Bamburgh Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by EasyMalc
  • Things to Do
    by EasyMalc
  • Things to Do
    by EasyMalc

Most Recent Things to Do in Bamburgh

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    The Beach

    by EasyMalc Written Jan 19, 2015

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    Ever since I can remember I’ve loved the beach and I’m lucky enough to live where there are plenty of them, but Bamburgh has to be one of my favourites. Unfortunately it’s over 400 miles away at the other end of England, but that’s probably why I like it so much - it’s so different.
    Even on a busy day this beach is never crowded. It stretches south to Seahouses and northwards across Budle Bay towards Holy Island. Just a mile and a half offshore is Inner Farne, the nearest of the fabulous Farne Islands, and standing watch over it all is the castle.
    This vast sandy beach is wonderful at any time, but when the wind blows and the waves roll in off of the North Sea it becomes even more dramatic.
    For me to travel from one end of England to the other will give you some idea how much I like it here. Just don’t take my word for it though, come and see for yourself. You won’t regret it, I promise you.

    Inner Farne Budle Bay
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    Bamburgh Castle

    by EasyMalc Written Jan 12, 2015

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    Describing Bamburgh Castle in a few short paragraphs is not the easiest of tasks as its history stretches back at least 1,500 years. The task isn’t made any easier by the fact that photography isn’t allowed inside the castle, which is a shame but one of those things that tourists often have to accept.
    It didn’t deter me from checking out this grand fortification that sits on top of an outcrop of igneous rock which forms part of the Great Whin Sill - a geological formation that people who’ve been along Hadrian’s Wall will recognise.
    There’s evidence to suggest that this site was occupied by Ancient Britons even before the Romans arrived, but the date given for the first wooden fortification built here is 547AD - after the Romans had left.
    The departure of the Romans had left the Ancient Britons back in control of their own destiny but attacks from the continent by the Angles and Saxons had a profound effect on the country’s political landscape.
    These ‘Dark Ages’ have a sketch history but what we do know was that the country was split up into various kingdoms - Northumbria being one of them.
    The first Anglo-Saxon King to rule from Bamburgh was King Ida, although, according to that great early historian the Venerable Bede, it didn’t achieve that name until King Ida’s grandson married Bebba and it became Bebbanburgh.
    With the arrival of the Normans after the conquest in 1066 the castle was re-built in stone. Its position not far from the Scottish border was always going to keep it busy and many Kings stayed here including John, Henry III, and Edwards I, II, and III.
    For 400 years the castle remained impregnable but in 1464 it was taken by the Yorkists during the Battle of the Roses, and was eventually just left to fall into ruin.
    Apart from the Keep, which was built in the 12th cent, the castle as we see it today is a combination of restoration by Lord Crewe, the Bishop of Durham, in the 18th cent and the great industrialist the 1st Lord Armstrong at the end of the 19th cent. The castle is still owned by the Armstrong family.
    Visiting the castle might not quite live up to the expectations that you would hope for, but that doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t bother to cough up the full adult fare of £9.95 to go in (Jan 2015).
    My favourites were The King’s Hall and the Armstrong Museum, but don’t forget to go and see the archaeologists excavating in the castle grounds before you leave (summer only).
    Northumberland is blessed with some magnificent castles. Some, like Alnwick, have a great history, and others, such as Dunstanburgh have a great location. Bamburgh has both!

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    Bamburgh Castle

    by Drever Written Apr 1, 2014

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    The almost impregnable stronghold of Bamburgh Castle, ancient seat of the kings of Northumbrian sits proudly and imposing on top of an outcrop of a Great Whin Sill, an igneous intrusion 300 million years old. To the mariner it is the most prominent landmark on the North-East Coast of England. Seeing it on an excursion from Berwick on Tweed I just had to investigate.

    Excavations carried out on the site led archaeologists to believe there were settlements here before the 6th century. Before Anglo-Saxon times it was a tribal stronghold. In AD 603 King Aethelfrith seized control of the neighbouring Kingdom of Deira thereby created Northumbria. This mighty kingdom covered almost a third of the whole British mainland and became one of the strongest Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Britain.

    By the early 10th century a dynasty of earls based at Bamburgh ruled Northumberland. This family remained in power until the Norman Conquest. By taking a leading part in the Northern rebellions against William the Conqueror they lost their position to the invaders. Under the Normans the castle’s massive strength and present outline took shape. Bamburgh appears again and again in history as a place of defence, refuge and at times of imprisonment.

    Bamburgh stood until the end of the Wars of the Roses (1453-1486) although besieged on several occasions. It was to here in 1464 that King Henry VI and his wife, Queen Margaret, fled following a defeat by the Yorkists. For a short time the monarch held court at Bamburgh until the castle come under cannon fire, the first in England to do so.

    In more recent times the Castle became the passion of the 1st Baron Armstrong, engineer and industrialist, who, in the 1890's, began its renovation and refurbishment. This love of Bamburgh passed down through the family to the late Lord Armstrong, who personally supervised completion of his ancestor's dream. Today, Bamburgh Castle is still the home of the Armstrong family.

    During the Second World War, the castle briefly saw military service again as an Area Military headquarters. In recent times the shooting has been peaceable as the majesty of the setting has appealed to several film-makers. Films shot here include:

    Ivanhoe (1952)
    El Cid (1961)
    Becket (1964)
    The Devils (1970)
    Mary Queen of Scots (1971)
    Macbeth (1972)
    The Tempest (1980)
    Elizabeth (1998)

    The public tour includes the magnificent King's Hall, the Cross Hall, reception rooms, the Bakehouse and Victorian Scullery, as well as the Armoury and Dungeon. These rooms contain a wide range of fine china, furniture, tapestries, arms and armour.

    Entrance to the King's Hall is through a medieval arch under the minstrels’ gallery. The Hall is a tribute to the skill of Victorian craftspeople who recreating the look and feel of a medieval hall. They carved the magnificent hammer-beam roof from teak, installed panelling also of teak but with decorative inlays of pollard oak. Suits of armour and a collection of fine portraits add to the atmosphere of kingly power emanating from this room.

    The Armoury is on the first floor of the oldest surviving part of the castle, the Keep built in mid 12th century. It contains suits of armour, pikes, halberds and muskets dating from the beginning of the 19th century. Other items represent the history of projectile weapons from bows to firearms.

    Occupying the former Laundry Building, the Armstrong Museum covers the life and work of the 1st Lord Armstrong. An inventive engineer, shipbuilder and industrialist, Armstrong left a great legacy to the modern age and Tyneside in particular and with his descendants has recreated what many regard as the finest castle in England.

    Bamburgh Castle viewed from car park Bamburgh Castle Keep Inner buildings in Bamburgh Castle Cannon at Bamburgh Castle
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    Bamburgh Castle

    by toonsarah Written Sep 7, 2012

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    Bamburgh Castle stands on a massive outcrop of rock and towers over the sands below. Unlike many castles on this coast, it is still a family home, and thus far more complete than the ruins elsewhere. It is truly an impressive sight.

    There has been a castle at Bamburgh since the sixth century, when the site was chosen as the Royal capital by the kings of Northumbria. And it is easy to see why this site would be chosen. It has commanding views over the coast – a coast that was vulnerable to attack from Vikings and others. And the basalt outcrop on which the successive castles have stood is one of the most prominent landmarks along that coast.

    Talking though of the Vikings, in 993 they succeeded in destroying the original fort. The Normans built a new castle on the same site, which forms the core of the present one. It was a royal possession for centuries, and an important element in the defence of England against the Scots, with the border just a few miles to the north. In 1464, during the Wars of the Roses, it was the first castle in England to be defeated by artillery, at the end of a nine-month siege by the Earl of Warwick.

    For 400 years the castle remained in royal hands, with the local Forster family serving as governors. Eventually the castle was made over to them. But in 1700 the then owner, Sir William Forster, died bankrupt and the castle, along with all his other possessions, was handed over to the Bishop of Durham as settlement of his debts. The castle fell into disrepair but was restored by various owners during the following centuries, and was finally bought by the Victorian industrialist William Armstrong, who completed the restoration. It still belongs to the Armstrong family, who maintain it and open it for the public to view. Its grandeur makes it much in demand as a film location, and it has featured in films such as Ivanhoe (1952), El Cid (1961), Mary, Queen of Scots (1972), and Elizabeth (1998).

    If you like your castles to be romantically ruined, this is maybe not the one for you. But if you like to see a building largely intact and strong, still standing proudly above the coast it once defended so effectively, Bamburgh is indeed an impressive sight.

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    A walk on the beach

    by toonsarah Written Sep 7, 2012

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    This has to be one of the most glorious beaches in England! A wide expanse of sand over which the castle watches protectively as it has done for centuries. There are dunes to provide shelter from the sometimes chilly winds off the North Sea, a few rock pools to explore, great views of distant Holy Island and the slightly nearer Farne Islands, and enough sand to build sandcastles to rival the “real” stone one!

    And it is never crowded. When we visited most recently on a warm August weekday, there was a sprinkling of families in the area nearest to the castle, but even here there was more than enough space for everyone. And if you’re prepared to walk along the sands a little, you could easily find a large section to call your own. Off-season, the beach is popular with walkers, but again, by popular I mean that there will always be a handful here, whatever the weather, and maybe on a bright sunny day you will encounter a dozen or more on your walk across the sand.

    South of the village is another fine stretch of sand, with (I think) the two connected at low tide. Here there is a reasonably priced car park (£2 for the day when we were here recently, though we only paused for photos and didn’t go in) so the beach gets a little busier, but is still quiet compared with other parts of the country. The reason? The North Sea is very chilly, and only the braver beach-goers will swim there, though small children seem happy to ignore the chill and splash happily in the shallows. And a cold plunge is perhaps a small price to pay for a day on such a glorious beach!

    Bamburgh beach Inner Farne viewed from the dunes Castle and old mill from the dunes Lindisfarne Castle from Bamburgh beach Seaweed on the beach
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    Bamburgh Castle

    by yvgr Updated Apr 13, 2012

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    Bamburgh Castle is an imposing castle located on the coast at Bamburgh in Northumberland, England. It is a Grade I listed building. Built on a basalt outcrop. The castle still belongs to the Armstrong family, and is opened to the public. It also hosts weddings and corporate events. It has been used as a film location since the 1920s, featuring in films such as Ivanhoe (1952), El Cid (1961), Mary, Queen of Scots (1972), and Elizabeth (1998).

    Bamburgh Castle Bamburgh Castle seen from the beach Bamburgh Castle
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    Bamburgh Castle

    by Loops Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Majestic Bamburgh Castle sits on an outcrop overlooking the North Sea. It is in a very dramatic location and can be seen for miles around.

    It is privately owned by the Armstrong family who still live there.

    Entrance fees are around UK 6.50 with discounts for seniors and children (only open from around April-October, check their website for more details).

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    The Beach

    by yvgr Updated Apr 13, 2012

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    The wide beach is must thing to experience while in Bamburgh. You can even see Lindisfarne from here!

    Beach in Bamburgh
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    • Beaches

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