The Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle walk, on the Northumberland coast, is fairly short. It takes about an hour and a half, with some fantastic views along the way. This walk is a delight for visitors with time on their hands, who enjoy exploring Craster, taking stunning photographs in spectacular scenery, or just walking the wild beaches of Northumberland in all seasons.
A walk from Craster to the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle and back, plus a visit to the cottage where Robert Stephenson was born. The walk is mostly on footpaths along the coast, with one section on quiet country roads.
This is a circular walk beginning and ending in the lovely little fishing village of Craster, with its renowned kippers. You’ll pass the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle and Embleton Bay along the way. The castle was built by Thomas of Lancaster at the start of the 14th century. It’s a very scenic walk with some lovely coastal views and far-reaching views of the Northumberland countryside to enjoy.
The walk begins from the car park at Craster harbour. Head past the boat sheds and take a footpath that leads you along the coast to Dunstanburgh Castle. A clearly defined path will take you through the ruins with its Norman Gate House, chapel, great hall, and a small chapel in good condition.
There’s a good view from here over to Newton Point where you can see Longstone Lighthouse on one of the Farne Islands. The lighthouse was built in 1826 and was designed by John Rennie, who also designed Waterloo Bridge over the Thames in London.
You continue through Rock Hall towards Embleton Bay where you can look down on the pretty cottages that are dotted about the shoreline. Look out for an old lime kiln that still stands at Rock Hall Steading near Rock Hall Farm.
Some of the oldest recorded walkers were the Ancient Egyptians, who used walking canes as early as 3,000 BC. The Chinese also developed walking canes, which they used for both support and martial arts training. European walking sticks were made from a variety of materials such as oak, iron, and steel.
We decided to do the Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle walk. We started from the car park at The Jolly Fisherman in Craster (there were spaces available when we arrived but it is a small car park and was filling up). From there you follow the path alongside the harbour to the other side of town where you cross over a bridge and continue along the coastal path.
The path was well marked with white posts and signs showing where to go. There are some stiles to cross but they are in good condition. We walked along in lovely sunny weather, stopping for a picnic lunch at the viewpoint overlooking Dunstanburgh Castle.
The path is well maintained, flat, and mainly off road over grass or hard gravel/sand. There were plenty of people about walking or running but it didn’t feel crowded and there was plenty of space for everyone. After seeing Dunstanburgh castle we then made our way past Embleton Bay towards Craster. The views across the bay towards the castle are fantastic!
It took us 3 hours including a break for lunch. I would definitely recommend this walk as it is not too long, there are beautiful scenery, wildlife (including seals) to spot and you also get a chance to visit Dunstanburgh Castle if you wish!
Is Dunstanburgh Castle worth visiting?
Yes, Dunstanburgh Castle is definitely worth visiting. It is a very nice castle with a great location. The walk from Craster to the castle is spectacular and it’s so nice to be able to walk along the beach for most of the way.
Absolutely! It’s a very atmospheric castle with a long and interesting history, and the views across the coast are amazing.
The castle itself is also very interesting, although it is in ruins. There are still intact walls and you can still see the layout of the inner court, the great hall, and some of the rooms. There is also an exhibition where you can learn more about the history of Dunstanburgh Castle and its role in England’s turbulent history.
Do you pay for Dunstanburgh Castle?
We visited Dunstanburgh Castle today and were disappointed by the level of maintenance. The parking lot is a mess, there is no signage, the paths are muddy and slippery, the castle has no signs explaining what anything is or why it’s there.
Asking if you need to pay for Dunstanburgh Castle? The answer is yes. Adults pay £4.00 while kids under the age of 16 years old pay £2.60. However, it is completely free for English Heritage card-carrying members only.
How far is it from Craster to Embleton?
When going through W.T.Stead Rd, it’s about 3.2 miles to Embleton and takes about 8 minutes to get there. However, when taking public transport, it’s about 12 minutes to get there. Again, You can also take a walk down to the Embleton from Craster via W.T.Stead Rd which is about 3 mile and can take you anywhere around 1hr 2minutes to get there.
Bicycles are also allowed access to Embleton but it can take you up to 17 minutes to complete the 3 miles journey when you take through National Cycle Route 1.
Is Dunstanburgh Castle free for National Trust members?
Yes, entry is completely free for National Trust members. You must be a member of the National Trust and show your membership card to get free entry. Unless otherwise stated, all National Trust members can enter for free at any time.
Please remember that you need to bring along your pass when you visit as we won’t be able to offer you free admission without it.
If you are not a member of The National Trust or English Heritage, entry to the castle will cost £4.80 for adults, £2.40 for children,