Castles of Northumberland

Northumberland boasts many Castles and you can have a great day out exploring them.These are our top 5 recommendations

Alnwick Castle. One of the main attractions in Northumberland. The castle grounds have only recently been completely renovated and this is now a top notch destination catering for family days out. There is on site entertainment and children will love some of the attractions on offer.However this comes at a price and tickets are usually £25 or more.

Bamburgh Castle.Located on a rocky outcrop overlooking a beautiful sandy beach this is a truly spectacular castle. Visitors are basically given a tour and of course there is a good tea room to stop and relax in. There are no gardens/ grounds but you do get to see live archaeological excavations.Prices are around £8 for an adult.

Chillingham Castle.The most haunted castle in Northumberland and appropriately named. At £7 for an adult ticket you get access to the grounds. There is also access through guided tours for the castle itself. If you are brave enough there are special ghost tours as well.

Norham Castle. A massive ruin this castle, along the river Tweed, played a key role during the Scottish wars of Independence and has a wonderful atmosphere. It is owned by English Heritage.

Berwick Castle and walls. Berwick was once one of the most important towns in Scotland. As a major port it had great wealth and was a key city during the medieval ages. Unfortunately it was sacked and burned repeatedly and it was Edward the Hammer of the Scots who really built the foundations for the great city Walls. As a visitor you have free access to walk along the walls and enjoy the views, both into the City and across the bay. A lovely day out.

In addition to the castles of Northumberland we would also recommend that you explore some of the Pele towers and Bastle houses of central Northumberland. These tend to date from around the early 17th century and are a reflection of the turbulent border reiver times.

This article was written by Mike Holly. Mike lives and works in Northumberland and has been preparing a glossary of Northumberland villages.

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