April: St Oswald’s Way from numerous Retreats
This route is one of the most accessible from many of our Retreats. You can join the route at various points and walk as little or as much as you choose.
Holy Island to Bamburgh
The walk starts at Holy Island and passes south through Budle Bay where our Budle Haugh, Budle Falls and Coral Cottage Retreats are situated. From one of these cottages you can either walk north or south depending on your preference. North will show you St Cuthbert’s Cave – locally known as Cuddy’s Cave, where it is said that the monks of Lindisfarne Priory brought 7th Century St Cuthbert’s body to rest following Viking raids on Holy Island, and Holy Island itself. Going south, you can take in Budle Bay nature reserve with its long distance views of Holy Island and then Bamburgh Castle and its expansive white sands.
Bamburgh to Craster
This section is 14 miles in total and includes the villages of Bamburgh, Seahouses, Beadnell, Newton and Craster, and is where the majority of our Retreats are concentrated. If you are staying close to the shoreline, then you can access the route easily. The walk can be broken up into smaller sections; Bamburgh to Seahouses takes about 25 minutes, so it is feasible to walk there, stop for lunch and do the return journey. Similarly Beadnell to Newton is another good option with The Ship Inn waiting for you at Newton. Although out favourite has to be the Newton to Craster stretch, which includes the sparkling sands of Embleton Bay, Dunstanburgh Castle and the fishing village of Craster with its pub, restaurant and café – repeatedly named as one of the UK’s best coastal walks.
Craster to Alnmouth
Notable sites on this section of St Oswald’s Way are Northumberland’s earliest Stone Age settlement at Howick – Howick is also home to Earl Grey’s Howick Hall and Gardens if you fancied a stop off – and Alnmouth beach and its two golf courses, one of which is the oldest in England. The route then passes around the Aln Estuary with fabulous views of Amble and Coquet Island before heading into the village of Warkworth. Any of our Craster Retreats are near to this part of the walk, along with The Alnmouth Boathouse at the other end of the route.