Dunstanburgh Castle. The Village, about 7 miles North-East of Alnwick, has a lot to offer with it's attractive harbour and good amenities. It is also a good place for the food lover to visit, it has been nominated in the past for a Google Street Award for best 'Foodie Street'. Craster has something for everyone, it is often used as a base for coastal walks and for fishing.
Click Here for our interactive Village Centre Map showing all the attractions and town amenities, as well as parking, travel information and recommended viewing points.
There is ample parking at Craster, just before you reach the harbour there is a large car park on your right, behind the Tourist Information Centre. There are public toilets here and if you are planning on walking to Dunstanburgh I would suggest you use them before you set off, there are no public toilets at the Castle itself (I learned that the hard way!). The car park continues to an overflow into a former quarry site, though it can still get full very quickly at the weekends and in the summer months. Please be very careful when parking here, there are signs saying you must park within a bay or you will receive a fine. I know of many people who have received the full fine (currently £60) for simply having a small amount of their tyre touching a white bay marker line.
Craster is a stop on the Arriva "Newcastle - Morpeth - Amble - Alnwick - The Coast - Berwick" which is the service between Newcastle and Berwick on their X18 route (see link below for more information). Multi journey tickets are available and you can get more information here.
Craster is named after the Craster family who had held the estate since 1272. Walking into the Village from the car park or bus stop you are greeted by a lovely view of the harbour. The harbour was built to commemorate the death of a member of the Craster family who died while serving in the army in Tibet in 1904. The memorial is still visible on the harbour wall, as are the remains of a much taller structure at the end of the harbour that was used to lift stone from the nearby quarry (now the car park) on to the boats in the harbour. The stone from the quarry (which was shut down in 1939) was shipped to London where it was used for kerb stones, it is now a nature reserve under the protection of the Northumberland Wildlife Trust. Nearby is Craster Tower, an 18th century mansion incorporating a mid 14th century Pele Tower which belonged to the Craster family. The property was enlarged in 1666 when a two-story manor house was built on to the east side of the tower. Most of the estate was sold by Sir John Craster in 1965 and the tower is now residential apartments.
Perhaps the main reason most people visit Craster, not only for it's natural beauty as a small fishing Village, is to visit Dunstanburgh Castle. The Castle is most easily accessible from Craster, but it is still a walk of about a mile along the beautiful coast (see photo, right). The Village itself also has a great deal to offer, with many circular walks, Robson's Smokehouse (world famous for their kippers), the Mick Oxley Gallery, fishing trips from the harbour and fine golfing in the area. For full information about all these activities and more Explore your guide to Attractions and Things To Do in Craster...
Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes in Craster
Craster Fish Restaurant is part of Robson's Smokehouse and has lovely views over the harbour from the dining room. It has somewhat of a reputation for the service (or lack of - see trip advisor reviews here), but has been highly recommended for it's food. Located next to the Tourist Information Centre you will usually find Pipers Pitch. You can try their famous hot buttered Craster Kipper or home made scones and soups. All their food is cooked fresh and made to order.
Situated in the centre of Craster, opposite the Mick Oxley Gallery is the Shoreline Cafe. It is open daily from 10am - 4pm year round and has a few tables at the front where you can bring your dog as well. It generally has excellent word of mouth and offers lovely home baking, cakes, fresh coffee and sandwiches. If it's a swift drink you're after with your meal there are two pubs in Craster. The first is the The Jolly Fisherman on the South side of the harbour, again it offers lovely views and a good range of food including a fine Sunday Lunch. The majority of dishes on the menu here, as you would expect to find in a fishing village, is fish and seafood. You can read a review of our latest visit to the Jolly Fisherman on our Blog. Haven Hill, with the Jolly Fishermand and the smokehouse recently had the honour of being nominated for a Google Street View award for 'Best Foodie Street'.
The Cottage Inn is the second pub in the area, just outside Craster, set in 6 acres of woodland on the edge of the Village of Dunstan. The Cottage Inn is also a three star rated B&B with ten bedrooms and has a restaurant that serves lunches and evening meals, along with a fine selection of real ales. The Inn has been recently refurbished and has a conservatory that leads from the restaurant out to the patio area of a secluded garden.
Accommodation in and around Craster - Self Catering, Cottages, B&B's, Hotels and Camping
There are many Self-Catering Cottages and other types of property in Craster and the surrounding area. Many of the original fisherman's Cottages have now been refurbished and offer beautiful views over the harbour. Nearby camping is available at Dunstan Hill which has 150 pitches and welcomes non-members. Proctors Stead also offer self catering accommodation, camping and a caravan park and is located just outside Craster. For a full list of sites visit our Camping and Caravan Sites Page. It is a great central base from which to explore Northumberland's stunning coast, especially if you are interested in walking. Explore your guide to Places Stay in and around Craster...
There is a Tourist Information Office at Craster's main car park that has Public Toilets, a shop and Cafe facilities. Craster has just one church now (The Methodist Chapel closed in 2013), Anglican services are held at St Peter the Fisherman which is on Chapel Row. There is an RNLI Station in the harbour that is manned by volunteers from the local area and has for over 35 years manned a D Class lifeboat. There is a large children's play area towards the South end of the Village (turn right at the harbour and walk along the main road), it's a good spot right on the sea front for the kids to burn off some energy or have a picnic.
Food Shopping and Supermarkets
There is a small Village Shop in Craster on Church Street, otherwise it is probably best to call at Alnwick. Here you will find a Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Iceland, Lidl and Co-op along with numerous independent Butchers, Bakers and other shops selling excellent quality local produce.
Places and Attractions Nearby
Alnwick, Alnwick's Attractions, Embleton Bay, Low Newton, Boulmer, Alnmouth, Alnmouth's Attractions, Dunstanburgh Castle, Howick Hall and Gardens, A-Z of All Guides
Have we missed something? Can you recommend an attraction, restaurant or accommodation? Or maybe you have a business you would like to be included? Let us know.
Useful and Interesting Links
Weather in Craster
Arriva Bus Service Route Information
Arriva Coast and Castles Service Information
Northumberland Cam Photos of Craster
RNLI Station in Craster
Craster Tourist Information Centre
Craster - Howick Circular Walk Map
The Jolly Fisherman
The Cottage Inn
Description of Walk to Low Newton with Photos
Craster Methodist Church
Charter Boat from Craster
Northumbrian Harbour Photos
Wikipedia Page for Craster