Dunstanburgh Castle ghost walk
Craster, Northumberland NE66 3TTRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
For a spooky ghost walk in an isolated setting, look no further than the Northumberland coastline, which is dominated by the magnificent ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle. Some believe that the ghost of a 16th-century knight still haunts the ruins... Our spooky ghost stories are taken from 'Ghosts: Mysterious tales from the National Trust' by Siân Evans.
- Bus stop
Start: Craster, grid ref: NU258201
Walk towards Dunstanburgh Castle, passing Craster harbour. The path takes you through farmland with the rocky shoreline to your right. It's worth looking in the sheltered rock pools for eider duck.
National Trust members can visit the castle for free. In summer, roosting swallows swirl overhead and amongst the ruined chambers and staircases.
Just north of Craster, the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle stand around 100ft (30m) above the sea on a rocky headland, boldly looking out over the North Sea. The castle is thought to have been a defensive site in the Roman and Dark Ages. The remains you can see today date back to the 14th century. It fell into disrepair after the Wars of the Roses.
After edging around the base of the castle, note the peculiar cliff formation to your right. The Greymare Rock was formed by volcanic pressure that folded the limestone. From April to August it is a breeding spot for kittiwake and fulmar. See the route highlight for a spooky tale about the castle, taken from 'Ghosts: Mysterious tales from the National Trust' by Siân Evans
One stormy night in the 16th century, a gallant knight named Sir Guy took shelter in the castle. A hideous spectre appeared and told him of a beautiful lady who needed saving. The knight followed the figure to where the maiden lay sleeping was told to choose between a sword and a horn. Sir Guy blew the horn and suddenly 100 knights in white appeared and charged towards him. When he regained consciousness he was lying beneath the ruins in the gatehouse. The knight spent the rest of his life searching in vain for the maiden. Some say his harrowing cries can still be heard on stormy evenings...
Pass a golf course on your left and descend onto the beach. Stroll to the far end of Embleton Bay. Cross Embleton Burn as it trickles into the sea. If you haven't already, you may want to take your shoes and socks off.
The concrete bunkers on the sand were built during the Second World War. Marram and lyme grass grow on the sand dunes providing a more stable environment for other plants to colonise.
Return from the beach and head back on the same path towards the castle. Once past the castle, climb up to your right on a higher level track back to Craster.
End: Craster, grid ref: NU258201
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 3 miles (5km)
- Time: 1 hour
- OS Map: Landranger 75; Explorer 332
Circular walk mostly on flat, firm-surfaced paths of grass or natural gravel. Some of the route passes through softer dunes and there is a short climb down to the sands of Embleton beach.
- How to get here:
By train: Alnwick, 7 miles (11.2km)
By car: Craster is about 40 miles (64.3km) north of Newcastle, off A1 above Alnwick
- Telephone: 01665 576231
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunstanburgh-castle/