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Things to do at Dunstanburgh Castle

A visitor with their back to the camera walks along a path to the entrance of Dunstanburgh Castle
Exploring Dunstanburgh Castle | © National Trust/Solent News & Photography Agency

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.
A girl in blue hat with a red bucket walks along a sandy beach with Dunstanburgh Castle visible on a hill in the background.
Dunstanburgh Castle from Newton Links beach | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

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.

An adult and child walk along a path towards Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance.
Walkers heading towards the castle | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

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 ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland

Discover more at Dunstanburgh Castle

Find out when Dunstanburgh Castle is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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