Another day exploring Northumberland’s vast array of castles (It has 70 in total?!?). This time it was the turn of Dunstanburgh near the village of Craster. And it was the perfect day for it too.
It took a little over an hour to get there, mostly on motorways with a little drive through the countryside. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I got a new car last week and today was her first proper run out. So the drive was glorious, and turns out, she is a little trooper!
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We drove to the car park in Craster itself. This is the official car park for the castle and the only parking spot in the village. We arrived at around 10:30 and there wasn’t a lot of spaces.
Postcode: NE66 3TW.
Top Tip: Arrive early to get a parking space!
Paying to park caused us some issues as its CASH ONLY… as a 23 year old, I never carry cash. Luckily there is The Pipers Pitch located next to the entrance of the car park, a food van that offered cashback when spending £3. They even have a website with their menu on which you can see here although I think the prices have changed. I ended up buying two cups of tea and got the change for parking.
Parking costs were:
1 Hour: £1
2 Hour: £2
3 Hour: £3
All Day (24 hours): £4
There were also options for longer (48 and 72 hours) but I didn’t take note of the prices.
Most importantly, the toilets were OPEN! I wonder when we will stop being excited about such things.
The castle itself is a little over 1 mile from this car park, and this is the only place to park. However the path is pretty smooth and not too difficult except the final walk uphill to the causeway.
We went a slightly different way heading to the castle, we turned left out of the car park to a less travelled route and got a little ambushed by sheep. And then had to walk past the prettiest cows to get to the castle. The alternative route (the way we came back) is to turn right out of the car park and into the village. Honestly, you can’t really get lost. When you hit the sea, turn left and the gate to the castle is just round the corner.
There are a few way to walk round the castle, we did both options on the inland side and headed up towards Beadnell Bay. You can read my post about our adventure to Beadnell Bay HERE. The paths weren’t wide enough in all parts for social distancing however everyone we encountered was understanding about it and friendly.
We didn’t pay to go into the castle as we thought we would save that for another day perhaps with the rest of the usual suspects. However it wasn’t too expensive to go in and you have to pre-book tickets right now with everything going on. You can find all the prices and booking info HERE.
If you were doing a picnic, and the weather is as good as it was today, I’d recommend you bring a blanket and have it here on the beach at Beadnell Bay. It was such a beautiful place, a total contrast to the last time we were here. If we had packed a picnic, this is where we would have ate it.
Instead we headed back into Craster for some lunch. There were a few options, You could eat at the car park from the Pipers Pitch, or there are two restaurants in the village; The Craster Seafood Restaurant, or the Jolly Fisherman Inn. We went for the latter.
They had a system for social distancing, which when explained is easy to understand but the signage was lacking and a little confusing. Basically the terrace at the back is one way, you find a seat, go round the front to order and queue through the seats at the front (shown in the image below). If you have booked you can go straight in and its table service.
We bagged the best table in the terrace, at the back with the best view. I was elected to go order, but Shaun paid so it was a win win! Two pints, a cracking view and some sunshine, make for a perfect afternoon.
Shaun ordered the Jolly Steak Burger, and I went for the Salmon and Haddock Fishcakes. Both meals were delicious and well worth the stressy ordering confusion. It was also really busy but the food didn’t reflect this in the time it took to come out which was great.
Overall it was a lovely day out, and if you take away lunch, and the cups of tea, we only paid parking which was reasonably priced. Another great find in Northumberland and a highly recommended spot!
Thank you for reading my blog, and I hope you enjoyed it!
Stay Safe, and Happy Adventuring!