Bamburgh Things to Do
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Front Street, Bamburgh, NE69 7BL, United Kingdom
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
Front St, Bamburgh, NE69 7BP, United Kingdom
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
Bamburgh, NE69 7AJ, United Kingdom
Good for: Solo
When we used to come regularly to Bamburgh with Chris’s parents, a cup of tea or coffee at the Copper Kettle was a must. So on our recent visit to the village, Chris and I made sure to revive the family tradition!The Copper Kettle is a typical English tearoom, located in one of Bamburgh’s oldest cottages. The menu tells the story of the cottage,...more
8 Hotels in Bamburgh
Bamburgh Warnings and Dangers
Bamburgh is a lovely place, with great scenery and things to do, However you must avoid The Victoria Hotel at all costs. My family and I stayed their and had an awful time. The staff were rude, immature and unprofessional. I brought some issues up with the Manager and he dissmissed my concerns with a wave of his hand and he told me get off his premises. I also had the missfortune of seeing the kitchens first hand and they were far from clean. They were storing chips to be used in a large, dirty black bin full of water, outside open to the air. Any thing could have fallen or gotten in - especially as they were having major building work done at the time. I managed to take a quick photo of the outside store room. It was disgustingly dirty and messy. Please, for your own sake, Avoid this hotel/restaurant and show them that these standards of service are unacceptable!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
Bamburgh Off The Beaten Path
If you have time for only one day trip while visiting Bamburgh, this should be it! Holy Island, or Lindisfarne, is, in my view, one of the most magical places in England. A small “semi-island” (that is, an island only at high tide), it has been a centre of spirituality since St Aidan founded a monastery here in the seventh century AD. Whatever your religion, or none, you will surely be captivated by the unique charm of a place that seems largely untouched by the modern age. Yes, there are cars, and phones, and even wifi – but there are no chain coffee shops, no bank or ATM, no supermarket. And with the exception of the small stone-built village clustered around the ruins of the priory, the island is undeveloped. No roads serve its northern shore, and the dune-fringed beaches are visited mainly by birds, not people.
But to experience Holy Island at its best, you must see it as the locals see it – without the hoards of visitors that descend at low tide. So plan to stay overnight, and as the cars stream away over the causeway and the sea closes above it, the island will become a different place – one of peace and tranquillity, the haven it has been for centuries.
So, why “Holy” Island? You will also hear it referred to as Lindisfarne, the name given to its small castle. But locally the island is rarely referred to by this old Anglo-Saxon name. Following the murderous and bloodthirsty attack on the monastery by the Vikings in 793AD, it obtained its local name from the observations made by the Durham monks: “Lindisfarne - baptised in the blood of so many good men - truly a 'Holy Island'”.
The main sights here are the ruins of the old priory, and the castle. The former is best seen first thing in the morning, or when high tide has caused most visitors to have left. Then you can wander among the ruins and really imagine how the various buildings would have looked when the monastery was rich and thriving, and monks here went about their daily work while devoting their lives to God.
The first monastery here was founded by St Aidan in 635 AD, and his statue stands among the ruins as a memorial to the Irish missionary who restored Christianity to Northumberland after the Anglo-Saxons had driven Roman Christian beliefs from the land. But it is St Cuthbert, who became its bishop about fifty years later, for whom the priory is perhaps most known. When he died in 687 he was buried here and as a result the priory became something of a place of pilgrimage. On transferring his remains to a pilgrim shrine 11 years later, the monks found them still undecayed, which was regarded as a sure sign of sanctity. Sainthood increased believers’ devotion to his memory, and more pilgrims followed.
But the rich monastery on an isolated island was a prime target for Viking raiders who pillaged this cost over the succeeding centuries. Indeed, it was one of these raids that gave the island its epithet, “Holy”. The Anglo-Saxons had called it Lindisfarne, but following a particularly murderous and bloodthirsty attack on the monastery by Vikings in 793, Durham monks observed: “Lindisfarne – baptised in the blood of so many good men - truly a “Holy Island”.
The castle is about a mile’s walk from the village (or take the shuttle bus), along the fishermen’s beach known as the Ouse. The views are wonderful and for me are more of an attraction than the castle itself, which was turned into a family home in the 19th century.
Elsewhere on the island you can enjoy long walks on deserted beaches, go bird-watching and enjoy the local delicacies of crab sandwiches and Lindisfarne Mead (though perhaps not together!). It’s a magical place indeed! See my separate Holy Island page for much more information.
If you decide to take a trip here from Bamburgh, it’s important to first check the tide tables. The island is connected to the mainland by a causeway several miles in length. This is covered for about five or six hours each high tide, i.e. twice a day. As the tides vary, so do the safe crossing times. And don’t trust your eyes – the causeway may look clear but if you are already past the advertised safe crossing time, don’t start to cross – the tides here are unpredictable and can sweep in very suddenly indeed. It is not for nothing that a small refuge is provided halfway across the causeway – many drivers have been caught out in the past and forced to abandon their vehicles and seek safety here while the waters inundate their car!Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Castles and Palaces
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