Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle, Craster: Hours, Address, Dunstanburgh Castle Reviews: 4.5/5

Dunstanburgh Castle
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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4.5
1,478 reviews
Excellent
806
Very good
514
Average
122
Poor
25
Terrible
11

AlexTheJock
Wigston, UK1,610 contributions
Six middle aged friends visited the castle one lovely late September day. We booked the visit online the evening before, but were a bit confused due to the fact that the property is on the National Trust website, but we had to go to the English Heritage website to book. We are all National Trust members, so booked in the members section of the EH website. You need to put in a membership number when booking and it accepts the NT membership number. We were still a bit concerned about whether we would get allowed in next day, but we really needn't have worried as all was fine. We parked up in Caster Quarry car park, which costs £4 for all day parking. It then took us around 45 minutes to walk along the beautiful shoreline from Caster to the castle. When we arrived all we had to do was show our NT membership cards, and in we went - the site is ran by both NT and EH. We spent an hour wandering around the castle and grounds, but really wished that we would have taken a picnic, as this site really lends itself to doing this on a lovely day like we visited. The views are spectacular, and it would have been great just sitting looking out to sea as we ate. This experience is a lovely way to spend an hour.
Written September 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for your review. Dunstanburgh Castle is managed by English Heritage and National Trust members visit for free. We look forward to welcoming you again with your picnic.
Written September 30, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

FearfulFlyer2
Bristol, UK461 contributions
In a county packed with fabulous places, including more than its fair share of iconic castles, Dunstanburgh Castle stood out for me as particularly special. It's mostly a ruin, which in some ways makes it more photogenic and fascinating than some of its better preserved neighbours. The setting is stunning, perched above the sea. You have to walk about a mile, mostly on the flat, to reach it. It is a grassy path but not rough and should be manageable by most people, including those with limited mobility/wheelchair users. The walk is really part of the attraction, with stunning sea views all the way along. There are lots of rockpools at low tide that are also inviting, especially for children.

The walk is open to anyone but the castle grounds themselves require a ticket. It is free for both English Heritage and National Trust members, and the price is reasonable for non-members. Whilst the walk and views of the castle are part of the attraction, I do think it's worth paying the modest fee to go around the castle grounds, which are really large and offer lots of lovely views of the sea and of the castle itself from different angles (which you won't get from outside the grounds due to its position below the brow of the hill). Also by paying that small entrance fee you are helping preserve it for everyone to enjoy in the future. It's possible to see inside a couple of rooms within the ruin, and to climb up to the top of one of the towers. The tower climb is one of the easier ones - it's a spiral staircase but a wide one with even, flat steps, and quite manageable even if you are not very fit or don't like heights. If you can climb an ordinary flight of stairs, you should be fine on these and the views are worth it.

I loved walking around the grounds here and I felt the place had a special magic. Do try to visit on a nice day if possible - dry and clear, to get the most out of the views.
Written September 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your lovely review. Dunstanburgh Castle offers spectacular views accross the coastline, and we agree that the views from the inside are better than the views from the outside. We look forward to welcoming you again.
Written September 28, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dabblings
Sandhurst, UK1,408 contributions
Park at the Quarry car park just before village of Craster. Huge car park, but it does get busy on sunny days. Follow the signs to the castle. It takes you along a wide grass covered coastal path for about a mile. You can see the castle from start of walk & the closer you get the more dramatic it is. At present you have to book through English Heritage to go in, but National Trust membership is accepted too. If you've forgotten to book ahead you can book at the entrance - but still have to go through English Heritage site. It's a massive castle, the entrance area is the most complete, but the four corners are still visible. It's so impressive. I think the remoteness makes it more interesting.
Written July 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for your review. After 19th July booking is still advisable, but bookings will close at 9am on the day. We will have a number of tickets available on the gate. We look forward to welcoming you again.
Written July 18, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Toni N
12 contributions
Arrived later than our ticket time due to a stressful day, after the boat we were on in Seahouses broke down. It took some time for us to be towed to the harbour safely, and because of this we were late to arrive at the castle. We had prepaid tickets that allowed entry between 3-4pm.

We arrived at 4.10pm to see a sign that the castle was closed. It was publicised as closing at 5pm. We spoke with a man called Paul, explained our situation, and asked to be let into the castle with our prepaid tickets. He refused to let us in.

I explained the situation again, and asked why he wasn't letting us in. It was because we were later than our tickets allowed, and last entry was 4pm, that was non-negotiable. I explained again that we had prepaid tickets, and his final comment was that he couldn't let us in because "we wouldn't be able to see everything in the time we had left."

This was incredibly disappointing, as from our perspective, we had paid for the tickets, we had walked over a mile from the car park to get there, and we understood that they closed at 5pm, and would rather have seen something, than nothing at all. I will be following up with the English Heritage, as we want a refund for our tickets, and this way of behaving has no place in a service organisation.

As it happens, our guide book advised against going into the castle, as it said the most interesting part of it was the walk from Craster and the view from outside. This has added to a long list of issues we've had with the English Heritage, who, quite frankly, I don't believe are fit to protect the heritage of this country. The National Trust do a much better job, and have a strong customer service ethos.
Written September 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review. We are sorry that you have had a difficult day on the day you planned to visit us. English Heritage sites have last entry times to ensure that you, our visitors, get to see the site in an unhurried manner. As the largest castle in Northumberland, Dunstanburgh Castle has a last entry time of an hour before closing as we do not want to welcome you in and then throw you out. We look forward to welcoming you on another occaision.
Written September 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elzappy
Cockermouth98 contributions
From Craster it's a pleasant 20-30 minute walk along the cliffs or beach to the entrance of the Castle which is pay to enter (free for English Heritage or National Trust members). The ruins are atmospheric and dramatic when viewed against a blue sky. The views in all directions are interesting and the bird life an added bonus. We saw an avocet, eider ducks, turnstones, redshanks and several other species. The turnstones really do turn stones!
Written September 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for your lovely review. Dunstanburgh Castle is a haven for birdlife, with nesting seabirds arriving in May/June and non-migrant species like our ravens staying throughout the year. We look forward to welcoming you again.
Written September 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RazzyBthefirst
Macclesfield, UK1,150 contributions
After a visit to the Piper's Pitch, we set off for the castle, it's not accessible except on foot but it's an easy mile or so and you get a fantastic perspective all the way.

English Heritage owned but NT members get in for free. Friendly guide, she walks to work(!), explained about the castle, where to explore and informed us that it is the biggest in Northumberland. It's in a state of disrepair and nothing like the majesty of Bamburgh but a fascinating place. Hard to imagine when you climb inside and reach the top that it was built 700 years ago, no wonder it took 6 years.

Walked back, close to the beach and there are plenty of rock pools to explore if you so wish.
Written September 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your lovely review. Dunstanburgh Castle has been a ruin longer than it has been a Castle, unlike Bamburgh and Alnwick which have both been continuously occupied. We look forward to welcoming you again.
Written September 28, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bernardo2000
Leicester, UK21 contributions
Family
Arrived at approximately 3:30pm on Tuesday 28th June after an atmospheric and enjoyable walk along the coastal path from Craster. We were greeted at the gate by a really friendly, genuine and knowledgeable member of staff who told us everything we needed to know and a brief history of the castle. Popped into the shop for a drink where we were greeted by another very friendly staff member.

Had a great look around the castle ruins, taking in the breathtaking scenery. Recommend taking the steps up to the top of one of the towers to really make the most of the view. The new composting toilets are very good (although signage on the gate at Craster could do with updating as it currently says there are no facilities available).

A very nice afternoon out and good value for money. English Heritage - your staff here are a credit to you!
Written June 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your lovely review. Staff at Dunstanburgh Castle work hard to welcome you and help you to make the most of yur visit. We look forward to welcoming you again.
Written July 3, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tony_cass
Great Chesterford, UK177 contributions
Couples
There are two main ways to approach the Castle, we chose from Craster village. There is a well signed carkpark on the right hand side as you approach Craster village, its a pay and display, I could see about half a dozen places for disabled parking and I made out at least one car charging point, but there may be more. On leaving Craster we noticed an overspill car park which was £4 per day this was located prior to the official car park again on the right as you approach the village.
On the morning of our visit the gods had delivered glorious unbroken sunshine, however the walk towards the Castle would be equally great even under the leaden sky’s of winter. The approach has some stones tracks but they are flanked by grasslands so are more accessible to those less flight of foot. You share the space with sheep and cattle, remember to keep animals on leads.
The Castle has been well described and photographed, but believe me there is nothing like visiting in person and slowly appreciating its magnificent setting.
On entering the Castle through the stone gateway, we were met by one of the trust staff who checked our passes
in this case it was Deborah, who quite frankly amazed us with her ability to deal with the large number of visitors with an unerring friendliness, knowledge and oblivious passion for her work. Both her and the lady in the small shop are a credit to the National Trust.
Mentioning the shop a small bottle of water is £1.80, so if you are a family group it may be beneficial to bring some with you and have a picnic in the grounds. There are site bins but I would say take your empty bottles and wrappers home as this will remove the site of the problem of large amounts of refuse having to be transported off.
Written September 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your lovely review. Dunstanburgh Castle is run by English Heritage and allow our National Trust friends to visit for free. Don't forget to bring your membership cards. We look forward to welcoming you again.
Written September 28, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

traveldoc65
Cockermouth, UK2,179 contributions
Couples
An impressive picturesque 14th Century ruined castle. Entry was free as we are National Trust members, as it is to English Heritage members and other affiliated organisations . Online booking of a time slot is required through the English Heritage website due to Covid restrictions .We arrived early and were allowed in early as it wasn’t busy. We parked in the Craster quarry car park ( £6 for 24 hours). Pay by coins or by phone. The phone signal is poor so there are instructions how to log into the tourist information wifi to access this. It’s an easy walk along the coastal path which is wide and grassy. As soon as you get into Craster the castle is visible to the north so impossible to get lost. It’s about a 45 minute stroll at a gentle pace. The English Heritage guide at the entrance gave us an excellent and informative review of the castle’s history. There is a one way system through the castle and grounds. The shop is open.
Written May 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for your lovely review. Dunstanburgh Castle is one of only six sites in the UK where both English Heritage and National Trust members get in for free. Don't forget to being your memebrship cards. We look forward to welcoming you again.
Written May 9, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

FlyingFinn73
Warwick, UK22 contributions
Friends
We pre-booked to visit Dunstanburgh Castle as National Trust members through the English Heritage website. You need to allow sufficient time to walk the lovely coastal walk to the castle from the car park in Craster (a very quaint fishing village). The walk set the scene perfectly for the castle, which dominates the coast for miles each way. The lovely friendly staff made our visit all the more memorable.
Written June 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for your lovely review. Dunstanburgh Castle is a mile and a half from Craster, we advise giving yourself about half an hour to reach us while admiring the views on route. We look forward to welcoming you again.
Written June 20, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM