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Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point

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Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 18 Jun 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point Walking Guidestar1 Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point Walking Guidestar1 Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point Walking Guidestar1 Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point Walking Guidestar0 Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point Walking Guide
Northumberland, Bamburgh
Walk Type: Coastal
Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point Walking Guide boot Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point Walking Guide
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A 4 mile circular walk from the popular village of Bamburgh in the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The capital of ancient Northumbria, Bamburgh is notable for three things, all of which you can explore whilst following this route. First, Bamburgh Castle is one of Northumberland’s most iconic buildings and serves as a backdrop to the entire route. Second, the extensive sandy beaches are some of the best in England, ideal for picnics or rock pooling. Finally, the village is the final resting place of Grace Darling, the Victorian heroine famed for participating in the rescue of a shipwreck in 1838.

Bamburgh is a very popular tourist destination so if you want to avoid the crowds it is better to visit on weekdays or out of season. The route follows the beach/sand dunes for the outward leg which, as with all sand, is a bit of a workout. There are a couple of rockier sections too so watch your step. If you want to enjoy the largest expanse of the golden beach, time your walk to avoid high tide. Dogs are welcome on the beach but please clear up after them. The return leg crosses a golf course (be sure to watch out for flying golf balls) and then follows the grass verge alongside the B-road back into the village. Where the grass verge gets narrow in a couple of places take good care to avoid the passing traffic which can be heavy at peak times. There are no stiles to negotiate, just a few kissing gates. You will pass public toilets on the way back into the village. Approximate time 2 hours.

Bamburgh is located on the Northumberland coast, between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Alnwick. The walk starts and finishes from the long stay pay and display car park within the village, directly opposite the castle (this was free at the time of writing). Approximate post code NE69 7DF.

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Walk Sections

Start to Lighthouse
Start to Lighthouse

Start point: 55.6077 lat, -1.7104 long
End point: 55.6164 lat, -1.724 long

Standing in the car park, facing the castle, leave the car park via the front left pedestrian gate. Turn left along the pavement and, where the road swings left, cross over with care and bear left through the gateway into the park area. Follow the tarmac path, swinging right through the park, staying alongside the tall castle rock and walls to the right.

The Bamburgh Castle we see today is a relatively recent structure, restored by the famed industrialist Lord Armstrong at vast cost in late Victorian times. Built on a dolerite outcrop, the castle boasts a much longer history. There have been settlements on the site since prehistoric times and it was once home to the kings of ancient Northumbria. The Normans built a new castle here and that forms the core of the present one. The castle is still the ancestral home of the Armstrong family and is open to the public.

At the far end of the park, keep ahead through the gap in the wall to reach the sand dunes. At the fork, keep right and then make your way out to the open sandy beach. Turn left along the back of the beach, with the grass dunes running on the left. (Note: if you prefer, or if the tide is in, you can walk through the grass dunes themselves).

The back of the beach becomes a little rocky. Continue to pass the land-side of Bamburgh Lighthouse on Stag Rocks, named after the painted white stag on the rock face. Bamburgh Lighthouse is the most northerly land based lighthouse in England. Keeper’s accommodation has never been needed here as the lighthouse was automated from opening in 1910.

Lighthouse to Gun Emplacement
Lighthouse to Gun Emplacement

Start point: 55.6164 lat, -1.724 long
End point: 55.6152 lat, -1.7457 long

With the lighthouse on the right, keep ahead along the grassy path with the dunes up to the left. You will pass Harkess Rocks on the right. Stay on this grass path for some distance (taking care where it gets rocky) and you will emerge out to another section of wide sandy beach.

Follow the back of the beach and across to the right you will be able to see Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island. (Again, if you prefer, or the tide dictates, you can use the paths within the dunes).

As you round the last part of Budle Point, you will see the remains of a derelict short stone pier ahead. Just before this, turn left to climb the dunes, passing a World War II gun emplacement on the right. Just past the emplacement you will come to a T-junction with another path in the dunes. Turn right along this and you will pass immediately behind the gun emplacement.

Gun Emplacement to Gate into Golf Course
Gun Emplacement to Gate into Golf Course

Start point: 55.6152 lat, -1.7457 long
End point: 55.6115 lat, -1.7423 long

Immediately beyond the emplacement, fork left onto St Oswald’s Way, a path which climbs further up the dunes. The path will lead you into the edge of a golf course. Follow the path along the right-hand edge of the golf course, allowing golfers to play their shots before you proceed and taking care of any stray flying balls. At the far side, pass through the kissing gate to reach the access lane at the top of the caravan park.

Follow this lane for just a few yards and then take the first left, signed for St Oswald’s Way, a farm track which leads you through a wide metal gate. Follow the track past the holiday cottages on the left.

At the T-junction, cross straight over into the open meadow. Turn left along the near boundary and then a few yards in, before you enter the next field, swing right following the path uphill with the remnants of a fence on the left. At the top of the slope you will reach a wooden kissing gate which leads you back into the golf course.

Gate into Golf Course to End
Gate into Golf Course to End

Start point: 55.6115 lat, -1.7423 long
End point: 55.6079 lat, -1.7104 long

Take particular care here as the path now crosses the fairways. Allow golfers to play their shots before you proceed and keep a careful watch for any stray flying balls. Follow the path through the course (at about 1 o’clock) marked with blue-topped posts.

As you reach the final green at the top of the slope, pass through the wooden gate on the right to reach the main road, the B1342. Turn left along the grass verge, signed as the Coast Path. Ignore the side road signed to Dukesfield, simply keep straight ahead along the grass verge.

This road will lead you all the way back into Bamburgh village, heading directly for the castle. Take particular care where the verge narrows as the traffic can be fairly busy at peak times. Bamburgh Castle's epic scale attracts film and television crews and it has featured in everything from Time Team to Becket.

Soon after you enter the 30mph zone, a pavement begins. You will pass St Aiden’s Church on the left and the Grace Darling Museum on the right. In 1838 the Forfarshire was shipwrecked off the Farne Islands. The survivors were stranded on a nearby low rocky island. Grace Darling and her father, William, realised the weather was too rough for the lifeboat, and so took a rowing boat out to rescue the survivors. Grace was recognised for her bravery. She is buried with her parents in this churchyard and an elaborate memorial is sited in a position such that it can be seen by passing ships.

Follow the road all the way back to the car park where the walk began.

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2 images to "Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point"

3351_0admin1404122102 Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point Walking Guide Image by: admin
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Taken on a lovely day in June 2014
3351_0admin1404122171 Bamburgh Castle and Budle Point Walking Guide Image by: admin
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
We took this in the morning as we tracked the walk. June 2014. There was a mist rolling in but bright sunshine....

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