A Closer Look at The Northumberland Castle Tour
Published: Sunday 20th Sep 2015
Written by: The Grace Darling Holidays Team
Northumberland is famous for miles of sandy beaches, mountainous scenery and more castles and ruins than any other English County.
This 3 day Northumberland Castle tour offers visitors the opportunity to see the splendour the North-Eastern County has and to provide the chance to appreciate the history of Northumberland as a cradle of Christianity as well as its violent past.
The best time to take this tour is to avoid the school holidays and the peak summer season. By doing this you will have most of these sights almost to yourself enabling you to explore at your own leisure and in peace. Always be prepared for the great British weather when taking this tour! Take a light rain jacket and sturdy shoes as there isn’t always somewhere to take cover from the elements.
The best place to stay to be ideally placed for this tour is in Alnwick where you will find hotels, guest houses and self-catering luxury cottages to ensure the best accommodation for your break. Alnwick has many cheerful pubs and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets and they all provide a relaxing atmosphere and friendly welcome after a long day touring.
The first castle you will visit on this tour is Alnwick Castle which is the 2ndlargest castle in England and is famous for being Harry Potter’s school, Hogwarts.
The original castle was built by a Norman baron, Yves de Vesay, in 1066 and was the strongest fortress in history.
The Perry family took ownership of Alnwick castle in 1309 and the current Duke of Northumberland still calls Alnwick Castle his home and the Alnwick Gardens are famous all over the world.
The second castle, Warkworth Castle, is cross shaped and is high on its hilltop above the river Coquet. This castle is also owned by the Percy family and was originally built in the 14th century.
Warkworth Castle promotes English medieval architecture at its best and its great hall, chapel, gatehouse and circle of towered walls are still intact. The Dukes rooms are open to the public during the summer months, May to September, on a Wednesday and Sunday and on bank holiday Mondays.
While here, take a walk through the village of Warkworth and see the little Norman Church that sited a dreadful massacre in 1174 when refugees had hidden in there.
After visiting Warkworth, take a drive into Craster and sample some local oak-smoked kippers for lunch. These kippers have been famous all over England for over 100 years.
From Craster you can walk along the coastal path to the 14th century Dunstanburgh Castle that is breath-taking to look at as it is perched on a cliff edge and protected by the sea.
Check the tide first to find the best time of the day to visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne as it is only accessible via a causeway and is completely shut off from the mainland at certain times of the day. Lindisfarne has a little castle built by Henry VIII and this was converted into a weekend retreat in the early 1900s.
On your way back down the coast, visit Seahouses, a popular fishing port where you can take a boat tour to the bird and seal sanctuary on the Farne Islands.
This Castle tour can give you a taste of some of the Castles Northumberland has to offer and leave you wanting to return and explore further!