Northumberland: Our Favourite Places to Visit in Bamburgh

Tuesday 14th December, 2021 by hs-admin

If you’re planning a stay in one of our holiday cottages in Northumberland, then no doubt Bamburgh is one of the places on your list. Just 20 miles from the Scottish border, this picturesque village is right at the top of the county, surrounded by rugged coastline on one side and stunning scenery on the other. So once you’ve settled in to your Bamburgh holiday let, what else can you do nearby?

Bamburgh Castle

The crowning glory has to be the castle, which surveys the village from nine acres of land atop a rocky plateau – perfect for spotting invaders in times gone by.

Nowadays, the castle is a tourist destination as well as a private home – it’s one of the largest inhabited castles in the country.

It has stood in its present position for 1,400 years and was bought by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist William George Armstrong in 1894, who filled it with a unique collection of artwork and ceramics, which are still on show today.

Visitors can wander through the state rooms, which are full of intriguing artefacts, the King’s Hall, with its magnificent teak ceiling and the armoury, which features a range of weapons from across the centuries.

The castle also hosts a number of seasonal events, from outdoor cinema in the Summer months to 2021’s Saints and Angels Christmas display, created by renowned designer Charlotte Lloyd Webber. 

Find out more about Bamburgh Castle.

Farne Islands

The Farne Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Bamburgh best known for their wildlife – so much so that none other than David Attenborough declared them as his favourite place to see nature in the UK.

The most famous residents are possibly the puffins; the islands are home to one of the largest colonies of the birds in the UK and in Summer can accommodate up to 55,000 pairs of breeding pairs.

Every year, rangers on the island take a puffin census to monitor population, as part of efforts to stop a downward trend in their global numbers.

The islands are also home to thousands of grey seals, with hundreds more born each year, while dolphins, basking sharks and porpoises often spotted off the coast.

Only three of the 28 islands are accessible, but nature lovers can take a boat trip around the islands from a range of operators in Seahouses, which is just down the road from Bamburgh. 

Find out more about the Farne Islands.

Grace Darling Museum

Grace Darling, one of the 19th Century’s most well-known heroines, was born and raised in Bamburgh, and is buried in its churchyard.

The lighthouse keeper’s daughter risked her life one stormy night in 1838 to rescue the stranded survivors of the wrecked steamship Forfarshire, off the treacherous Northumberland coast.

Rowing for a mile in gale force winds, Grace and her father William saved the lives of nine men, and were awarded the Gold Medal of Bravery from the Royal Humane Society.

Sadly, she died of TB four years later, at the age of just 26.

Her life and extraordinary deed is celebrated in Bamburgh’s Grace Darling Museum, run by the RNLI and opposite St Aidan’s Church, where she is laid to rest.

Find out more about the RNLI Grace Darling Museum.

Barter Books

Readers everywhere will love Barter Books in nearby Alnwick, which is one of the largest second-hand bookshops in the UK.

With everything from fiction, non-fiction, children’s and signed limited editions, bookworms can spend hours browsing the shelves, housed in the town’s former railway station. 

There’s plenty of seating to take the weight off and sample the wares, while roaring fires keep the chill out in the colder months. Kids will love the model railway than runs around the ceiling while adults will relish the chance of a cuppa and a cake in the Station Buffet.

The bookshop is also home to the famous Keep Calm and Carry On poster; printed in the Second World War, they were never used until Barter Books owner Stuart Manley found one in a box of books more than half a century later and decided to display it in the shop. The rest, as they say, is history.

Find out more about Barter Books.

If you’re looking for a full day out from your Bamburgh holiday home, head to Cragside, 30 miles south near the village of Rothbury.

Billed as Britain’s original smart home, this National Trust-owned house and estate are the former residence of inventor and philanthropist William Armstrong – he of Bamburgh Castle fame – along with his wife, Lady Margaret Armstrong.

The Victorian mansion itself, built in the arts and crafts style, features a whole host of ahead-of-their-time contraptions, including a water-powered roasting spit and one of the first incarnations of the modern dishwasher.

Outside, Cragside stands in 1,000 acres of grounds, which can be explored on foot (for the hardy) or by car along the Carriage Drive, featuring some of the most breath-taking views in Northumberland.

Find out more about Cragside.

As you can see, there is something for everyone to enjoy from a holiday home in Bamburgh – and that’s not to mention the views, the coast and all the castles.

So what are you waiting for? Have a look at some of the Northumberland stays we’ve got available in the UK’s most northerly county and get ready to explore.

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