This stretch of the Durham Coast south of Seaham was once an industrial eyesore. At Nose’s Point in the distance stood Dawdon colliery where for 84 years coal was mined from deep below the North Sea and the waste spoil dumped back into the sea offshore. The result was a total devastation of the coast and marine life. The far end of the bay below Nose’s Point had already been named Blast Beach on account of the blast furnaces built in 1862 to produce pig iron from ironstone from the Cleveland Hills, coal from Seaham and the local limestone. Although this venture was short-lived the name stuck and the original name of Frenchmen’s Cove, possibly because of smuggling of French brandy, was regulated to the southern half of the bay.
Much effort has made to clean the beach up although the sea regularly exposes evidence of the past activity. The magnesium limestone cliffs above provide a lime rich grassland with unique flora and is now under the guardianship of the National Trust.
The beach was used as a location for the 1992 science fiction film Alien 3. Here is a clip