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Boulmer is a village in Northumberland, England, on the North Sea coast 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.

Origin of the name

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, King of the Gypsies William Faa, lived some miles away in the remote Scottish village of Kirk Yetholm. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the village was the smuggling capital of Northumberland.

A major change was the arrival of the Royal Air Force in 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.


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

Boulmer Volunteer Rescue Service

Boulmer Volunteer Rescue Service was originally funded by the Duke of Northumberland and was run by the RNLI between 1825 and 1967 when the RNlI decided to withdraw the service. Re-established in 1967 when the community decided to buy their own private boat, it is now an independent lifeboat service, but currently only operates during daylight hours, weekends and on bank holidays due to a small crew and limited sea-traffic.

Filming location

In the spring and summer 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.

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 06/11/2016).
Visit the page: Boulmer for references and further details. You can contribute to this article on Wikipedia.
Northumberland Seaton House Longhoughton Civil Parish Map and Aerial View RAF Boulmer Boulmer with Seaton-House township, 1848 Map and Aerial View
from Newcastle University (youtube)
New Life Boat Christened At Boulmer (1937)

Pinned by Co-Curate Team
from Flickr (flickr)
Boulmer tractor

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)
Former Church and School in Boulmer

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Youtube (youtube)
Duke of Northumberland accepts new lifeboat for Boulmer from Viscount Grey of Fallodon (1931)

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Youtube (youtube)
Boulmer lifeboats rescue crew of disabled boat (1938)

Pinned by Simon Cotterill


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