Bénédicte Cordingley, 10 November, 2021
What can you expect from a day’s walking in Northumberland? For Inntravel’s Bénédicte Cordingley, the highlights were the many breathtaking views and welcoming faces.
Our itinerary had been carefully jam-packed to include a coastal walk from the rugged shore of Craster village to Beadnell’s bustling bay; a peek inside Beadnell Towers; fish and chips in Seahouses and a whizz through Alnwick and Warkworth calling in on three Inntravel accommodations: Greycroft, The Cookie Jar and Warkworth House Hotel.
The day began with cheerful chatter as we trundled up the A1, into the heart of Northumberland and onto its coastal route to begin our walk from Craster to Beadnell which is the final itinerant trail on Inntravel’s Northumberland holidays.
Under a drizzly sky we were handed the route notes by the author himself and waved off in the direction of Craster harbour. We found the fishing village very picturesque and rather dramatic with Its dark stone houses and jagged shoreline. This feeling was only enhanced as the austere ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle came into sight as we headed north onto the headland. With the relic behind us, the day brightened, and as if in unison the scenery and colours became much softer as the landscape changed from rugged coast to sweeping bay. We tactfully crossed Dunstanburgh golf course to gain the sand dunes that hug the curving coastline before descending onto the last stretch of beach and looking back at the impressive outline of Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance. We carried on past the inviting Ship Inn to follow the coast path through fields and rocky outcrops to finally emerge at Beadnell where we bookended our walk with an ice-cream on the harbour overlooking the beach and its many wind surfers and paddle boarders.
Having taken in a good dose of sea air, we devoted our afternoon to visiting our partner accommodations, the first being Beadnell Towers Hotel. We wandered about the village to reach the grand building where many guests were enjoying the terrace. The hotel is stylish and elegant from outside and within, tastefully blending old and new but despite its grandeur it emanates an especially warm and relaxed atmosphere that made us feel very welcome and sorry not to stay longer. I was especially disappointed not to try out their beautiful copper bathtubs!
We hopped back onto the coastal route to continue our tour with our tummies rumbling. Hunger had set in, and we decided to do a spot of boat-watching while replenishing ourselves with fish and chips on Seahouses’ busy harbour looking out to the Farne Islands.
Our next place of interest was Alnwick, home to Greycroft and The Cookie Jar. The former is a beautiful Victorian building with a walled garden ideally located in a quiet yet central part of the busy market town. It was once a home to the family who now run it as a guesthouse with great passion and efficiency. The breakfasts served by owner Tom are renowned to be delicious and listening to him describe his menu made us regret not stopping by before our walk. The latter, The Cookie Jar, is located on Baliffgate within the castle quarter. The building was once a convent and has been tastefully converted into a luxurious and welcoming boutique hotel with more than a touch of class. As we stepped off Baliffgate we were taken aback by the tranquil atmosphere and stylish decor of its bistro, lounge and garden. Again, we were sorry to leave.
Our last port of call was Warkworth House Hotel, a beautiful sandstone building set in the heart of the quaint village of Warkworth beneath its castle and a stone’s throw from the River Coquet. The atmosphere is relaxed and inclusive to all and the village itself is a lovely and interesting place to explore.
Our day had sadly come to an end and we felt positively refreshed and motivated by the sea air, breathtaking views and welcoming faces that had been a part of it.
The Northumberland Coast & its Castles
Not only are the routes on our Northumberland walking holiday scenic, but they are varied, too, taking you both inland and along the coast, with plenty of time to explore the castles that you pass. We offer four and six-night versions of the holiday; on both, you have the chance to visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne or to take a boat trip to spot seals and puffins on the Farne Islands.