The magnificent cross-shaped keep of Warkworth, crowning a hilltop rising steeply above the River Coquet, dominates one of the largest, strongest and most impressive fortresses in Northumberland.
The castle's most famous owners were the Percy family, whose lion badge can be seen carved on many parts of their stronghold. Wielding almost kingly power in the north, their influence reached its apogee under the first Earl of Northumberland and his son 'Harry Hotspur', hero of many Border ballads as the bane of Scots raiders and a dominant character in Shakespeare's 'Henry IV'.
Having helped to depose Richard II, these turbulent 'kingmakers' both fell victim to Henry IV: the next three Percy Earls likewise died violent deaths. Still roofed and almost complete, the uniquely-planned keep dates mainly from the end of the 14th century.
It presides over the extensive remains of a great hall, chapel, fine gatehouse and a virtually intact circuit of towered walls.
Half a mile from the castle, tucked away by the Coquet and accessibly only by boat, stands a much more peaceful building: the late medieval cave Hermitage and chapel of a solitary holy man.
|Warkworth Castle is a venue for ...|
|Warkworth Castle, Warkworth(Group Attraction)|
|Warkworth Castle is part of English Heritage and so are...|
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|Type||Entry for||Guide price|
(Child (5-15 years))
(Family (2 adults, 3 children))
(English Heritage Member)
Car parking available
Credit / debit cards accepted
Gift shop on site
brenkim62, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Really interesting castle, definitely recommend using the audio guide which is free. The admission price is fair considering the upkeep needed. Lovely, well kept grounds. We didn’t get time to go the The Hermitage but would love to on another visit.
Audioguide is included
juliethetraveller123, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Surprised at how extensive the castle is and some parts of the castle are so well preserved. Audio is worth listening to however it is important to note that it needs to be followed from the first floor once inside the keep as the sequence is continuous and not numbered rooms. I found it worth buying the well presented guide book to follow route. The access to the Hermitage is down a steep path, past the first boat landing point on the river and along the river bank for 15mins walk. The rowing boat is a short distance across the river and is dog friendly. We did not see any seals on our visit but the atmosphere around the Hermitage is very tranquil, certainly recommend the experience. As English Heritage member the car park was free.
Yachtjudge, Lymington, Hampshire,England
The audio guide is particularly good. We spent about an hour at the Castle then walked along the riverside to take the ferry across to the hermitage. Didn’t see the otters or the grey seal but did see a kingfisher. Great visit.
Atmospheric castle ruins
familytravel4x4, Liphook, United Kingdom
Visited the castle on a lovely sunny afternoon. The car park next to the castle cost £3, and unlike some TA reviews, we can confirm that there is no refund offered when purchasing a castle ticket! The castle itself is really well maintained and has some really well preserved areas, notably the keep. The latter has upper and lower areas which are interconnected with steps, which makes exploring the various rooms most interesting (and probably fun for kids!). We made use of the (free) audio guide which was most informative, albeit the history was a bit too 'flowery' for some of us! The castle is situated next to the river, and we also enjoyed a river side walk when exploring the town and surrounding area - notably the medieval bridge at the bottom of the main street is well worth the walk.
Great castle ruins to explore
jenmedsb, United Kingdom
Had a great couple of hours visiting the Castle and Hermitage. Ruins but quite well preserved in parts and you can sense how grand it would have been in its day. Definitely recommend trying to go when the Hermitage is open. It’s a bit of a trek, around half a mile, but the boatman is very knowledgeable, the scenery beautiful, even on a damp day, and the place itself quite impressive for a home/church cast in a rock face.