In the laziness of post-exam season, we decided to make the most of our time by visiting places of interest in the North East. I’ve always loved the Northumbrian coastline and, although Ruth had been to Dunstanburgh Castle before, she couldn’t remember it.
We left Durham early in the morning and caught the train to Newcastle. From there we hopped on the X15 bus to Alnwick. The scenery from the top deck was stunning and the journey only lasted an hour and a half. At Alnwick bus station, we changed onto a small, local bus which dropped us off right in the middle of the lovely fishing village of Craster.
The walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle is an absolute must if you’re in Northumberland, and ambling up the National Trust owned coast is an incredible journey as you see the castle getting ever closer!
Dunstanburgh is just as imposing close up as it is from a distance and exploring the ruins of this northern fortress (once a key part of England’s defence against the Scots, and it later changed hands several times in the Wars of the Roses) is an interesting escape into the region’s history. What’s more for National Trust and English Heritage members, admission is free!
After a couple of hours of wandering around the castle and watching the birds nest in the cliff, we made our way back to Craster for a late lunch. We found the ‘Jolly Fisherman’ pub to be an excellent place to eat and enjoyed the views and the castle as we sat out on the terrace overlooking the sea. The food was mainly fish-based but there were plenty of alternatives for those, like us, who aren’t that keen on sea food.
After the 20 minute bus ride back to Alnwick we decided to go back to Newcastle on a different route, opting for the X18, which runs via Alnmouth and Warkworth. We alighted here to walk up to the near-deserted beach, which was the perfect place to have a paddle! After walking into Warkworth (stopping to photograph the picturesque old bridge), we had dinner in the Sun hotel. The food was delicious – just what we needed after a day’s walking!
From there, we got back on to the X18 to Newcastle and just made the 10 o’clock train back to Durham.
We had a lovely day exploring this little corner of the North East and it even inspired us to take a few days’ break in Alnwick a couple of weeks later.
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Lovely post and fantastic pictures. I love visiting castles and old ruins.