep stairs a little further down to Nose’s Point. But, these can be pretty risky too.
- There are no toilets located on Blast Beach or around this area of the Durham Heritage Coast. The seaside resort of Seaham is only around a mile away from the car park with lots of public toilets.
- Blast Beach is dog friendly so you can take your furry friends down to the beach and along Nose’s Point.
- There is no café at Blast Beach or any restaurants nearby. The closest restaurants can be found in Seaham.
- Don’t touch any of the chemical waste found near the cliffs! It looks cool but it could be harmful to you.
Are you looking for more Last Kingdom places to visit in the UK?
If you’re looking for more Last Kingdom filming locations or places that were mentioned in the Saxon Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell, there are many you can choose from.
You could head to Durham Cathedral to see the Shrine of St Cuthbert. It’s thought that the real Uthred, Uthred the Bold, helped carry his body from Northumberland.
Just a little further up the country in Northumberland, you can visit the real Bebbanburg that Uthred is so desperately trying to reclaim. Its name today is Bamburgh and it was another filming location!
If you head down the country to the South West you will enter the ancient Kingdom of Wessex and you can visit King Alfred’s the Great’s Winchester or ‘Wintanceastre’.
The marshes where King Alfred hides out is also a real place that can be found in the Somerset Levels. The real King Alfred the Great hid in a place called Athelney. You can visit the King Alfred’s Monument which is a marker of where he supposedly burned the cakes!
Discover County Durham & the North Pennines AONB!
County Durham is a great place to base yourself for a few days of exploring as you have the spectacular city, country, and coast to explore!
First of all, I would recommend exploring more of the Durham Heritage Coast. You can head into the seaside resort of Seaham, or Crimdon where you can go rock pooling.
I would highly recommend visiting the city of Durham and you can visit their historic cathedral and church that has over 1000 years of history.
If you were looking for places in the countryside, I would recommend a road trip through the North Pennines AONB. Here you can visit the dramatic High Force Waterfall that is England’s tallest and most powerful waterfall.
Just nearby you can visit Low Force Waterfall which was recently featured in Netflix’s The Witcher series 2. If you were after some history, Raby Castle can be found nearby and Bernard Castle too.