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Northumberland County Walk
Dunstanburgh Castle from Craster

County/Area - Northumberland County

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 4.5 miles / 7.3 km

Ascent - 130 feet / 39 metres

Time - 2 hours 20 minutes

Grade - easy

Start - OS grid reference NU256197
Lat 55.470466 // Long -1.596616
Postcode NE66 3TW (approx. location only)
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Dunstanburgh Castle from Craster Photo from the walk - Dunstanburgh Castle from Craster Photo from the walk - Dunstanburgh Castle from Craster
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Craster, famous for its kippers, is a small "working" fishing village north of Alnmouth and provides a suitable starting point for this coastal walk. Park in the National Trust car-park just outside the village (grid ref NU256197) and use the signed footpath that leads down to the harbour. Turn north and follow the broad path that crosses fields towards the dramatically located ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. Despite the lack of high cliffs, this is a dramatic section of coast especially when a strong northeasterly is blowing! The shore is backed by rocks of a volcanic nature - a dolerite sill - providing a tough barrier to the erosive power of the sea.

Dating from 1314, with a long and often tempestuous history, Dunstanburgh is the largest of the Northumberland Castles and is open to the public. Stay with the main path until you almost reach the castle entrance before veering left to follow a clear path skirting the western side of the fortifications. This leads to the south end of Embleton Bay.

Following the coastal path, cross the golf course to reach a pleasant section along the dunes at the back of the beach - of particular note are the swirls of lava that can be seen on this section just above high water mark. Approximately one mile after the castle turn inland to Dunstan Steads farm, recrossing the golf course on a clear path.

At the farm turn left on a signed paved track through the farm. This leads through fields to reach Dunstan Square after another mile or so. Climb the stile and turn left on the signed footpath. This leads up through the Heughs (a dolerite escarpment) to drop down to the path used on the outward route. Retrace your steps back to the car park.

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Ordnance Survey Explorer 332Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 332Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 75Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 75Digital Map1:50kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 81Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 81Digital Map1:50kBUY

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