Dunstanburgh Castle

Today I showed some photos of our recent holiday in Northumberland to my students. They really enjoyed the photos of the puffins, of course, but they also loved the shots I took of one of my favourite castles (oh why beat around the bush? This is my most favourite castle ever!): Dunstanburgh. Its main feature is the massive twin-towered gatehouse visible from afar.

You reach Dunstanburgh Castle by following an easy trail by the sea, about a mile and a half walk from the car park located right outside the village of Craster.

What can I say about that walk? Simply stunning, even in the chilly rain, wind and mud (and sheep poo, hehe). And as you approach the castle located on a vast promontory overlooking the sea…well, the views of the coast, of the castle and of nearby fields are magical.

Even though it is now a ruin, Dunstanburgh, according to Wikipedia, was and is the largest castle in Northumberland, occupying 4.5 hectares. It’s protected on two sides by sheer cliffs and the sea, as you can sort of see in the photo on the right that I took from one of its towers (the only one that you can still climb) and in the photo below.

The castle was built in the 14th century for the Earl of Lancaster but apparently did not play a significant part in the border warfare against Scotland. It was severely damaged during the War of the Roses in the 15th century and subsequently fell into ruin. Today it is owned by the National Trust and managed by English Heritage.

Well worth a visit. You will not be disappointed, believe me.

After visiting most of the castles in Northumberland, Stefano and I decided that we didn’t care much for the privately-owned, restored castles, even though from a distance Bamburgh Castle, also located on the coast of Northumberland, is quite a sight.

No, we liked castle ruins best of all: Edlingham and Etal, just to mention a couple.

Dunstanburgh, though, has no rivals.


  1. Dear Margaret,

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  2. Dunstanburgh’s my favourite too. I love going out there at sunset.

    V. interesting post from Louise.


  3. I was really into castles when I was in the UK in ’75, and Dunstanborough and Bamberg were my 2 favorites too.

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