If you are lucky enough to find yourself in the North East then a visit to the village of Craster & Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland is a must. Craster is a pretty fishing village set on the north east coast of England amid an area of outstanding natural beauty. It has a charming little harbour, which is surrounded by quaint fisherman’s cottages. The Craster family constructed the harbour as it is today in 1906, to commemorate the loss of Captain John Craster who was killed whilst on campaign in Tibet. The shore to either side of the village is wild and rocky, and if you look northwards up the coast you can see the imposing ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle glowering on the horizon. Construction of Dunstanburgh was begun in 1313 by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster so it’s been around for a while!
There are interesting walks inland as well as beautiful coastal walks to the north and south of Craster, but the walk Hooves and I prefer is from the little car park at Dunstan Steads (just to the north of Dunstanburgh Castle), past Dunstanburgh Castle to Craster, and back. Rather than it being a boring ‘there and back’ walk, the coastline is so spectacular that it is worth viewing from both directions.
Starting at Dunstan Steads (map) walk towards the sea, pass through the wooden gate (streetview) and follow the track south (or to your right as you prefer) along the edge of the golf course. You’ll see the castle up ahead of you, so you simply follow the track to the castle. Once you get to the castle you’ll see the route to follow down across the cliff tops to Craster, so once you’ve wandered around the ruins and taken your photographs you can carry on to the village. Once there you can explore the harbour, as well as the handful of shops and eateries. Then it is a case of wandering back to the car, however you can deviate a little so that the first part of the return walk is further inland if you prefer.
On a practical note, there are poo bins at Dunstan Steads and Craster!