Dunstanburgh Castle Walk

Some of the best short walks in Northumberland

Best short walks
Take a look at our round up of some of the best short walks in Northumberland. Including where to park, where to stop for a bite to eat and where to stay at the end of the day, we've got it all covered so you can easily plan your walking route.

Get outside and increase your own mileage with our round-up of some of Northumberland's best short walking routes. You don’t have to be an avid hiker to enjoy them, they incorporate everything from sweeping sea views to historical artefacts, and they are all dog friendly:


1). From Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle – This easy walk along the coast offers fantastic views out to sea. An incredible view of Dunstanburgh Castle, photographed above, acts as your guidepost for the duration, and can only be reached by foot. You can enter the castle for a fee upon arrival, or, if you have a dog, they cannot enter the castle but they are more than welcome up to and around the castle. Many visitors with dogs enjoy refreshments at The Jolly Fisherman pub after their walk, where canine friends are welcome. The walk to the castle is around 1.3 miles long, and you can either turn back and return to Craster, or those wanting to extend can continue past the castle to Embleton Bay - a quiet, pristine beach that is largely unknown by tourists.

Getting here – A popular option is to park at Craster Tourist Information Centre where a large car park is conveniently located for the walk. From here, you head past The Jolly Fisherman, past the quaint harbour and towards the castle.

Where to stay - Beach and Quiet's stunning self-catering cottages are based in Craster, making them the perfect option to explore this route. From grand Dunstan Hall that sleeps ten for a large group or family, to beautifully cosy Stable Cottage that sleeps four, they have an option for every group size.

2). From Seahouses to Bamburgh Castle - This beach walk is a slightly longer option, and the route to Bamburgh is roughly 3 miles long. Predominantly with golden sand underfoot, you can admire the coastline and the castle that perches on a rocky plateau ahead. On the approach to the castle, its dramatic presence and sweeping beach are simply breath-taking. Once you arrive, dogs are welcome in the castle grounds, and from here you can admire the enchanting fortresses and some impressive views of the surrounding coastline. You can also stop for a drink in Bamburgh village, and many dog walkers visit The Copper Kettle where dogs are welcome in the courtyard.

Getting here – There are several car parks to choose from in Seahouses, including a sea front car park, parking at the harbour wall and parking behind the Tourist Information Centre. Various bus routes also stop at Seahouses if you are taking public transport.

Where to stay - The Bamburgh Castle Inn sits in the prime location to enjoy this spectacular walk. Based in seafront Seahouses, home to the harbour where you can take a boat trip to The Farne Islands, this lovely inn serves fantastic food and offers cosy bedrooms.


1). Bolam Lake Country Park just a short drive from Ponteland, is one of Northumberlands hidden gems

Enjoy their lakeside walk, with a short route around the beautiful lake, which is accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Take in the scenery and diverse range of wildlife this part of the Northumberland countryside offers, and enjoy a walk around the lake no matter the weather. With a visitor information centre, cafe and shop, it is the perfect place for your family day out. 

Getting here - There are three car parks to choose from when visiting Bolam Lake Country Park, with the nearest car park to the lake walking route, the Boathouse Wood Car Park, just north of the lake. Each car park has disabled parking spaces available. 

Where to stay - For a cosy stay at a traditional Northumberland B and B, head to the Kirkwhelpington Bed and Breakfast, only a short 15 minute drive away from Bolam Lake Country Park.

2). Walltown Crags - Northumberland National Park is one of the most spectacular places to see Hadrian’s Wall, as it dives and undulates through dramatic, sheer landscape and sweeping, volcanic rock edge. The variety of trails in this area feature woodland, meadows, wildlife lakes and lengthy views across the lush greenery of the National Park. There are circular routes to choose from, and the area has trails that are marked out as suitable for wheelchairs.

Getting here - There is a spacious car park here that guests requiring wheelchair access have found useful and the AD122 Hadrian’s Wall Bus stops at Walltown. This service has ramp access and ‘Easy Access Guarantee’ meaning that a complimentary taxi will be arranged should any problems occur.

Where to stay - Wydon Farm B&B in Haltwhistle is a National Trust working farm with bed and breakfast accommodation in a luxurious barn conversion. Lying close to The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre, it's in a great spot for starting this route as well as many others in Northumberland National Park.


1). Kielder Water & Forest Park Lakeside Way – On this stunning, waterside route, you can walk along the *27 miles of shoreline around Kielder reservoir and past open-air art pieces and nature-hides where ospreys, red squirrels and other wildlife are spotted regularly. Kielder Dam and Kielder Castle are also en-route, and you can do as much or as little of the route as you choose as its circular nature makes it extremely easy to navigate. Many walkers choose to stick to either the north shore or the south shore, and some routes even incorporate the Osprey ferry along the way.

Getting here - Parking is available at Tower Knowe Visitor Centre, Kielder Waterside and other spots.

Where to stay - Kielder Waterside Holiday Park lodges are nestled in the heart of Kielder Water & Forest Park in an exclusive waterside location, bringing you an outdoor escape with a touch of luxury.

* Please be aware that diversions are in place on the Lakeside Way and Bakethin is closed due to storm damage earlier in the year. Please check the following page for updates - Storm Arwen Recovery Update

2). Alnmouth circular – Stunning Alnmouth, located at the mouth of the River Aln, is a small fishing village which lies within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Wander along the beach heading north towards Marden Rocks, then make your way inland following the track through Alnmouth golf course. Once you reach the main road, cross over and walk the gentle path descending to the River Aln. Once you reach the village of Lesbury, cross a footbridge over the river and follow the river bank back to the start of the route.

Getting here – Park in one of the dedicated roadside parking bays in Alnmouth.

Where to stay - Village Farm Cottages are ideally positioned between Alnmouth and Alnwick making an excellent overnight stay to enjoy this route and its surrounding villages and attractions.

Now, take a walk on the wild side in Northumberland and please be sure to check any chosen route before you go and make sure you have the appropriate clothing and footwear for the conditions.

We have so many fantastic walking routes, so just click through for more of Northumberland's walks and hikes.

Mountain biking in purple heather
Family walk in Northumberland
Couple enjoying a boat trip
Hadrian's Wall
Surf Northumberland
Outdoor adventures in Northumberland

Make it personal

With endless experiences, it’s impossible to see and do everything Northumberland has to offer. Create a personal profile and we’ll tailor the site to show you the best and most relevant content for you.