Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Castle Walk Coasts through the Ages

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Castle Walk Coasts through the Ages

Article excerpt

Byline: By Tony Henderson

Today we embark upon a journey along one of the North-East's great showpieces ( the Northumbrian coast.

The quality of the coastline is such that it has amassed an array of designations.

From Amble to Berwick it is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and from Alnmouth to St Abb's Head, a European Marine Site.

In 1973, it was one of the first areas in England to be given Heritage Coast status. It also includes sites of special scientific interest, national nature reserves and European Special Protection Areas.

At the southern end of this superb stretch is the estuary of one of the county's finest waterways ( the River Coquet.

And there, like a magnificent marker to start the traveller on the journey, is Warkworth Castle.

Approaching Warkworth from the north offers, according to the architectural critic Nikolaus Pevsner, one of the most exciting sequences of views in England.

First there is the 14th Century fortified bridge ( one of the few of its type in the country ( then Bridge Street at an angle to join the main street climbing the hill at the top of which looms Warkworth Castle.

The castle is one of the most impressive examples in Britain of an aristocratic fortified residence, and makes its appearance in Shakespeare's Henry IV.

The charming River Coquet loops around the Warkworth peninsula, with the castle on the high ground and at the other end of the village, the Norman church of St Lawrence.

Settlement at such a prime spot goes back a long way and Warkworth is first recorded in the early 8th Century.

While the village is a delightful mix of old pubs, restaurants, galleries and speciality shops, and regularly excels in the Northumbria in Bloom competition, it is the fortress which dominates ( as it was always intended to do. It is, in fact, two castles: the huge keep, then the fortifications and towers on the land surrounding this central feature. …

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