Built on the most magnificent scale, Dunstanburgh Castle stands on a remote headland in Northumberland. The castle was built at a time when relations between King Edward II and his most powerful baron, Earl Thomas of Lancaster, had become openly hostile. Lancaster began the fortress in 1313, and the latest archaeological research indicates that he built it on a far grander scale than was originally recognised, perhaps more as a symbol of his opposition to the king than as a military stronghold.
Unfortunately the earl failed to reach Dunstanburgh when his rebellion was defeated, and was taken and executed in 1322. Thereafter the castle passed eventually to John of Gaunt, who strengthened it against the Scots by converting the great twin towered gatehouse into a keep.
The focus of fierce fighting during the Wars of the Roses, it was twice besieged and captured by Yorkist forces, but subsequently fell into decay.
- The great twin-towered keep
- Views of the dramatic ruins from the wave-battered coastline
- The awe-inspiring walk along Northumberland's picturesque coast to reach the castle
- Craster Kippers, the local delicacy
Access information for the site is listed below. For more information, or if you have particular access needs, please contact English Heritage before you visit. Please note that some facilities may require booking in advance.
- Assistance Dogs Welcome
- Disabled Parking: Two reserved spaces at Craster, 1.3 miles from Castle. Not managed by English Heritage.
- Stairs: Spiral stairs in Gatehouse. No alternative access to upper floors of Gatehouse.
HOW TO REACH
Council car park in Craster (60 spaces), 1.3 miles from site. Limited car parking at Embleton Golf Club. Coin operated machines. Not managed by English Heritage. No refund of car park charges on admission.
8 miles north-east of Alnwick; on footpaths from Craster or Embleton – 1 1⁄2 miles rugged coastal walk
Postcode : NE66 3TT
Latitude : 55.48953
Longtitude : -1.59425
Arriva service X18 Travelsure 418. Alight Craster and take coast walk, 1 1⁄2 miles
Chathill, not Sun, 5 miles from Embleton, 7 miles from Castle; Alnmouth, 7 miles from Craster, 8 1⁄4 miles from Castle
Entry without gift aid/with gift aid:
Child (5-17 years) £3.40/£3.80
Family (2 adults, up to 3 children) £14.80/£16.40
NE66 3TT Alnwick