Craster, Northumberland

 Take a peaceful ramble through the arboretum at Howick Hall, once home to Earl Grey, before bracing the elements on the North Sea trail

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Start at the tourist information centre in the quarry car park and follow the path through the Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Arnold Memorial Reserve. Keep going past the first gate and through the second gate. Head uphill across the field to a gate by the road. Cross the road, head up the farm track and bear left at the farm, following waymarks along a grassy track then follow the field edge. When you come to two stiles, cross the second and follow the path under the escarpment. Cross the wall at the stile, cross the field and follow the field edge path through a gate and alongside a fence until you come to a track, leading to Howick Hall, home to the Grey family since 1319. The famous tea is named after the 2nd Earl Grey, who became Prime Minister in the 1830s.

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Here you have two options, if Howick Hall is closed, turn left and walk along the roadside path until you reach the coast path at point 2. Alternatively, bear right on to the track, turn right into the car park and pay to enter the gardens. Head towards the hall, take the track on the left, then turn right. With the hall behind you turn left at the crossroads and follow this over the dry arch and into the valley. Turn left at a waymarker, then bear left downhill. Turn right at a bridge, go through a gate and pass beneath an arched bridge. Follow the path along the Long Walk through the arboretum. Allegedly, the eccentric 2nd Earl Grey tasked each of his 11 sons to walk by moonlight along the Long Walk to the sea in order to cure their fear of the dark. Continue to follow the burn – turn left over a bridge, then right on the other side. Bear right at a fork, then right again at a red waymark. Continue, turning left at a yellow/red post and exit the estate through a gate. Turn left and walk along a path to the burn mouth.
From the formal gardens of Howick Hall, the rolling breakers of the North Sea create a striking contrast.

Follow the coast path left until you come to the Bathing House, now holiday accommodation, where Lady Grey would come in summer to take her 16 children swimming in the sea. Look north for magnificent views over the sinister shapes of Dunstanburgh Castle.

Continue along the coast path, passing though a gate and skirting by a road. The Cullernose Point, which shortly appears on your right, is the same piece Whin Sill that runs across the width of the county – a form of basalt rock that was formed 295 million years ago. Hadrian’s Wall and the Farne Islands are built on this same band of rock.
Go through a kissing gate and follow the path as it winds down towards the sea towards the Craster headland. In Craster follow the path on the seaward side of the children’s play area, in front of the houses. The path continues through the pub garden; turn left to return to the car park.

Useful Information

Terrain
Well marked paths, which can be muddy and exposed. The section along the burn is on Howick Hall grounds and requires an admission fee (see below) and can only be walked when the grounds are open. An alternative route follows the road then a track from Howick Hall to the Bathing House, before picking up the coast path.

How to get there
by car: Craster is 40 miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, via Alnwick.
by public transport: Craster is served by a north-south bus service between Bamburgh and Alnwick about every two hours.

Refreshments
Ship Inn, Newton Square,
Low Newton by the Sea, Alnwick NE66 3EW
% 01665 576262
www.shipinnnewton.co.uk

Map
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 332.
Grid ref: NU 255 195

More info
Howick Hall,
Alnwick NE66 3LB
% 01665 577285
howickhallgardens.org.uk
Adults £5, children free. The gardens, arboretum and tea rooms are closed in winter. The gardens are open 7 Feb-
1 Apr on Sat, Sun and Wed, 12am-4pm. 1 Apr-mid Nov open everyday from 12am.

North Sea Trail
www.northseatrail.org

Northumberland Coast AONB
www.northumberland
coastaonb.org

Visit North East England  visitnortheastengland.com

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Northumberland Tourism visitnorthumberland.com