Hotspot: Bamburgh – Where to… Walk
Tuesday 14th December, 2021 by hostandstay
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”
So said famed philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and, if you’ve booked a holiday cottage in Bamburgh, Northumberland, you’re going to be doing some pretty amazing thinking.
With the North Sea on one side and the beautiful Northumberland landscape on the other, no matter where you are in England’s most northerly country, you’ll be treated to some fine views.
But if you like a set beginning and end, here are some of the finest walks from your Northumberland holiday cottage.
Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle
Regularly voted one of Britain’s most stunning walks, this two-mile walk may be easy, but it’s no less arresting for that.
Starting at the edge of the quaint fishing village of Craster (don’t forget your kippers!), the walk to English Heritage-owned Dunstanburgh Castle takes you along the coastline to the ruins of this 14th Century stronghold.
With the waves crashing on the rocks below and the mighty castle standing strong ahead of you, it’s easy to step back in time and see the scene through the eyes of invaders in days gone by.
Nowadays, the route is populated by a gang of hardy sheep, who make light work of the slippery rocks and show no signs of interest in the hundreds of walkers traipsing through their land each day.
When you reach the end, it’s worth paying to go in the castle itself. Not only is it the perfect place to learn more about the area’s history, it also offers unrivalled views across the rest of the Northumberland coastline… including our next walk.
Dunstanburgh to Low Newton
On the other side of Dunstanburgh Castle, it’s like a whole new world. While the walk from Craster takes you across grasslands, the walk to Low Newton drops down into Embleton Bay, a former Countryfile beach of the year.
The golden sands offer sweeping views out to sea, punctuated by concrete bunkers: remnants from the Second World War. The spot is also known for its wildlife, including kittiwake, eider ducks and shags – don’t forget your binoculars.
It’s worth noting that the beach is bordered by a golf course so keep your wits about you in case of flying balls.
At the end of the walk, it’s time to take the weight off your feet with a well-deserved pint at the Ship Inn, in Low Newton, another pretty fishing village from where you can look back at your route and see Dunstanburgh Castle from a whole new angle.
The mainland to Holy Island
In a crowded field, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is one of Northumberland’s most iconic views. Cut off from the mainland by the sea, it’s only accessible at low tide.
Visitors have been flocking to the island for years, tempted by its mix of heritage and creature comforts; as well as a priory and castle, it’s also home to a wide range of pubs, cafes and gift shops.
The island has been a place of pilgrimage since the 600s, and, until 1954, the only way to access it was by walking, which plenty still do today.
However, walking to Holy Island requires a great deal of care and attention to ensure your safety. Tips include walking barefoot, or wearing fully waterproof footwear, carrying a stick and making sure to leave plenty of time.
Safe crossing times apply to both walkers and vehicles and should always be checked before venturing out.
The coast isn’t all Northumberland has to offer. Less than 20 miles inland from your holiday cottage in Bamburgh lies Wooler Common, on the edge of the Northumberland National Park.
Wooler itself is known as the gateway to the Cheviots, and there are plenty of walks to be had in the surrounding hills.
With a network of paths, Wooler Common offers a mix of mature woodland and open common, featuring a number of easy trails for all abilities.
It’s just one of the five Forests of Rothbury, the name given to a collection of woodlands in the north east of Northumberland.
If hillwalking and history are your cup of tea, then Bewick Moor, some 13 miles inland of Bamburgh is a real treat.
Between the coast and the national park, the open moorlands offer breathtaking views across the Cheviots and over to the sea.
However, the moors are a sight to behold in their own right. Covered largely by heather and sheep, its packed with intriguing prehistoric features, including rock art and a Bronze Age burial cairn.
Chief among the mysteries is the Cateran Hole, a 40-metre-long cave surrounded by heather and bracken – not for the faint-hearted.
Accessed by six steep steps, the narrow tunnel’s walls are inscribed with various dates and initials dating back centuries, while a large stone at the end marks the end of the route.
Debate rages about what it was used for; legend has it that it was used as a tunnel between the moors and Chillingham Castle, four miles to the north, while the more realistic explanation is that it was used to hide smugglers’ bounty.
Whatever its use, it’s a popular destination nowadays – if you dare.
If you want to stretch your legs and explore something new, we have a range of holiday cottages in Bamburgh and the surrounding area – check them out here.