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Explore, Relax, Repeat ... A Craster Retreat

Updated: Jan 13

Coastal walks along endless stretches of almost empty beaches with uninterupted views of the rugged Northumberland coastline. Castles and historic sites along the way, followed by lazy pub lunches then back to the cosy warmth of a wood burning stove in a modern 19th century cottage, is this your ideal place for a getaway? Harbourway is one of Catch The Breeze Retreat's beautiful Northumberland properties and is a stylish 4 bedroomed cottage set in the centre of the picturesque fishing village of Craster which is renound for its world famous smoked Craster Kippers and is just around the corner from Harbourway. Harbourway's sister properties in Craster, Driftwood is right next door whilst Middlerigg, Craster Reach & Rock Lobster are just across the road and these properties are perfectly situated next to each other and can be booked together with Harbourway for larger parties if required. All are perfect coastal retreats anytime of the year, but especially peaceful during the Autumn and Winter months when the summer crowds have gone.


I stayed at the stunning Harbourway a 4 bedroomed modernised cottage formerly known as 'Choughs Cafe' by the locals and I was delighted to see that amidst the stylish interiors and modern additions such as the light filled sun room and underfloor heating that many of the original features like the flooring, beams and doors had been sensitively restored as well as the many impressive inglenook fireplaces throughout the property. I just loved the huge big bay windows in the lounge and dining rooms which were absolutely perfect for enjoying the fabulous views of the nearby Harbour whilst enjoying a morning coffee or curled up with a favourite book or one of the board games that are available in the cottage.

The kitchen here is so well equipped, spacious and contemporary, ideal for socialisng with friends and has everything you could possibly need, even it's own wine cooler and American fridge freezer with ice dispenser! Whilst the generously sized dining room is full of character and its impressive inglenook fireplace is perfect for family get togethers and celebrations.

Contemporary open plan kitchen

Dining room with beautiful bay window and inglenook fireplace

One of my favourite rooms at Harbourway was the sun room filled with natural light from the atrium styled roof and the sliding doors leading straight onto the patio garden over-looking the Harbour such a tranquil and peaceful space to recharge. This property is so well proportioned and as well as offering spacious living also has its own private off road parking and extensive outdoor space with a beautiful enclosed garden to the front, also enclosed space at the rear and even its own raised terrace area for enjoying drinks or breakfast in the warmer months, perfect for those Craster kippers!

Sun-room filled with natural light leading to patio

Upstairs there are three bedrooms (two king sized rooms, 1 twin) all with harbour views and both king size with modern en suites in addition to a huge free standing egg shaped family bath ideal for soaking in after long coastal path walks. On the ground floor is a fourth bedroom, which is another generous sized king size with its own en suite and ideal for anyone with limited access

King Size bedroom with Harbour views

Stylishly decorated throughout the house is modern and tastefully designed with nods to the properties previous maritime heritage and history and a perfect place to retreat and cosy up

Cosy lounge with wood burning stove

Being right by the Coast there is no need to worry about outdoor space with long stretches of coastline to enjoy and especially if you are bringing your four-legged friend along with you (one dog allowed). Harbourway has more than ample outdoor space, enclosed and secure for both them and your family to enjoy. An enclosed garden to the front and rear, the front garden affords fabulous views down to the Harbour whilst to the rear a raised terraced area perfect for outdoor dining and socialising. Harbourway also has its own private off road parking enough for three vehicles which in a small fishing village is a real bonus.

Harbourway Location

Whilst I have visited Craster many times previously as a day tripper it's usually to walk across to Dunstanburgh Castle followed by coffee and cake at the nearby Stables Yard where you will find a delicious range of home baked cakes and pastries as well as in the The Village Farm Shop in the nearby village of Embleton and if you're after a more substantial refuel The Dunstanburgh Castle Hotel has a great selection of food and drinks options

Staying the week at Harbourway rather than visiting for the day it was so nice to have time during my stay to explore some of the lesser known places around the village like the Dunstan Heughs which is a wooded walk and leads to where there are still remnants of Italian prisoner of war camps and old World War bunkers evident, also the nearby Arnold Nature Reserve and Embleton Quarry Nature Reserve which are bursting with local nature and wildlife. As well as the popular Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle walk, in the opposite direction the Craster to Howick section of the Northumberland coastal path provides miles of dramatic views and rugged coastline where you can still visibly see the The Great Whin Sill a tabular layer of the igneous rock dolerite rocks from centuries ago like the dramatic headland of Cullernose Point and be sure to add Howick Hall to your visit too it's the ancestral home of the Earls Grey, as in Earl Grey tea and is a great spot for afternoon tea overlooking the beautiful botanical garden. Whilst if you enjoy a bit of beachcombing the Rumbling Kern by the Bathing House is a perfect spot to stop for this. In addition to the more popular locations these lesser known areas are definitely worth adding to add to your visit

Cullernose Point walking from Craster to Howick check out The Great Whin Sill

Dining at The Jolly Fisherman Craster a world-famous seafood restaurant at least once during your stay is a must, where you can dine from the field, the land and the sea, I can personally recommend the Craster Kipper Scotch Eggs and the Halibut with Lobster Bisque is delicious oh and don't forget to add a side of their beef dripping chips too which are absolute moreish.

Locally Caught Halibut with Lobster Bisque The Jolly Fisherman

Just across from The Jolly Fisherman you will find, though probably smell it first the historic and recently awarded Graded II status Craster Kipper smokehouse , where traditional techniques for smoking herrings are still in use at the 167-year-old premised, be sure to pick up some Craster Kippers for breakfast as they are renowned as some as the best in the world and are delicious served simply with fresh brown bread and butter.

Finally pop into see local artist Mick Oxley where you will see lots of his fabulous locally inspired artwork and jewellery for sale and take your own piece of Northumberland back with you to remind you of your wonderful stay whilst at the same time supporting local businesses

Mick Oxley Art Gallery

Harbourway is perfectly named being right by the Harbour and well located for walking the Northumberland coastal path ... by the Harbour and by the way! I had an amazing stay and didnt want to leave, such a stunning property in a fantastic location with so much so close by and easily accesible to both the coast and countryside. I would most definitely recommend this and the other Catch The Breeze Retreat properties in Craster. If you are looking for a luxrious retreat that offers it all then find out more about Harbourway, Driftwood, Middlerigg, Craster Reach and Rock Lobster including availability on the Catch The Breeze Retreats visit their website for more details

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My stay was gifted but all opinions are my own and was under no obligation

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