Follow your nose to L. Robson & Sons kipper smokehouse, and embark on a delicious visit to the Northumberland coast. The kippers here are a delicacy which is exported to food lovers across the country, and it is reputedly popular with the British Royal Family.
Once you’ve taken in the charcoal scent of the traditional smokehouse, wander towards the magnificent Dunstanburgh Castle
. Though there is only a pocket-sized chunk of the castle remaining, it gives such an insight into what was once a grand fortress. Seeing this little gem as it stands today makes it almost impossible to believe that it was originally built to an impractically magnificent scale.
In 1313, Earl Thomas of Lancaster began the process of building the castle, and historians have concluded that its incredible grandeur was due to his desire to ascertain authority over King Edward II, with whom he had an openly hostile relationship. Today, you can see the crumbling remains of the huge gatehouse and the Egyncleugh Tower, which overlooks Queen Margaret’s Cove.
Go bird spotting at the Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve, owned by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust
. This haven has an abundance of both greenery and birdlife
, where rarities including wryneck, icterine, and red-breasted flycatchers have been recorded.
Browse seaside-inspired arts and crafts at The Mick Oxley Gallery, or sit and watch fishing boats lazily floating near the picturesque harbour with the beautiful Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance. Craster provides a base for a number of excellent local coastal walks, whether north to Dunstanburgh Castle (and, for the energetic, further on to Newton, where The Ship Inn
by the beach at Low Newton
is a very popular watering hole); or south to Howick via the point at Cullernose (look for the kittiwakes nesting in the cliff in the spring).
Venture further south and discover the hidden cove of Rumbling Kern, once the haunt of whisky smugglers bootlegging their contraband up and down the coastline. This award-winning, secretive beach is definitely worth a visit.
Just before you reach the harbour there is a large car park on your right behind the Tourist Information Centre. Visitors can access the public toilets here.