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20 February 2023

Discover the Enchanting Castles of Northumberland: 5 Must-Visit Historical Gems

Are you a history enthusiast, a fan of medieval architecture, or simply someone who loves exploring ancient ruins? If so, Northumberland, located in the northeastern region of England, is a destination you must add to your travel list. This picturesque county is home to some of the most well-preserved and breath-taking castles in the United Kingdom. Steeped in history, surrounded by stunning landscapes, and boasting unique features, these castles are sure to transport you to a bygone era. In this blog post, we will highlight 5 castles in Northumberland that are a must-visit for any castle enthusiast.

1. Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle, often dubbed as "The Windsor of the North," is an iconic castle that has stood for over 1,000 years. This majestic fortress, still inhabited by the Duke of Northumberland, is not only known for its impressive medieval architecture but also for its stunning gardens. The castle's history is rich and varied, with tales of royal visits, battles, and even appearances in popular films and TV shows like Harry Potter and Downton Abbey.

The castle's landscape features include magnificent battlements, a drawbridge, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Inside, you can explore the lavish state rooms, learn about the Percy family's history, and marvel at the extensive art collection. You can also take a walk in the beautiful gardens, including the Poison Garden, which is filled with some of the world's most poisonous plants.

2. Bamburgh Castle

Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the North Sea, Bamburgh Castle is one of the most iconic castles in Northumberland. This medieval fortress has a history that dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period and has been a royal castle, a military stronghold, and even a coastguard station.

The castle's prominent features include its impressive keep, which houses a fascinating museum showcasing artifacts from the castle's history, and its commanding views of the coastline. The castle also boasts beautiful gardens, a medieval kitchen, and luxurious state rooms that give you a glimpse into the lives of its former inhabitants. Don't forget to explore the castle's extensive armoury, which houses one of the finest private collections of arms and armour in the world.

3. Lindisfarne Castle

Located on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Lindisfarne Castle is a unique fortress that has withstood Viking invasions, wars, and the ravages of time. The castle, perched atop a volcanic rock, is accessible only by a causeway that is covered by the North Sea during high tide, adding to its mystical appeal.

The castle's distinctive features include its small size, which gives it an intimate and cozy atmosphere, and its stunning panoramic views of the island and the surrounding sea. Inside, you can explore the castle's history, including its use as a holiday home by famous British architect Edwin Lutyens. The castle also houses a charming tearoom and a beautiful walled garden that blooms with colourful flowers in the summer.

4. Dunstanburgh Castle

Nestled on a remote headland overlooking the Northumberland coast, Dunstanburgh Castle is a picturesque ruin that is steeped in history and surrounded by wild, rugged landscapes. This 14th-century fortress was once a powerful stronghold and played a key role in the Wars of the Roses.

The castle's key features include its dramatic location, with its crumbling towers and walls set against a backdrop of stunning coastal scenery. As you explore the castle, you can imagine the castle's former grandeur and learn about its history through interpretive panels that dot the site. A hike to the castle is rewarded with breath-taking views of the surrounding coastline and the chance to see local wildlife, including seals and seabirds.

5. Warkworth Castle

Warkworth Castle, located in the charming village of Warkworth, is a well-preserved medieval castle that offers a glimpse into the life of nobility during the Middle Ages. This castle, once home to the powerful Percy family, is known for its imposing keep, impressive gatehouse, and stunning riverside location.

The castle's key features include its striking architecture, with its massive walls and towers that have stood the test of time. Inside, you can explore the castle's great hall, chapel, and chambers, and learn about its rich history through interactive exhibits. The castle's grounds also offer picturesque walks along the river and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

In conclusion, Northumberland is a treasure trove of historical castles that are sure to captivate any visitor. From the grandeur of Alnwick Castle to the rugged charm of Dunstanburgh Castle, each castle has its unique features and stories to tell. Whether you are a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of ancient ruins, these castles offer a truly immersive experience that will transport you to a bygone era. So, if you are planning a visit to Northumberland, make sure to add these 5 castles to your itinerary for an unforgettable journey through England's rich medieval history.



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