Castles & Heritage | Visit Northumberland

Your holiday will end in ruins...

Northumberland has more castles than any other county in England. A legacy of its turbulent past, including the infamous Border wars which raged from the 14th to 16th centuries, Northumberland boasts over 70 castle sites.  Many have long since disappeared, some, like Dunstanburgh Castle and Berwick Castle, are romantic ruins. See others in their fully restored glory - like Bamburgh Castle, as seen on Robson Green's Tales from Northumberland.

Towering 150 foot above the sea, Bamburgh Castle looks every inch the mighty citadel it once was. The very foundation stone of England, Bamburgh was a royal city during the 8th century and the castle the royal seat of the Kings of Northumbria. In 1464 Bamburgh became the first castle in England to fall to gunpowder during the War of the Roses. Fallen masonry from this onslaught can still be seen on the village green beneath. Falling into disrepair afterwards, Bamburgh was later bought and restored by the innovative Victorian inventor and genius Lord William Armstrong into the mighty castle you see today.

Head inland to Alnwick Castle, the second largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle, which stands guard over the River Aln. Home to the Duke of Northumberland, Alnwick has been the Percy family’s home since the Norman invasion over 700 years ago. Alnwick boasts two famous Harrys – the impetuous knight Henry ‘Harry’ Percy, born here in 1364 and nicknamed ‘Hotspur’ because of his readiness to do battle. The other being none other than the boy wizard Harry Potter, a scholar at Alnwick, which doubled as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.

If you are planning a fun family day out in Northumberland then look no further than Warkworth Castle with its magnificent cross-shaped keep crowning a hilltop above the River Coquet.

For chilly tales of torture chambers and ghosts go to Chillingham Castle, reputedly one of the most haunted castles in England. Or live like the king or queen of the castle and spend a night or few at the award-winning Langley Castle Hotel.

Also of interest


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Outside Union Chain Bridge
Historic sites
The Union Chain Bridge spans the River Tweed between Horncliffe, Northumberland, England and Fishwick, Borders, Scotland. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 75 reviews

Daffodils and Howick Hall
Garden
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Beautiful gardens, woodland walks, a Prime Minister and a famous cup of tea - Earl Grey of course since Howick was his home!  Enjoy Snowdrops, Daffodils, and Rhododendrons in spring; Tulips in th ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 504 reviews

Chesters Bath-House
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Relax in the bath-house, explore the officers' quarters & learn about the saviour of Hadrian's Wall in the Clayton Museum. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 548 reviews

Welcome to Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens
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With so much to see and do, a trip to Belsay is one of the best value family days out in North East England. Explore the grand medieval castle, later extended to include a magnificent Jacobean mansion ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 522 reviews

Alnwick Castle
Historic sites
Alnwick
Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in the UK; home to the Percy family for over 700 years and film location for Downton Abbey and Harry Potter's Hogwarts.  ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 4340 reviews

Outside Dunstanburgh Castle
Historic sites
Craster
The ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle tower over the Northumberland coastal line. It is an ideal family day out with a picnic area, fantastic views, and it is not far from the Scottish Borders. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 1131 reviews

Birdoswald section of the wall
Historic sites
Gilsland
Explore the fascinating ruins, marvel at the longest stretch of Hadrian's Wall and rest your legs in the Tearoom. ...

Outside Cherryburn
Historic sites
Mickley
Birthplace cottage (1700) and farmyard. Printing house using original printing blocks. Introductory exhibition of the life, work and countryside. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 101 reviews

The Old Gaol
Museums and galleries
Hexham
Tour the Old Gaol, 1330AD, by glass lift. Meet the gaoler, see a Reiver raid and try on costumes. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 48 reviews

Elizabethan Fortifications
Historic sites
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick's town walls are its most famous piece of architecture and still stand strong today, hundreds of years after they were built by Queen Elizabeth to keep out the invading Scots. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 662 reviews

Historic buildings at Woodhorn
Museums and galleries
Ashington
From coal mining communities to contemporary art: discover a proud past, The Pitmen Painters and the best in art and heritage at Northumberland's biggest museum. ...
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Snowy Castle
Historic sites
Holy Island
The Castle is scheduled to reopen April 2018. Iconic Tudor Fort converted into an intimate holiday home in 1903 for Edward Hudson by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. With charming Gertrude Jekyll wa ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 926 reviews

Keep
Historic sites
Bamburgh
A spectacular castle with fantastic coastal views. The stunning Kings Hall and Keep house collections of armour, artwork, porcelain and furniture.     ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 2981 reviews

Cuthbert's Cross
Historic sites
Alnmouth
Said to be the location where St Cuthbert agreed to become Bishop of Lindisfarne when petitioned by the king. ...

St Cuthberts's Cave
Historic sites
Belford
St. Cuthbert’s Cave is an overhanging outcrop of Sandstone rock, supported by an isolated pillar of stone. It is reputed that the monks of Lindisfarne brought St. Cuthbert’s body to this p ...

Parish Church Choir
Church
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Visit this beautiful and rare Civil War Church. Opened in 1652 - it is the only parish church built under Cromwell. The church contains one of the earliest installations by Lutyens, a John Knox Renais ...

Gallery 1
Museums and galleries
Haltwhistle
Lying in magnificent countryside next to a sweeping section of Hadrian's Wall and based at the site of Carvoran Roman Fort, the Roman Army Museum is an authentic and dramatic tribute to Rome’s e ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 805 reviews

Outside Lindisfarne Priory
Historic sites
Holy Island
Experience the serenity of Lindisfarne Priory, cut off from the world on the beautiful Holy Island. Take in panoramic views of the Northumbrian coast, unpack a picnic in the priory grounds, and take a ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 2253 reviews

View from Bath House
Historic sites
Bardon Mill
Visit Roman Vindolanda today and you will find one of the North East’s most famous and not to be missed tourist attractions lying in the beautiful landscape of Hadrian's Wall Country. Formerly a ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 1763 reviews

Visitors with the family guide
Museums and galleries
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Located within Berwick Barracks, it is home to the stunning Berwick Burrell Collection of art & ceramics plus historical town artefacts. ...

Castle and Keep
Historic sites
Warkworth
Set in a quaint Northumberland town, this hill-top fortress and hermitage offers a fantastic family day out. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 994 reviews

Corbridge
Historic sites
Corbridge
Impressive excavated Roman town, walk down the high street and explore English Heritage's impressive museum of Roman finds.  ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 410 reviews

Housesteads Roman Fort
Historic sites
Haydon Bridge
Housesteads takes you back 2000 years. Spectacular views, modern and insightful museum and stunning ruins. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 1247 reviews

Picnic bench
Great Outdoors
Kielder
Kielder Castle is the visitor centre for Kielder Forest. Features include information centre, tearoom and exhibitions about forestry and conservation. Bike hire available.   ...

Cannon and castle
Historic sites
Chillingham
In the heart of Northumberland, a medieval castle with stunning views of formal gardens and the Cheviot Hills. Perfect for architectural and naturalist/historical enthusiasts. ...

Welcome to Seaton Delaval Hall
Historic sites
Seaton Delaval
Seaton Delaval Hall comprising a centre block between 2 arcaded and pedimented wings, the east wing contains fine stables and there are gardens with statues. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 86 reviews

Wallington
Historic sites
Cambo
Discover Wallington, much-loved home to generations of the unconventional Treveylan family and a magnificent estate where politics and play came together in the heart of Northumberland. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 1017 reviews

Outside Cragside House Gardens and Estate
Historic sites
Rothbury
Creation of Lord Armstrong, Victorian inventor and landscape genius. Gardens, red squirrels, woodland and lakeside walks. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 2836 reviews

Alnwick Castle Grounds
Garden
Alnwick
Parkland, Gothic tower, lovely views and good walking. No dogs, cycles or vehicles are allowed in the park. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 111 reviews

Northumberland Countryside
Historic sites
Slaley
On a hilltop almost 300m above sea level, St Andrew’s was built in 1769 to a cruciform plan on the site of a medieval church, and remodelled in 1892. In the churchyard is a magnificent domed mausole ...

Scene inside Regimental Museum Kings Own Scottish Borderers
Museums and galleries
Berwick-upon-Tweed
The King's Own Scottish Borderers regimental museum with uniforms, medals, silver and weapons telling the story of the regiment from 1689 until the present day. ...

Castle and Town Walls
Historic sites
Berwick-upon-Tweed
The remains of a medieval castle, superseded by the most complete and impressive bastioned town defences in England. ...

Outside Brinkburn Priory
Historic sites
Rothbury
Founded in 1135 for canons of the Augustinian order, Brinkburn was restored in the 19th century and now survives in its entirety as Northumberland's finest example of early Gothic architecture. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 138 reviews

View of Planetrees Roman Wall
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Wall
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Aerial photo of Aydon Castle
Historic sites
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A beautiful 13thC manor house with strong fortifications against Scottish raiders, Aydon Castle stands in a secluded woodland setting. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 158 reviews

Etal Castle - Etal Village
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A 14thC castle in picturesque surroundings, steeped in the history of border warfare. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 132 reviews

Outside Prudhoe Castle
Historic sites
Prudhoe
Prudhoe Castle stands in a picturesque location, on a wooded hillside overlooking the River Tyne. ...
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 90 reviews

Willowford Bridge Abutment
Historic sites
Gilsland
A fine 914 metre stretch of wall, including 2 turrets, ending at a bridge abutment, much altered in Roman times owing to changes in the course of the river and rebuilding of the bridge. ...

Outside Gymnasium Gallery
Museums and galleries
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Contemporary art gallery with a programme of events by Berwick Visual Arts. Check out our What's On Section for exhibition details. ...

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