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Northumberland's greatest castles


Northumberland is full of history and heritage and boasts over 70 castle sites. We've picked out our favourites that are must-see destinations during a touring holiday in the county ...

Bamburgh Castle
This magnificent coastal castle is one of Northumberland's most iconic buildings. Towering over the coastline 150 feet below, this castle has quite a presence especially when viewed from the beach below. The castle has 14 public rooms and more than 2,000 artefacts, including arms, armour, porcelain, furninture and artwork. Spanning nine acres of land on a rocky plateau, Bamburgh is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country.

Dunstanburgh Castle
This is another castle in a stunning coastal location, but an iconic castle ruin. Dunstanburgh stands on a remote headland and is accessed by footpath. Visitors can enjoy views of the dramatic ruins from the coastline and you will need to park in nearby Craster (1.3 miles away) and walk to the castle ruins. There's a shop on site and hot and cold drinks and snacks are available but do note that there are no public toilets at the castle site.


Lindisfarne Castle
The holy island of Lindisfarne is only accessible when the tide is out, as when the tide comes in and covers the causeway, the little island is cut off from the mainland. This adds to the wonder and spectacle of this area as travelling to the island feels like entering another world. But be sure to check the safe crossing times on the website or by contcting the Castle. The location of the romantic 16th century castle, high above a big expanse of coast makes for a stunning view and it is worth taking the time to walk round the coast here and see the castle from all angles. The castle is one mile from the village and there is no car park at the castle so you will need to walk a little way to get to it, but it's worth the effort. Inside a treat awaits, too, as unlike many castles this one received a stunning Arts and Crafts makeover in 1901.



Alnwick Castle
Famously used in the Harry Potter films, Alnwick Castle is an iconic castle where history comes alive. There's plenty for the whole family including art collections, grand state rooms, and Potter-themed activities. For little ones there's the chance to dress up and take on the Knight's Quest, and for those with a strong disposition see what dwells beneath the castle walls in The Lost Cellars. There's plenty of choice for food with a cafe and restaurant and there's also a gift shop. When you've finshed exploring history at the castle there's also Alnwick Gardens with its fountains, rose garden and cherry orchard.



Aydon Castle
Tucked away just a mile from the village of Corbridge is Aydon Castle, a fine and unaltered example of a 13th century English manor house which was fortified with battlements and walls in 1305. The castle is set in secluded woodland and there's lots to explore of this hidden gem - the fortified manor house, the woodland surroundings and even Hadrian's Wall nearby.



Chillingham Castle
Chillingham is just 20 minutes from the seaside and claims to be the most haunted castle in Britain. Still a family home, the castle has undergone extensive renovation with many rooms open to the public. The Dungeon and Torture Chamber of the castle add to the appeal and display interesting and gruesome implements of punishment. The castle also boasts idyllic grounds with views of the surrounding countryside. There's an Italian garden, woodland walks and a lake to wander around at your leisure.



Want to know more about things to do in Northumberland?
See our suggestions for top attractions, here.
Read about the best beaches, here.

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16/04/2014 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

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