Craster is a little gem nestled by the sea. The drive to the village takes you past Craster Tower, the ancient pele tower that has been home to the Craster family for nine hundred years. A single road then brings you into the village, past the Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve and the imposing volcanic cliff of the Whin Sill. The tourist information and gift shop is on your right along with Piper’s Pitch and their famous “kipper in a bun” sandwich (Trip Advisor certificate of excellence). If you are staying at Harbour Lights you can ignore the only public car park in Craster and carry on a few yards to where the sea and harbour open up in front of you.
Harbour Lights is above you to your right over looking the harbour and the road that takes you there passes the Robsons Smoke House where the world Famous Craster kippers are made. Reputed to be a favourite of the Royal Family, you can buy kippers from their little shop and, if you wish, have them sent anywhere in Britain. As well as the shop, you’ll also find the Craster Seafood Resturant.
Opposite the Smoke House is Northumberland’s Pub of the Year, the excellent Jolly Fisherman. Along with great food, the pub’s resturant has panoramic sea views as does the beer garden, which is perched above the cliffs and the harbour. As you’d expect the pub is extremely popular so we highly recommend booking well in advance for evening meals.
Past the pub you’ll find the Mick Oxley Art Gallery and the Shoreline Cafe and by the bus stop you’ll find the start of the coastal path, which takes you past spectacular coastal scenery, around Cullernose Point and on to secluded little beaches near The Bathing House. The Bathing House was part of the Howick Hall estate, home of Earl Grey Tea, and you can still visit this spectacular hall with its gardens, tea rooms and over 10,000 species of trees!
Craster Harbour itself was built in 1906 by the Craster family as a memorial to their son, Captain John Craster who was killed in fighting in Tibet in 1904. Captain Craster lead his men up a steep slope to attack a monastery that was been held by a force of around 800 Tibetans. Despite fierce fighting he was the only one of his men killed in the battle. Captain Craster was shot through the heart leading his men through a narrow street, ironically the battle was already won and the fighting almost over when he received his fatal wound.
Enjoy an ice cream and watch the fishing boats unloading their lobster pots in the harbour or, on a stormy day watch the waves crash over the harbour walls (you also get a great view of this from Harbour Lights)
Turn left past the little fishing cottages and the path leads to the stunning coastal walk to Dunstanbrugh Castle just over one mile away. This mighty fortress was once one of the largest and grandest in Northern England, ruined by both war and time the castle is now in the hands of the National Trust and is well worth a visit. This is one of the top coastal walks in Britain and has featured in numerous TV programs, newspapers and magazines. The path takes you past the Castle and golf course to the gorgeous beach of Embleton Bay. The walk can take you to the Ship Inn at Low Newton or the The Joiner’s Arms at Newton-by-the-Sea, where you’ll find food and drink to complement the beautiful journey there. As well as the many and diverse sea birds, keep a look out for seals basking in the water or even passing dolphins or porpoises.
As well as it own charms, Craster is in the perfect place to explore the rest of Northumberland’s Heritage Coast and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is so much to see and do here that we know you’ll come back again and again.