A small fishing village on the North Sea located about 16 miles south of Holy Island, Craster offers two things that many tourists find very attractive in a holiday venue: quiet and quaint. Famous for its kippers and smoked salmon prepared in with traditional oak smoking, this area, complete with its own factory for producing smoked fish, is just full of the ambiance that one associates with a sleepy little village town on the coastal waters. With cliff top views of the North Sea and about a 1.5 mile walk from the historic Dunstanburgh Castle, scenery is at a premium in and around Craster.
Nearby Dunstanburgh Castle, a National Trust of 11 acres is a sight to see. This 14th century castle nestled into the coast and surrounded by defensive walls brings history to life. Following a walking route that begins in Craster, and then heads north past the remarkable ruins of windswept Dunstanburgh Castle, one soon arrives at the golden beaches of Embleton Bay. The path then heads inland, returning to Craster by way of the bracken and heather covered undulations of The Heughs.
With wonderful coastal walking originating in Craster, nature lovers will simply love the vast selection of migrating birds, seals, and otters that can be spotted along the coast. This pretty harbour village long known for its much wanted kippers awaits your visit with the promise of relaxation and solitude so often sought for in a holiday.
Owing its name to the Craster family (William de Craucetr), the first mention of this family has citations going as far back as 1272. Craster Tower is listed in a survey of forts going back to 1415. Craster Tower is a two storey 15th century tower with a vaulted basement and is built of strong rectangular stones. This building has changed very little since that time. The family built the present harbour in the early 1900’s in memory of John Craster who was lost during active duty during his service in India.
Nestled into the volcanic whinstone basalt ridge of Chaster Heugh, Craster is blessed with an almost natural harbour and had sustained itself for many years in the past through fishing. Although declining in recent years, the fishing industry still lands boats in Craster that are willing to brave the elements of the brutal North Sea. One can easily follow a picturesque coastal footpath that follows the rocky shore while nibbling on kippers that are often provided from Craster to the Royal Family. The Northumberland Coast Path – Stage 3 will lead you past the Dunstanburgh Castle up to Seahouses, and walking aficionados of all age groups can meander along this approximately 6 mile long path.
As you enter Craster the car park can be found on the right hand side just before the Harbour and is well sign posted. Charges are £2 per day prices correct May 2011 (no hourly rate available). One of the first things you noticed when you leave your car is the distinct smell of smoked kippers coming from the L. Robson & Sons Ltd the world famous traditional fish smokers which is located directly in front of the car park. The tourist information centre can also be found near the entrance to the car park.
Moving to the south, one can take in the earliest and best-preserved Mesolithic round-house yet to be found in Britain. With archaeologists unearthing this well-preserved structure, located in nearby Howick, a few miles south of Craster, you will get a quick peak at seeing what life in the Middle Stone Ages was like, so bring your imagination! Craster is simply a stunning place to visit with its close proximity to golden sandy beaches, nature and wildlife, and Dunstanburgh Castle, of the largest castles in the country in its heyday, so plan your trip today.