A wonderful walk all year round, with dune flowers blooming in spring, paddling (or swimming for the brave) in summer, migrating birds in the autumn, and beautiful light and empty paths in winter.
Total steps: 9
Total steps: 9
Craster, grid ref: NU258201
Start in Craster and walk towards Dunstanburgh Castle, passing Craster harbour. The path takes you through farmland with the rocky shoreline to your right.
Spot eider ducks bobbing around in the sea, known locally as Cuddy's Duck after Saint Cuthbert. He's said to have cared for them on the nearby Farne Islands where he lived as a hermit in the 7th century. Waders like oystercatcher, dunlin, ringed plover, turnstone and redshank can be found on the shoreline in large numbers, and you might spot linnet or yellowhammer in the scrub and grassland behind the dunes and castle.
Continue along the route past Dunstanburgh Castle, or pop in for a visit. National Trust members visit the castle for free.
Just a mile (1.6km) north of Craster, the 14th-century ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle stand on a rocky headland. The castle fell into disrepair after the Wars of the Roses. The outcrop on which Dunstanburgh Castle sits is called the Great Whin Sill, a stripe of hard volcanic rock that passes from the Pennines north to the Northumberland coast. It emerges above the surface here, at the Farne Islands and at Bamburgh Castle.
At the base of the castle, turn left and follow the route around the inland side of the castle, with the cliff on your right.
The Greymare Rock formation to your right was formed by volcanic pressure that folded the limestone. From April to August it's a breeding spot for kittiwake and fulmar.
Pass a golf course on your left and descend onto the beach. Stroll to the far end of Embleton Bay and cross Embleton Burn as it trickles into the sea.
Continue along the bay towards the harbour at Newton Haven.
Wildlife to spot
Look out for oystercatcher and other shore birds around the Emblestones as you approach the harbour at Newton Haven. Sometimes seals can be spotted basking at the far end of the rocks. Search for marine creatures such as sea anemones, limpets, crabs and starfish in the rockpools. There are also lots of seaweeds like pink-coloured coralline, and, bladder, saw and knotted wracks.
Climb up from the beach to Low Newton's picturesque three-sided square. Continue inland via a track that starts behind the village square, cottages and boat park.
Low Newton fishing village
Like Craster, Low Newton has a strong fishing heritage. The little square of cottages was built in the 19th century for local fishermen. Look north from the village to see a former Coastguard Station on top of the hill: it's now a National Trust holiday cottage.
Walk alongside the sand dunes and through a little woodland for 450yd (400m), until you reach two wildlife hides that look out over the waters at Newton Pool nature reserve.
Marram and lyme grass grow on the sand dunes, providing a more stable environment for other plants to colonise. Look out for colourful wildflowers like orchids from late springtime, and burnet rose and bloody cranesbill in summer. The smell of meadowsweet in summer is delightfully strong.
Continue on this path towards Dunstan Steads. Dunstanburgh's precipitous cliffs loom large again as you pass the golf course.
After the castle, climb up to your right on a higher level track back to Craster.
Craster, grid ref: NU258201
Circular walk mostly on flat, firmly surfaced paths of grass or natural gravel. Some of the route passes through softer dunes and there's a short climb down onto the sands of Embleton beach.
Keep dogs on short leads near livestock and under close control on the beach.
The path between points 6 and 7 is an all-ability trail to an accessible wildlife hide at Newton Pool.Northumberland Coast access statement
Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.
From a trek through the largest area of ancient woodland in Northumberland to a walk in the footsteps of the Romans along Hadrian's Wall, there are some amazing places to walk in the North East.
Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.
The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.
Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.
Head to Embleton and Newton Links to discover the 18th-century fishing hamlet of Low Newton, scramble across a natural rock harbour and sandy beach, and spot wildlife at Newton Pool Nature Reserve.
Dogs can really stretch their legs on the long sandy beaches of the Northumberland Coast. Find out what facilities are available, where you can walk your dog and seasonal restrictions.
Get safety tips for walking by the coast, including the essential clothing and equipment to take with you and what to do before you set out.