Focus on Seaham

About Seaham

‘Tommy’ by Ray Lonsdale © David Simpson

So, where is it?

Seaham is on the County Durham coast, just south of Sunderland.

What’s the name mean?

Seaham simply means ‘Homestead by the Sea’


Ray Lonsdale’s beautiful ‘Tommy’ sculpture is probably Seaham’s best-known landmark. It depicts a First World War soldier – a ‘Tommy’ at rest. It’s nearly 10 feet tall and made of Corten steel.

Things to see and do:

Blast Beach, the harbour, Chemical Beach. The beaches are delightful despite their industrial sounding names. Just stroll and take in the sea. You can see ships coming in and out of the Tyne, Wear and Tees. There’s a lovely Saxon church near the beautiful Seaham Hall Hotel. The hotel is well-known for its spa.

Seaham is noted for:

The poet, Lord Byron. Being the site of a Victorian glass works. Rounded jewels of sea glass washed up on the beach which is sometimes collected for making jewellery. Seaham is also noted, like many Durham coastal locations, for its complete transformation from a run-down coastal eyesore to one of the most delightful little towns on the coast. There were once three collieries here: Vane Tempest, Dawdon and Seaham.

Some facts:

Although a little village (near the hall) and the church of St Mary date back to Anglo-Saxon times, the present town and harbour of Seaham was developed by the third Marquess of Londonderry who wanted to put the rival port of Sunderland out of business.

Blast Beach, Seaham
Blast Beach, Seaham © David Simpson

Famous people:

The nineteenth century poet Lord Byron was married at Seaham, hence the name of the local shopping centre. Byron’s wife was Lady Ann Isabella Milbanke, whose father owned Seaham Hall. She was a keen mathematician. The poet nicknamed her his ‘Princess of Parallelograms’. Although their marriage was short-lived they had a famous daughter, Ada Lovelace, who has the distinction of being the world’s first ever computer programmer.


Try Downey’s Fish and Chip restaurant; the Lamp Room Cafe or Martino’s Italian. The Crows Nest is a popular family pub at the north end of Seaham.

To find out more about Seaham visit our Seaham history page:

Your Seaham?

We’d love to hear your comments. What are the best things to see and do in Seaham? Any notable shops or crafts? Where’s the best place to eat? Please leave your comments using the comments link at the top of this page.


One thought on “Focus on Seaham”

  1. Food with a view? Try the Lookout Cafe down on the quay by the marina .
    For those with an interest on geology see the fossilized coral reef which is the cliff by the car park by the marina.

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