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30. Craster

start: Craster
distance: 27 miles
OS map: 81

Craster route mapAn interesting route along the seashore and through countryside in a quiet corner of Northumberland with an excellent pub at half distance. Not particularly strenuous. (The cycling that is - not the pub!)

Park at the tourist information office and from here make your way to the small harbour which may of interest. Find the public footpath up behind the church heading South out of the village. Shortly after leaving the village the path leads to the shore. Follow the path, passing Cullernose Point, which offers some rock climbing, to a house at Rumbling Kern that illustrates the effects of weather erosion. From this house it is best to leave the path at Seahouses and follow a track for a short distance to a footbridge at (258 163) and onwards to Boulmer.

On the side road now until the beach can be accessed near Seaton Point. This beach offers excellent cycling almost all the way to Alnmouth. There is one short section that requires either a detour up a path (signposted) and along the edge of a golf course or a carry across some rocks. It may be possible to ride round the rocks at low tide.

Alnmouth is a pleasant little town complete with some shops and pubs. The Red Lion offering fine real ale and good food.

Leave the town and follow the B1338 to Alnmouth Station and on to Bilton where a right turn is made at (226 108). Down this road, passing a building with trees growing on its roof, and aim for the stepping stones at (216 118). Cross the river and go uphill to the crossroads at (221 127). If the river proves difficult then a path going upstream can be used. This joins the A1068 at Alndyke farm which is a short way to the West of the crossroads.

Northwards from here passing Ratcheugh Crag, complete with folly at its top and some good rock climbing to reach it, to another crossroads. Turn right and cruise down to Longhoughton. North through the village and after a mile or so leave the B1339 and join a side road that leads to Howick. From here either rejoin the coastal path or simply follow the side road, turning right at the next junction, back to Craster.

The route was done in January and some sections were fairly muddy and the river proved impossible to cross. Probably best done in summer or after a dry period. For the rock climbers, Ratcheugh is worth a visit.

w k dodds, lauder

Download GPS data in GPX format.

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