Northumberland 4 - Craster the home of Lobster and Crab/The Cottage Inn/packed car parks - it's not Mousehole or Porthleven

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September 10th 2020
Published: September 10th 2020
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So what can I say about Craster ? Well it is not a Mousehole nor is it a Porthleven . It was probably not quite what I expected despite the search on Google Earth and reading up about the place . I had expected a village similar to many I had seen in Cornwall over the years .Small but perfectly formed with shops . Interesting nooks and crannies . Craster did not have any of these features .

It is billed as the home of the Lobster and the Crab . It boasts a harbour and a massive car park . It sounded too good to be true.

Gabby travelled a good three quarter hour drive from her last nights stop to our destination today . Enough time to bring our lithium battery back up to 100% . Glenn had searched for a night stop . We had struggled . All the campsites were full to bursting . All the overnight stops at seaside golf clubs had made the decision not to allow motorhomes to stop . We were down to another pub . This time the Cottage Inn . Yes it looked like a cottage and one that had grown over time to a house and then to a pub and finally to a self catering and bed and breakfast place . We gave it the once over from the front . It looked Ok but where was the car park ? We decided to drive into Crastor , park up and come back later . Down the narrow lanes we arrived finally at the massive car park . That was full to bursting with cars . Not an inch between them . No room to even put the paper from a cigarette packet . We struggled on . We struggled off . No room for our girl Gabby .

We were getting disappointed by the minute . Apparently there are beautiful coves along the coast . Never really got the chance to see any of them . And then there was Craster famous too for its kippers and access to Dunstanburgh Castle . To be fair the castle looked impressive but there were just so many people about milling here and there . We had no wish to join them . They must all have been parked on the massive car park . The harbour was described as attractive . Perhaps on a sunny day that may have been true . It did not have the charm or the colour of Devon or Cornwall . It felt cold. The town had apparently been nominated in the past for a Google Street Award for best 'Foodie Street'. Craster was sold to us as having something for everyone, it is often used as a base for coastal walks and for fishing.

Craster is named after the Craster family who had held the estate since 1272. As we stood on the harbour we read that it was built to commemorate the death of a member of the Craster family who died while serving in the army in Tibet in 1904. The memorial is still visible on the harbour wall. We walked up the hill into the village . There was a pub with a large tent outside filled with people having a quiet afternoon pint . A mobile fish and chip van was parked up . We saw many walking down the hill armed with paper wrapped fish and chips . The one and only cafe we found was full.

We had done the village in ten seconds flat . Perhaps an exageration . 10 minutes from bottom to top and back down again . We thought about sitting on a bench but with Covid who knew how safe the bench would be . I doubted that the town came out and disinfected their benches . I made a mental note to self to carry wipes so that I could do my own cleaning and sterilising . What an odd world we lived in .

We walked back up to the car park of the Cottage Inn . We had found it eventually . Down a back road behind the pub . A rutted muddy track that looked as if it went nowhere . It opened out behind the pub under tall overhanging trees . We had been shown how to get quickly from the pub down into Craster . Through the arch , keep on the side there is no pavement . We found another path back . This time behind the Lifeboat station with views over the sea .

Back at Gabby the phone rang . An apologetic Estate Agent was calling us . Our buyers had backed out of the sale . They had said nothing last week when they came to measure . They showed no sign of disliking the property however they admitted now that they wanted something bigger . Another case of downsizing and not wanting to downsize . The call ruined the break for us . Even sitting over a very tasty Haddock and Chips and drinking a huge glass of red wine did nothing to improve our moods .

The Cottage Inn had delivered a good night with good food but we were not in the right mind for moving on . We have tickets booked for Bamburgh in the morning . We had to force ourselves to continue with the trip . An overnight tomorrow at Eat and Sleep Lindisfarne . That was hard to find. Berwick the next day and then across the border . As we lay in bed talking it seemed unlikely we would be moving anytime soon and our holiday spoiled by our inconsiderate buyers . We had to look though on the bright side . Bamburgh Castle - and the Links car park . Perhaps tomorrow would be a good day.


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