Things to do at Dunstanburgh Castle
Follow a 1.3 mile coastal trail to explore the rugged ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, a once formidable 14th-century fortress. Pause at low tide to spot some of the Northumberland Coast’s plentiful wildlife, such as wading birds and sea urchins, or simply take a moment to admire the dramatic sea views. Dunstanburgh Castle is owned by the National Trust and operated by English Heritage.
Stretch your legs on the coastal walking trails
To reach Dunstanburgh Castle you'll take a coastal footpath from nearby Craster. Just over a mile long, the trail passes through farmland with grazing livestock and looks out across the North Sea, its waves crashing along the shoreline.
But why stop there? Take one of the walking trails to discover even more of the Northumberland Coast around Dunstanburgh.
- For a short but spooky trail, try the hour-long Dunstanburgh Castle ghost walk (3 miles) and see if you can catch a glimpse of the 16th-century knight who is said to haunt the ruins.
- For a longer ramble, Dunstanburgh is a stop on the Craster to Low Newton coastal walk (7.7 miles).
- Join the circular trail at Dunstanburgh for sweeping sea views and abundant bird life for company.
See the castle from every angle
Dunstanburgh Castle is a stirring sight as you approach from Craster, with its crumbling turrets and weathered walls. But view the castle from a distance and you'll be able to fully appreciate its defensive position on the rocky outcrop known as the Great Whinn.
From the golf course side you’ll see Saddle Rock, a distinctive geological feature formed by ancient volcanic activity.
Explore the shore for wildlife
The coast alongside Dunstanburgh Castle is teeming with wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for birds such as kittiwakes, oystercatchers, dunlins and redshanks, all searching for tasty morsels on the seashore.
The rock pools that dot the shoreline are full of sea creatures too – look for sea urchins, starfish and other creatures that become exposed at low tide.
Also look out for colourful wildflowers such as the purple bloody cranesbill, and the grasses marram and lyme, which grow along the sand dunes.
Try some local seafood
If you’ve built up an appetite at the end of your visit, why not try some famous Craster kippers when you make your way back to the village? The traditional smoked fish is a taste of the Northumberland Coast.
To book tickets to Dunstanburgh Castle, visit the English Heritage website.
The coastal walk to Dunstanburgh Castle passes through active farmland. Read our guide to walking near livestock, including tips for walking your dog safely.
Try out the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities children can enjoy by the sea, from paddling or swimming, to catching crabs and skimming stones.
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