The UK's best beach resort is battling to keep its reputation after being branded a “no-go zone” due to drunks, traffic jams and littering.
Picturesque Bamburgh attracts more than 150,000 visitors each year and is famed for its castle and spectacular golden beaches.
The tiny Northumberland village, which has a population of just 414, recently topped a Which? poll that ranked each destination's beaches, value for money, food and drink, and tourist attractions.
But despite being crowned the UK’s top seaside hotspot for the second year in a row, residents have made the extraordinary claim that it is the victim of its own success.
The angry locals have said that Bamburgh has been ruined by tourists and day-trippers and has been blighted by a severe lack of parking spaces and strict planning laws.
They've also taken aim at groups of rowdy revellers holding late-night boozy parties in the sand dunes reports the Mirror.
Resident John Graham, 60, said: "When the sun is out the place can be overrun.
"In the day, you get the ice-cream brigade leaving their rubbish everywhere and in the evenings the drunken louts have their fun.
"On an average morning in the summer I pick up five or six burnt out disposable barbecues and half-a-dozen or so bin bags full of bottles and cans."
Another resident and business owner, who did not want to be named, said the village is "just too popular now."
They added: “When it was named the best seaside resort in the UK, you could almost hear a collective groan from residents and businesses.
"Of course we need tourists and want them here but the village is so packed on sunny days no one looks like they’re having much fun.
“It’s not unusual to spend an hour in your car as traffic crawls through the village.
“What I fear is that a few more ridiculous busy summers and people will give Bamburgh a miss altogether in a few years’ time.”
Another business owner said it is really sad to see a big increase in litter being dumped in the sand dunes below the castle.
They added: “A friend of mine summed up the problem quite well the other day when he said it’s like over-fishing.
“Pubs and hotel owners might be enjoying the money rolling in but the more people who come here, the more damage is done to the environment."
Bamburgh drew huge crowds last year as millions of Brits were forced to holiday in the UK as a result of strict Covid rules limiting foreign travel.
Bamburgh Parish Council chairman Barbara Brook said: "We had dispensation last year to open the Glebe Field beside the church for 56 days and now that is going to be impossible because the directive is 28 days.
"We asked for more yellow lines – and I can understand that more yellow lines are not wanted across Northumberland – but we’re now in a dilemma because over the Easter period we had huge car parking problems in the village.”
The village has also seen an increase in litter and fly-tipping, with locals blaming a pilot scheme allowing motorhomes to park overnight.
Cllr Brook added there had been “an enormous amount more litter” since the scheme was introduced.
Despite calls to prevent traffic jams building up in the village, Northumberland County Council have refused to increasing parking.
Local services director Paul Jones said: “We aren’t proposing any additional parking capacity within Bamburgh.
“We’re happy to have further dialogue to see what we can do to support you and the local landowner in terms of the use of seasonal overflow arrangements and what can and can't be done to stay on the right side of the law.”
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