Friday 6 October 2023



The small fishing village of Craster is situated on the picturesque Northumberland coast 8 miles from the pretty market town of Alnwick. The village lies south of Embleton and the stunning sandy beach of Embleton Bay, and is just over a mile from the impressive ruins of the Dunstanburgh Castle. Craster has a small harbour and for many years has had a herring-curing business. Craster kippers are well known around the world. The village is named after the Craster family who had held the estate since 1272. 

The ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle can be seen from the village and are easily accessed of foot via a 1.3 mile grassy path. Beyond the castle are stunning views of Embleton Bay. In addition to Robson's Smokehouse the village has a cafe and public house, providing much needed refreshment after a bracing walk along the coast. Parking in the village is limited but on entering the village the quarry car park, just a short walk from the harbour is recommended, although it can get full very quickly at weekends and in the summer. At the entrance to the car park is a tourist information centre and public toilets.

Dunstanburgh Castle
Dunstanburgh Castle was built in the 14th century on the Northumberland coast between the villages of Craster and Embleton. The castle was built between 1313 and 1322 by Earl Thomas of Lancaster on the site of an existing earthworks of an Iron Age Fort. Thomas was the leader of a baronial faction opposed to King Edward II and built the castle as a refuge. He was captured at the Battle of Boroughbridge attempting to flee royalist forces for the safety of Dunstanburgh and was executed. Subsequently the castle became the property of the Crown before passing into the Duchy of Lancaster. The defences were expanded in the 1380's by John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster. During the War of the Roses in the 15th century the castle formed a strategic northern stronghold, changing hands between the Lancastrian and Yorkist factions. In 1604 King James I sold the castle to the Grey family who owned it until the 19th century. In 1930 the castle was placed under the guardianship of the state and during the Second World War was used as an observation post. The ruins, which are open to the public are part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

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