We all know what it’s like when you’ve planned to go somewhere and then realised you haven’t had time to research the area you’re visiting. Well, if you’re planning a holiday to the north-east, this guide to the top castles to see in the region might just help you come up with an itinerary for your break.
Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island
After you’ve seen a few castles, it can often feel like you’ve seen them all, right? Well, come to Lindisfarne and all your preconceptions will be blown away.
This quaint castle is bursting with character, mostly because of its unique location, perched high on top of a lonely hill on Holy Island.
It was originally built here during the Tudor times to protect the isle against invaders – and you can certainly see why anyone would be interested in taking over this pretty isle when you visit.
As years went on, it became less of a defence building and more of a place where people would visit when they wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of London life. At least this was the case during the Edwardian period – now it is under the ownership of the National Trust, so you won’t be able to book a stay here.
In fact, you will have to get in touch with the National Trust before you visit, as it is only accessible via a 3-mile causeway that can sometimes be covered by water when the tide is high. You’ll find then that opening times are often affected as a result of this – and you won’t want to come all the way to find out that it is closed when you wish to visit.
Visit the 14th-century Warkworth Castle
The beauty of staying in a cottage in the heart of Northumbria is that you can see a variety of castles – and this is definitely shown with Warkworth Castle, which is in complete contrast to Lindisfarne Castle.
While the previous fort had a quaint charm, this 14th-century building is one of the largest and strongest fortresses in the entire county.
On a visit here, you will be given a free audio tour, enabling you to learn all about the building and its interesting history while walking through endless corridors. In fact, it can be easy to get lost here, with the great hall, the external walls and the gatehouse being just three different locations you can visit.
This is also a fantastic place to come to if you want to get great views of the countryside. Sitting on a hilltop overlooking the River Coquet, you’ll be able to take in sights of the waterway and the huge expanse of Northumbria’s green, rolling hills.
Explore Bamburgh Castle
If there’s one place history enthusiasts will love to visit, it’s Bamburgh Castle. While the actually building was constructed during the Victorian times, the site itself has been used since the prehistoric age.
Archaeologists continue to work on the site and, over the years, items such as the Bamburgh Sword and the Bamburgh Beast (a gold plaque) have been discovered here.
Many members of the royal family have resided in the building during its existence, as well as international monarchs. It is therefore not surprising to find out that there are more than 2,000 artefacts in the fort and you’ll be able to look at porcelain, artwork, items of furniture and arms when walking around the castle, each enabling you to piece together a little of Bamburgh’s long and complex history.