white horse logo

The Northumberland Coast Path about 2.5km south of Craster, looking back to 'The Bathing House' holiday cottage
The Northumberland Coast Path about 2.5km south of Craster, looking back to 'The Bathing House' holiday cottage

Menu:

National Parks

| 2001 walks | 2002 walks | 2003 walks | 2004 walks |
| 2005 walks | 2006 walks | 2007 walks | 2008 walks |
| 2009 walks | 2010 walks | 2011 walks | 2012 walks |
| 2013 walks | 2014 walks | 2015 walks | 2016 walks |
| 2017 walks | 1993-2000 library | Find a Route |
| A few Routes to print out | Request a Route... |

Route No. 592 - Tuesday 8 September 2015
Craster, Howick Hall,
Northumberland Coast Path circuit - 8km
Northumberland . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 332 Alnwick & Amble


The path from the car park access road into the Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve
The path from the car park access road into the Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve

Woodland path through the Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve
Woodland path through the Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve


Leaving the nature reserve to the path across the field

From the car park entrance road we set off along this public footpath in a south westerly direction towards South Craster Farm. The path took us through the Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve, owned by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust. (Dr Lawrence Arnold was a founder member). The path through this woodland reserve brought us to some open grassland and we followed the path across the field to the road near Craster South Farm. We crossed the road and made our way up the access road to the farm.

This morning my friend, Jim, and I met two more friends, John & George, at the main public car park on the edge of Craster on the Northumberland Coast. At the entrance to the pay & display car park is a Tourist Information Centre, some public toilets and a stall selling hot & cold food & drinks. About 50m from the main road along the car park entrance road there is a public footpath crossing the car park entrance road at map ref.NU 256 198.

Woodland path through the Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve
Woodland path through the Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve

Gate to the road near Craster South Farm
Gate to the road near Craster South Farm

Heading south off the Craster South Farm access road
Heading south off the Craster South Farm access road

Path heading south from Craster South Farm
Path heading south from Craster South Farm

Herd of Beef cattle below Hips Heugh
Herd of Beef cattle below Hips Heugh

There was a herd of beef cattle with well grown calves and a Limosin bull gathered round the gate as we approached. The adult cattle took no notice of us at all, the bull continued checking which of the cows could be receptive to his advances and a few of the calves were a bit skittish. We passed through the herd to follow the path along the bottom of the Hips Heugh crags and the cattle wandered slowly away to graze the grassland on top of the crags.

After about 120m from the road we turned left to follow a footpath heading south along the edge of the field where the cereal crop had just been harvested. Beyond this field we came to some more pasture land and turned a corner to the left that brought us to a gate into a field below a rocky outcrop called Hips Heugh.

Path heading south from Craster South Farm
Path heading south from Craster South Farm

Herd of Beef cattle below Hips Heugh
Herd of Beef cattle below Hips Heugh

Following the path along the bottom of the crags called Hips Heugh
Following the path along the bottom of the crags called Hips Heugh - we turned right at the trees

Path across the fields towards Howick Hall
Path across the fields towards Howick Hall

Path across the fields towards Howick Hall
Path across the fields towards Howick Hall

Track climbing up through the woods towards Howick Hall
Track climbing up through the woods towards Howick Hall

There were round bales of straw from the recent harvest in this large field. We continued southwards to the end of this field and then followed the track bearing to the right and climbing up through some woodland to the car park access road at Howick Hall. We followed the access road for about 50m away from the car park and out to the public road next to the gateway into Howick Hall (map ref.NU 250 175).

About a third of the way along the bottom of the crags there are a couple of trees on the right of the path. Here we followed the feint path to the right past these trees to a footpath gate in the wall. We continued across the next field with it's heavy crop of weeds to the corner of some woodland. We passed through the field gate and followed a track around the edge of the field next to the woodland.

Path across the fields towards Howick Hall
Path across the fields towards Howick Hall

Path across the fields towards Howick Hall
Path across the fields towards Howick Hall

Joining the access road to Howick Hall car park
Joining the access road to Howick Hall car park

Gate way to the drive through the grounds to Howick Hall
Gate way to the drive through the grounds to Howick Hall

The road from the gate way of Howick Hall to the coast
The road from the gate way of Howick Hall to the coast

Turning off the road to the path to the coast
Turning off the road to the path to the coast

Rescue helicopter on a mission?
Rescue helicopter on a mission?

We followed a public footpath along an access track for about 300m to the Northumberland Coast Path. We turned left at the coast to follow the coast path northwards towards Craster.

Here we turned left to walk along the road towards the coast. After about 850m we came to a 'T'-junction next to Sea Houses Farm. At the junction we kept straight on leaving the road.

The road from the gate way of Howick Hall to the coast
The road from the gate way of Howick Hall to the coast

Path along a track to the coast
Path along a track to the coast

Viewing the rocks from the coast path
Viewing the rocks from the coast path

Looking south along the Northumberland Coast Path
Looking south along the Northumberland Coast Path

Coast path at the Bathing House holiday cottage
Coast path at the Bathing House holiday cottage

Rose hips by the path
Rose hips by the path

Fulmars on the grassy slope above the rocks
Fulmars on the grassy slope above the rocks

We sat on the grass off the coast path at Cullernose Point for a short break and a snack. There were a group of about half a dozen sea-birds that at first I took to be gulls but as we sat there I realised that they were Fulmars gliding round and occasionally resting on the grassy slope above the rocks.

The rocky coast here is lovely and we kept on stopping to listen to & watch the waves breaking on the rocks. We passed a very well maintained stone two storey house on the edge of the rocks. It's a holiday cottage called "The Bathing House" owned by Howick Hall and almost fully booked for the next 12 months!

One of many stops just to look at the rocky shore
One of many stops just to look at the rocky shore


Approaching Cullernose Point

Curved rock strata at Cullernose Point
Curved rock strata at Cullernose Point

Looking north along the coast towards Craster
Looking north along the coast towards Craster

Cliff top path at Cullernose Point
Cliff top path at Cullernose Point

Poorly Great Northern Diver (oiled?)
Poorly Great Northern Diver (oiled?)

On closer inspection I came to the not very certain conclusion that it was probably a juvenile Great Northern Diver or possible a black throated diver. In any case it seemed to have encountered a patch of oil that had discoloured its breast feathers and the feathers on top of its head seemed to be matted with oil.

After our break we continued towards Craster along the coast path. Below us on the rocks near Black Hole was a large bird standing above the breaking waves. It was an unusual shape that at first I didn't recognise. Then it dawned on me. It was a diver. I couldn't tell which species and it didn't look very happy.

Distant view of Dunstanburgh Castle beyond Craster
Distant view of Dunstanburgh Castle beyond Craster

Another lingering look at the rocky shore
Another lingering look at the rocky shore

Approaching the edge of Craster along the Northumberland Coast Path
Approaching the edge of Craster along the Northumberland Coast Path

Approaching Craster along the Northumberland Coast Path
Approaching Craster along the Northumberland Coast Path

The Northumberland Coast Path at Craster
The Northumberland Coast Path at Craster

The Jolly Fisherman pub in Craster
The Jolly Fisherman pub in Craster

Following the gravel access road to the right at the crossroads
Following the gravel access road to the right at the crossroads

At the cross roads about 100m up the slope from the pub we turned right and followed a gravel access road for about 50m to it's end and then continued along a gravel footpath (it is a public right of way) for another 150m, past some timber holiday cabins and into the car park and the end of our walk. The whole route had been 8km and it had taken us about 3.5 hours to walk including our lunch break and numerous photo stops.

We continued along the coast path to Craster and emerged on to the village street along the side of the "Jolly Fisherman" pub. We made a short diversion to the right to get a supply of Craster kippers to take home and to get a photo of the harbour. Then we retraced our steps to the Jolly Fisherman pub. Opposite the pub we walked up the street called Whin Hill.

The Northumberland Coast Path at Craster
The Northumberland Coast Path at Craster

The harbour from the coast path at Craster
The harbour from the coast path at Craster

Walking up Whin Hill opposite the pub
Walking up Whin Hill opposite the pub

Gravel path heading back to the car park in Craster
Gravel path heading back to the car park in Craster

Passing several timber holiday cabins next to the car park at the end of the walk
Passing several timber holiday cabins next to the car park at the end of the walk

The harbour at Craster seen from opposite to kipper shop
The harbour at Craster seen from opposite to kipper shop

Top of Page