Craster to Seahouses
If I was forced to choose a favourite stage on the Northumberland Coast Path then I think it would have to be stage three. The route goes through part of my favourite walk in Northumberland from Craster, past the dramatic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle and on to the stunning beaches of Embleton Bay and Low Newton. From there the seemingly endless beaches continue along Beadnell Bay and the stage ultimately ends at the fishing port of Seahouses, known as the 'Gateway to the Farne Islands'. The map at the bottom of the page marks the route of the third stage of the Northumberland Coast Path. Click on the photo icons to see images from the stage as well as other points of interest and facilities.
"The seacliffs are excellent and the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle summon up every possible image of Macbeth, Richard the Lionheart and all those other mighty chaps. Find particularly interesting birdlife on the cliffs and at Newton beach and Newton Pool nature reserve"
You certainly can't fail to be impressed by this stretch of coastline, I find myself visiting time and time again, even after decades of walking this path. It really lives up to the mantle of being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Dunstanburgh Castle is one of the most photographed ruins in the Country and from any angle it provides a stunning scene. Although it is a National Trust Property it is managed by English Heritage and is well worth visiting as you pass if you are a member. When you get to the Castle the entry sign says English Heritage and has their price structure. Please ignore this and go to the ticket booth, they will accept a National Trust membership card and English Heritage, despite the signage. The path skirts past the Castle and Dunstanburgh Golf course on to the glorious sands of Embleton Bay. In the sand dunes behind the beach at Embleton Bay you will notice a number of quaint wooden bungalows that resemble beach huts nestling between the hills. They were constructed in the 1930's by golfers who wanted to stay in the area and are now owned by the National Trust. They make look wonderfully romantic and hold a commanding view of the beach, but they offer no mains electricity and only have running water for part of the year!
Embleton Bay and Low Newton are well known for excellent birdwatching opportunities and for wildlife. The beach is backed by huge sand dunes and 80 metres behind these, a little further North along the path towards Low Newton, lay Newton Pond, famous for the Newton Pool Bird Reserve. This is a wildlife haven with many seabirds, shorebirds and wildfowl to be seen from the two purpose built hides. Just past Newton Pond you will arrive at Low Newton, a beautiful Village of cream-washed cottages where you will also find the Ship Inn. The Ship is one of the gems of Northumberland's many excellent Pubs and offers fantastic, locally sourced food (especially the fish) and they also have their own microbrewery. It's a great place to stop for refreshments as it's roughly mid point in this stage of the Coast Path.
Leaving Low Newton and continuing North along the coast, after a few minutes walk the stunning bay of Beadnell will be clearly visible. Not only is this a great spot for bird life, but it's also an extremely popular place for watersports. You will no doubt find yourself watching the surfers and kite-surfers as you walk along this magnificent beach. Eventually you will reach Beadnell Harbour, distinctive because is it the only West facing harbour on the East coast. The Village of Beadnell is massively dominated by it's caravan parks and holiday accommodation. In season you will find this to be a bustling place, but if you're there out of season it's a different story entirely with very few people around.
As you leave Beadnell along the path you will shortly see the final destination in Stage three of the Coast Path, the fishing port of Seahouses. There are many cafes, pubs and restaurants in Seahouses to stop in a refuel after your beautiful walk. Seahouses is perhaps most famous for it's amazing fish and chips and it's friendly drinking establishments. There is also an excellent choice of Accommodation in Seahouses, from 5* caravan sites with spa facilities, to B&B's, Hotels and Self Catering Accommodation.
While you're in Seahouses, a fantastic day trip is to take a boat from the harbour to the Farne Islands, the home of St Cuthbert and the legend of Grace Darling. As well as being the most famous Sea Bird Sanctuary in the British Isles they also have a large colony of Atlantic or Grey Seals. Birds that use these islands for nesting include Puffins and several breeds of Terns. There are some 100,000 pairs of breeding birds in the height of the season and they are remarkably tolerant to visitors, almost ignoring their presence for the most part. This allows you to get close up to these wonderful creatures and the photo opportunities are endless.
Top Attractions Along The Way
Craster's Attractions, Dunstanburgh Castle, Low-Newton-By-The-Sea, Beadnell, Seahouses Attractions, Farne Island Trips
Accommodation Along The Way
Craster, Beadnell and Seahouses are served by Arriva'a Coast and Castles Service that runs between Newcastle, Alnwick and Berwick.