As well as its beautiful beaches (see my earlier post), Northumberland is also famous for its magnificent castles, which I had great fun exploring while I was in the area.
The county is steeped in history and is thought to have around 70 castle sites. Some of which are more famous than others; no doubt you’ll have heard of Alnwick Castle due to it’s starring role in the Harry Potter films. I was due to visit the iconic site but didn’t quite make it due to a breakdown (Rosie not me)! Although I have been before so I can assure you that it’s a fab day out! My personal highlight is the Treehouse restaurant but if you’ve seen any of my food blogs I’m sure that comes as no surprise!
Other Northumberland castles to look out for include Aydon Castle in the pretty village of Corbridge, the rather spooky Chillingham Castle in the town of the same name and the intriguing Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island. There also loads of places to visit along Hadrian’s Wall. I paid a visit to Housesteads Roman Fort in Haydon Bridge, the most complete Roman fort in Britain.
I also had a wander around Warkworth Castle where I learnt that women were not allowed in Medieval kitchens because all the men were naked in there on account of it being so hot!
I also discovered the nearby Warkworth Hermitage, a peaceful building cut into the rock of the river cliff and only accessible by boat – quite literally a hidden gem!
I was even lucky enough to have a guided tour of Bamburgh Castle by a former resident, the owner’s partner, Claire. It was great to hear stories of fun and frolics taking place in such an iconic building and I even witnessed every day life continuing there when I popped in to see the manager, Chris, who lives on site in one of the castle’s apartments. A quick calculation confirmed that I could not afford to rent one myself…. but maybe if I didn’t eat… nah that’s not going to happen!
As well as being a beautiful home, Bamburgh Castle offers visitors the chance to uncover a wealth of history, which is continually being discovered thanks to the Bamburgh Dig, one of the top seven sites of archeological importance in the world!
If you’re not into history or archaeology then go simply to enjoy the view. It’s one of the most breathtaking I’ve experienced on the whole trip! On a clear day you can see right across to Lindisfarne! Also, don’t miss the delicious fudge from the gift shop, it’s made by the castle manager’s wife and it’s real treat!