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
These are some rather unique cattle and I’ve wanted to see them for quite a while. I’m glad to write that we had a wonderful visit, travelling down from Edinburgh. Our tour guide was not only very knowledgeable about the cattle, giving us a mix of facts as well as stories and personal experiences, she was very passionate and that made the tour really worthwhile; she was genuinely keen to tell the story. What was even more wonderful was that the tour was arranged out of season after we asked kindly if they could help. What I realise post visit is that the tour puts the animals first and I appreciate (as a previous reviewer has highlighted) the difficulty of balancing between the needs of a free roaming, ancient cattle herd and the needs of tours/visitors. Well worth a visit.
A place like no other
This must have been my third or fourth visit and yet again it was incredible, not simply to see the wild cattle, but to have the wealth of history relayed to us by our guide. The cattle tour is a unique attraction and one which I cannot recommend highly enough!
Stunning parkland and fascinating cattle
twills147, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
We visited earlier in the week. The weather was perfect and the trees were in full autumn colour, so the parkland looked glorious and provided a stunning background for the wild cattle. We had a very informative tour and really enjoyed the views to the Cheviots. Must be great at any time of year, but particularly good on a sunny autumn day.
third visit and still fascinating
I have visited , and reviewed before, but thought it was worth noting how much I feel the signage has improved since my first trip. The cattle may not be tended but the visitors are; it must be a difficult balance not to over commercialise but I think they've got it right. You can buy a souvenier if you wish but if you're expecting tearooms etc you're missing the point! The cattle are not herded so will be where they choose, wear sensible shoes not open toed sandals. It's wonderful to see how a breed has coped without the human intervention afforded to domesticated animals. Given t hat breeding takes place all year, you're likely see calves at any time. I have been Lucky on all three of my visits to see some. I've also seen deer, hares and a red squirrel on my visits but that's pot luck. I'm sure I will return again. The
Myself and two friends paid £8 each for a tour of the wild cattle. We were led into a field that was about 40 yards from the reception hut by the guide and advised what we could and could not do. We then walked another hundred yards or so into the field to view the cattle from a safe distance. This was approximately 250 yards. The cattle although quite unique in having no human interaction didn't appear to be phased by our presence and did what cattle do. They laid down or chewed the grass. The guide appeared to be knowledgeable about the herd but had to be asked questions in order to impart that knowledge, nothing was volunteered. We were in the field for about 20 minutes before we were led back out again. Save yourself 8 quid and go and look at a herd of cows elsewhere, I've seen more activity from the fresians on the south downs than this tour offered. The most memorable part of the outing was an angry looking lamb eyeing us up on our way back to the car.