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" Dunstanburgh Castle from Craster "

Date & Time: Wednesday 23rd September 2015.

Locations :  The north-east coast of England ... Northumberland.  ( NU 237 286)

Places visited : Craster, The Heughs, Dunstan Steads, Greymare Rock, the castle and back.

Accommodation : The Beach Court B&B, Beadnell, Northumberland, Uk.

Distance : A 5 mile walk, 400 ft of ascent, 3 hours.

With : Ann and myself and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather : Overcast and breezy,  threatening a possible light shower but never getting one.



© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. License number PU 100034184.

Today we drove a short way south along the coast to the picturesque village of Craster.

Famous for its kippers, the village has a history far wider and far longer than that . . .

from ancient castles and Border Reivers to quarrying and of course fishing . . . hence the kippers.

Today we chose to visit Dunstanburgh Castle

but it was a walk with a slight difference.

We followed a route by John Tait that deferred our gratification of seeing the landmark castle to start, opting instead for a short country walk and then an approach from the north.

We're in Northumberland.
At the village of Craster.

Dunstanburgh Heughs is the area to the north (left) as you approach the Tourist Information Centre in the village.

The main whinstone quarry now houses the village car park but there are signs of workings in the rocks this side too.

The quarry produced road stone and paving slabs to "pave the streets of London".

We head out into the country slightly on the farm track to Dunstan Square farm.

Country views . . . with the distant towers of the castle across the corn field.

Straw bales and ancient keeps.
The secondary "Lilburn" Tower across the woods.

On the top of rise was an old limekiln, not however on the scale of Beadnell's triple kiln system.

Alongside the track is an old wartime defensive bunker . . . known as a pill box.

Unusually this was made of cement bags rather than the more usual liquid concrete poured into a temporary wooden shuttering mould.

Rose and rose hip.
The path heading back south to the castle.

Looking back across the golf course towards Low Newton and the Coastguard radio mast on Newton Point.

Joining the main path that has left the beach and together we negotiate the final green.

Greymare Rock with its classic folded strata.

Close up of this amazing natural phenomena . . . another photographer seemingly getting closer still !

- - - o o o - - -



Close underneath the Lilburn Tower.


The castle dates from the 14th century


and the castle was home to John of Gaunt


around the 1380's.


It had fallen into " wonderfull great decaye "


by late in the 16th century.


Click here for a fuller -Wiki- historical perspective


- - - o o o - -

The main keep . . . protected but not restored, by English Heritage.

[ There is a charge to go inside unless you are a Heritage or National Trust member.]

We've been inside before so we just did a quick walk around to see the seaward side of the castle

and then headed on towards Craster.

That's Nova Scotia ahead . . . the bay not the north-eastern state of Canada.

The village of Craster is in view once again, the harbour entrance recognisable by the offshore rocks and stone cairn.

It must have been really impressive in its heyday because it still looks good now.

This chap stayed too long and turned to stone.
We kept moving, herding the sheep (and cattle) out of the way.

The harbour entrance of Craster, distinctive due to the old structure on the jetty.

In the old days of the quarry it formed the base of a wooden silo

to store road stone prior to the coastal vessels entering harbour to export it.

The silo was fed by an aerial ropeway system.

Old photo courtesy of the Visit Craster website.

The other quarry structures have long gone

and now the harbour is clear for the remaining fishing boats to ply their trade.

The harbour was built as a memorial to a brother lost in war . . . more unusually, the 1904 Tibetan conflict .

Brief refreshment recommendation . . . the dog-friendly Shoreline Cafe.

The smoke house is still in production and smoke blows across the street

The smell wasn't bad either . . . if you like kippers . . . which we do.


Inside the smokery they will be burning sawdust

to heat and cook the herring

and give it that distinctive

golden brown colour.


Pictures this time courtesy of

The Newcastle Journal


That's a turn up for the books

I used to work for the Journal for 6 months

during my college days, many years ago.


Time to return to Beadnell at the end of a slightly different Northumbrian coastal walk.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a plate of something smokey for breakfast

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 2. Ebb's Nook

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Previous walk - 22nd September 2015 - Ebbs Nook and Annstead Bay

A previous time up here - 18th September 2013 - Dunstanburgh Castle

Next walk - 23rd September 2015 - Farne Islands