The dramatic view of Bamburgh Castle from the beach is shown above. Sprawling dramatically across nine acres of land, high on it's rocky perch above the Northumberland coastline, Bamburgh is one of the largest inhabited castles in the
Country. It is also in my opinion the most impressive, both in size and location.
It sits some 45 metres above sea level on a natural plateau of volcanic dolerite. The first written reference to a Castle here is 547AD and the Vikings destroyed the original fortification in 993AD. The oldest part of structure that can be seen now (the Keep) was built in 1164AD with stones quarried from nearby North Sunderland that were transported on horseback and by man power. The keep was built with the intention of being impenetrable, with the walls being some 3 - 4 metres thick.
Throughout the centuries Bamburgh was attacked many times over by the Scots and in 1464 during the War of the Roses it became the first Castle to be defeated by artillery attack. Over the centuries in the 1700's and 1800's the Castle fell into a state of disrepair before being bought in 1894 by the Victorian Industrialist Lord Armstrong (who also owned Cragside) and completed the restoration. The Castle is still occupied by the Armstrong family to this day and they allow visitors to experience this wonderful Castle's character and amazing history.
Visiting the Castle is a must and a great way to spend a day out for the whole family, you really do get an immense sense of the history behind these great walls. There are many interesting artefacts on show and the Keep is now the Armoury, full to the brim with a collection of arms and armour from throughout the centuries. Facilities inside the Castle include a Tearoom, public toilets and a gift shop.
Your insider tip: As you travel through Bamburgh Village heading North watch out for a little street on your right called 'The Winding'. Go down here and head for the sand dunes to one of the small car parks. You'll be greeted with one of the most spectacular views you will ever see!
Bamburgh is easily accessible by car, being just a few miles from the A1, the main road that runs through the County of Northumberland. Parking can be difficult in peak times, but there is a large public car park just off the main road as you enter the Village from the South, opposite the Castle. There is also limited on street parking throughout the Village and further parking by the Coast, accessed via 'The Wynding'. Postcode for your SatNav: NE69 7DF
Bamburgh is a stop on the Arriva "Coast and Castles Service" which is the service between Alnwick and Berwick on their 501 route (see link below for more information). Their 'Discover Day Ticket' and 'Discover Weekly Tickets' are valid on any 501 or 505 bus from Alnwick to Berwick, Alnwick to Amble on the 420 and 518 and anywhere on the 472 route. The day ticket costs £5 and the weekly ticket £17 and can be purchased from the driver on board.
Visit the Bamburgh Castle Website