Once home to the kings of ancient Northumbria, Bamburgh Castle is one of Northumberland's most iconic buildings.
The Bamburgh castle we see today is a relatively recent structure, built by famed industrialist the first Lord Armstrong at vast cost in late Victorian times. Lord Armstrong was also responsible for building Cragside House, Gardens & Estates.
But the castle boasts a much longer history. There have been settlements on the site since prehistoric times and the regular archaeological digs that take place on the site have unearthed some spectacular finds.
Excavations were started in the 1960s by Dr Brian Hope-Taylor, who discovered the gold plaque known as the Bamburgh Beast as well as the Bamburgh Sword.
During the summer you can see archeologists working on the site, and there is even the chance to get your hands dirty and see what you and your family can find.
During its more recent history, Bamburgh Castle feted royal guests and English kings, one of whom - Edward IV - destroyed it in the Wars of the Roses.
Lord Armstrong's restoration saved it from ruin and the castle provides an ancestral home to the Armstrong family to this day.
Bamburgh Castle has 14 public rooms and more than 2,000 artefacts, including arms and armour, porcelain, furniture and artwork.
We have onsite parking and disabled parking spaces (please speak to our car park attendant on arrival).
Bamburgh Castle's epic scale attracts film and television crews and it has featured in everything from Time Team to Becket. It has recently become a popular wedding venue.
It won a bronze award in the 2008 North East Large Visitor Attraction Awards and a silver at the Green Business Scheme. And to prove it's universal appeal, the castle was recently a finalist in ITV1's Britain's Favourite View competition.
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Car parking available
Credit / debit cards accepted
chrisbH2241WA, Wirral, United Kingdom
In our tour of the Northeast, Bamburgh was high on our to-see list. Positioned dramatically high above the beautiful white beaches, it has stunning views of the Farne islands & Holy Island. An absolute photographer’s dream from every angle & in different lights. We paid to visit inside and discovered that the castle was renovated by William Armstrong with money made from arms manufacture & Armstrong-Sidley transport. There is a museum devoted to him in the grounds. We borrowed audio guides to visit the house & they were invaluable. The staff were friendly & helpful. We were asked to remove our backpacks and carry them, but one guide walked through the rooms to find us to tell us that a locker had become free. The rooms are fully furnished, with a lot to see, especially the great hall. At times we would have appreciated more labelling/explanation of items on display.
Poor. Overpriced. Old fashioned.
If you are interested only in nice views and walks for £12pp (no concessions whatsoever!), this is the place for you. If you are interested in history/heritage, and often visit historic houses for a similar price, really, really don’t come here. Having worked in similar heritage organisations (which also view themselves as ‘living’ heritage places, and don’t operate as museums or historic houses preserved as they would have once been), for this price Bamburgh is giving ‘living’ heritage places a very bad name. Being a ‘family home’ and ‘not a museum’ is no excuse for shoddy labels and near non-existent interpretation, every surface covered in seemingly randomly selected objects without any consideration for the story that object has to tell or how it fits into the wider story, or even the room it’s situated in. It ended up looking like a bric-a-brac shop, which left a distinct sense of there being no respect for the objects whatsoever. There is also almost no attempt to tell any overarching story of the history of the place, nor its ‘living’ nature today as a family home. Didn’t even get a basic leaflet map of the place for that £12. Also, almost nothing for children. Staff were at best mediocre, except the stellar parking attendants.
Well worth a visit.
Bamburgh Castle can be seen for miles around and is a majestic sight as you drive into the town. It was great value for money and we enjoyed walking around the grounds and seeing the Armstrong Siddeley cars as well as the Rust to Rome cars (there weren’t very many looked as though they cost £500 or less!). Great that the grounds were dog friendly.
A brilliant place to visit
We visited as part of our Rust2rome rally and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. It’s a wonderful place, perfect for all ages and the tearoom is especially recommended.
hubcats, Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
We were lucky enough to stop at Bamburgh Castle as part of our Rust 2 Rome adventure. It is a truly amazing castle perched on the edge of the most beautiful beach. They allowed all of the Rust 2 Rome cars to park within the grounds which was really special.