Built with ballast from old working ships at the once bustling port, the gable end building has had various guises over the decades, from retail to a barbers.
But after the entrepreneurial pair bought the site in 2019, they’ve transformed it into three new businesses for the town. First to open, after the front unit was stripped back to its rafters and given a proper boozer feel, was The CoalFace micropub which is back pulling pints and hosting live music after all the lockdown restrictions.
Next up, the Slice pizza hatch at the back of the site has also proved a success story with its New York-style pizza slices which are the perfect on-the-go snack, or if you’re feeling hungry you can buy the whole 24in pizza – one of the biggest available in the town.
Now, the upper floors have been completely transformed to create the Beachcomber Loft Airbnb, priced from £100 a night.
Spread over two floors, it sleeps up to six people and with its location in the heart of the town, a stone’s throw from the harbour, a host of coffee shops, restaurants and award-winning Seaham Waves art studio, it’s the perfect base from which to explore Seaham.
Thanks to its loft-style open plan kitchen, three bedrooms, beachcomber theme and central location, bookings have already flooded in, from as far afield as Canada thanks to some eager seaglass hunters.
We stayed over for a night to check it out and it’s pretty much got everything you could need from an Airbnb: a well-equipped kitchen, Sky TV and a high chair and nautical-themed room for little ones. There’s also the added bonus of a free 24-hour car park opposite the site.
Much has been done to give it some character, including exposing an old chimney breast and a mini terrace for the warmer months, festooned with fairy lights.
There's been extensive sound proofing done so you can’t hear the pub downstairs, but it’s definitely worth popping down there for a pint. With its pictures of old Seaham and nods to the past, it’s a pub that dofs its cap to the town’s rich, industrial past.
We’ve got an overnight stay at the Beachcomber Loft to give away, as well as a 24in pizza of your choice and a round of drinks at The CoalFace pub.
You have 12 months from the draw of the competition to use the prize and you can claim it on a night of your choice – subject to availability.
You can also choose a pizza of your choice to share, with a range of classic, specials and vegetarian options, which change weekly.
To be in with a chance of winning, answer this question: what is the name of the central Seaham street which houses the Beachcomber Loft?
Email your answer, along with your name and contact details to [email protected] by Monday, February 14.
You can check the Beachcomber Loft's availability here.
One of the best places in the world to find seaglass, Seaham’s waves wash up plenty of blue and green-hued glass. It may have been chucked into the sea decades ago as bottle glass works industrial waste, but today, after years of being shaped by the sea, it washes up as treasure.
People come from far and wide, all time of the year, to look down for seaglass and you’re almost guaranteed to find some as you stoop along the shores.
::Durham Heritage Coast
So dramatic and pretty is Durham’s coastline today, that’s it’s hard to imagine that only a few decades ago the beach would have been black with coal dust and industrial waste.
Much has been done to bring it back to its pre-industrial beauty and today it’s one of the best coastal paths around, ideal for a long, scenic walk. The route from Nose’s Point to Hawthorn Beach is particularly picturesque.
::Coffee shop culture
Seaham’s North Terrace and the Marina is home to some of the best coffee shops around – again with the bonus of free parking, unlike most other places.
If you’re after a great selection of coffees, cakes, brunches, snacks and light bites you’ll be spoilt for choice with places like The Lookout, Flamingo, Clean Bean, Leaf, Bark & Berries, The LampRoom, Port of Call and many more from which to choose.
No trip to Seaham is complete without marvelling at the mighty Tommy. Officially called Eleven O One, the WW1 soldier, created by sculptor Ray Lonsdale was only meant as a temporary feature on Terrace Green, but the community raised more than £100,000 to keep him. Today he’s regarded as one of the country’s finest public art works and is an emotional focal point for remembrance services.