Come to Northumberland and see the rare and beautiful Chillingham Wild Cattle roaming through their natural habitat. The Chillingham Wild Cattle can be found at Chillingham Park near Alnwick in the north of the county and are truly unique. They are natural clones and are thought to be rarer than the giant panda. Not only are the cattle genetically identical, each one has received identical genes from its sire and its dam - unique among wild living animals. You can see them up close as they roam through the 330 acres of Chillingham Park. The park has spectacular views to the Cheviot Hills and you may also see fallow and roe deer, red squirrels and a fine variety of bird life.
The cattle can breed at any time and are true survivors. It is thought they have been living at the park for more than 700 years and the fierce winter of 1947 almost wiped them out entirely reducing the herd to 13. Today there are now over 100 animals - looked after by a specially formed association and the thriving herd has become one of the county's best loved attractions. This unique herd of wild cattle, in the park at Chillingham, are the sole survivors of herds that once roamed the forests of Britain. They are truly wild and potentially dangerous, so must be approached with care.
Visitors are able to see the cattle only when accompanied by the warden, who will ensure their safety, take them as close as possible and talk about the cattle and the herd's history. This is the total world population. They can only be seen at Chillingham.
Read the blog of Whylde, the latest addition to the Chillingham Wild Cattle herd
|Type||Entry for||Guide price|
(Child (4-16 years old))
(Family (2 adults + up to 3 children))
Joint tickets for the Wild Cattle and Chillingham Castle are available.
Car parking available
ikb289, Bolton, United Kingdom
Found the top car park easy enough and the walk down was well signposted. Met the warden Elle. We were the only two for this tour. It was raining but who cared with this fantastic white monoliths bellowing. Elle reported as it was raining and there were only two we would use the ATV. Even better. Ask lots of questions. The staff are very knowledgeable and have favorites. In this case the one with the wonky horn. The ATV allowed close ups of these fantastic beasts. Two huge bulls were eyeing each other up and wouldn't budge. There was a detour. Several younger bulls then blocked the way but these weren't as experienced and gave way to the ATV. There were calves, and cows and a huge Bull scratching himself on a favored branch. There was also a herd of fallow deer, nuthatches, woodpeckers and much more. You are in good hands if you are on foot. The staff as part of H&S have to plan an escape route. The plans simple, and its been needed.......run in an orderly fashion. I thought they were having a giraffe.....but after today I don't doubt any of it. Very different. Very good. , Well worth the few quid to see something so magnificent. You will need to come prepared with go faster wellies, bins and of course a camera.
Lovajolly, Northampton, United Kingdom
We visited earlier this month and were pleased to think we were making a contribution towards the up keep of these unique cattle. There is no secret that there is a walk to the 'hemmel' where the tours start. The signs from the car parking area are obvious and so is the advice to wear suitable footwear. By the way, if you don't know what a 'hemmel' is; go and find out!!! We had a very pleasant walk across a field to reach the start where we were met by Ellie who advised that if you needed the toilet 'use nature' !! We set off to find some cattle and were warned that they are a group of wild animals and not to 'spook' them. Ellie had a lot of information to share with us and allowed us to borrow her binoculars. I was impressed with how patient she was with one member of our group who repeatedly tried to compete with her about various 'cattley' issues. (there's always one!!!). Don't miss the horns, bones and information about the herd that is displayed in the 'hemmel' ! We thoroughly enjoyed our visit!!!!
Totally fascinating; totally enjoyable
Camparibooks, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Had looked forward to this trip for some time. What a fabulous experience it proved to be, made particularly special by our enthusiastic and informative warden, Ellie. This is an ancient and totally wild herd which has survived, with minimal intervention for around 800 years on the same wooded pastures - unique in the world. They are not 'people friendly' but Ellie took us to a spot about100m away from a mixed bunch of cattle, warning that sudden movement or noises could 'spook' them. Reassuring to note they are more likely to run off into the woods, than approach us! No toilets, no tearoom, just a small wooden entry hut (no credit cards?) but lack commercialism seems to add to the charm and uniqueness of this beautiful, unspoilt site. What you see is what you get and it's wonderful!
durhamd, Durham, United Kingdom
Nice to see these unique white cattle in such pleasant countryside. I would recommend parking in the top car park, which is up a steep dirt track, as parking in the lower car park would mean walking up this track. About 10 minutes walk from top car park, 20 from lower, across an uneven field. Here you find a hut where you are met by Ellie the warden who didn't actually arrive until 5 minutes before hand, so do not worry if she is not there when you arrive. Cattle were in field a short distance from hut. Allowed to approach to about 100 yards from them for safety. Ellie patiently answered our questions, she told us we were lucky as the cattle could have been much farther away from hut. This attraction will be difficult for anyone who has problems walking. Our visit was tarnished a bit by the low flying jets screeming overhead.
Roz G, Ilkeston, United Kingdom
A really beautiful setting. The day we went we didn't have to walk far to find the cattle, as you could see them from the gift shop, but the warden informed us they can sometimes be well hidden within the huge park. We learned a lot