Dunstanburgh Castle

Northumberland | Craster | Castle | ★★★

[Entrance to Dunstanburgh Castle]

Located halfway between Craster and Embleton on the heavily-defended Northumbrian coast, Dunstanburgh is one of the region's largest castles in terms of square footage. Thomas, Earl of Lancaster built the kilometre-long curtain wall in the early 1300s, with much of the inner ward being reworked by John of Gaunt later in the same century. After an eventual few years during the Wars of the Roses the castle fell into disrepair. The bits and pieces which survive today look a bit sparse (particularly if you approach the castle from the north side) but include an imposing gatehouse, inner ward and a clutch of other towers. In spring and summer, the side of the outer ward furthest from the main entrance gives wonderful views of seabirds nesting on Gull Crag's cliffs, only safely visible by purchasing a ticket for the castle. This is such a key draw that we've given the razorbills and kittiwakes their own feature page here. The nearest road is about a mile's walk from the castle - see below for details on the shortest route, or (even better) follow the coast path north from Craster, described here.

[View from the coast to the south]

Location & info

📌 Dunstanburgh Castle ★★★
By the coast 1 mi north of Craster, G.R.: NU 257218 ///whom.highly.flap
Open daily, April to early November; weekends, early November to March (2019) | £5.90 adult / £3.50 child / free for English Heritage members

💬 The castle is a 1 mi / 20-30 min walk (each way) along the coast path from the nearest car park at Dunstan Steads, 1 mi east of Embleton, G.R.: NU 245224 ///poets.skimmers.shades. Or walk from Craster (slightly further), as linked above.






[Nesting swallows]


[Constable's Tower (right) & Egyncleugh Tower (left)]

[Outer ward with the Lilburn Tower in the distance]

[Defences on the west side with Embleton Bay in the distance]

[Lilburn Castle]

[Inner ward from the outer ward]


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