The Castles and Coast of North East England

Stroll across spectacular sands and explore our imposing fortresses. You will be spoilt for choice with miles of majestic coastline and more castles than any other English region.

North East England is home to some of the country’s most amazing castles, including Bamburgh, Alnwick and Warkworth, all situated in Northumberland’s magnificent countryside.

Dramatic Bamburgh Castle dominates the rugged North Sea coastline, visible for miles around as it keeps watch over its beautiful beach, creating a spectacular landmark. This grand fortress holds tales of Anglo-Saxon Kings, Norman warriors and 18th-century Jacobites. Bamburgh village nestles around the green beneath the Castle where you can relax and sample delicious local produce.

Famous for starring as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films and featuring in Downton Abbey, Alnwick Castle is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe. The picturesque town of Alnwick is a delight, with plenty of tea rooms, cafés, pubs and boutique shops to enjoy. Your guests might enjoy a visit to the quirky Barter Books, a treasure trove housed in an historic station, with open fires, cosy teas and its own model railway. Famous for finding and reviving the World War II slogan 'Keep Calm and Carry On', it’s become an international phenomenon.

Not far from there is the unforgettable island sanctuary of Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is home to a seventh-century monastery which became known throughout Europe as the 'Cradle of Celtic Christianity'. The Heritage Centre contains an electronic copy of the treasured Lindisfarne Gospels and there’s a distillery to sample the famous Lindisfarne Mead. The island is accessed by causeway when the tide is out – a dramatic and exciting visit.

The Farne Islands – the most exciting seabird sanctuary in the British Isles – are a must for wildlife lovers. A short boat trip takes you to see 23 varieties of birds close up, including 37,000 colourful puffins. The islands are also home to the largest breeding colony of grey seals in England with some 1,000 pups born there every year.

Did you know…? Alnwick Castle was the setting for the very last episode of the world-famous Downton Abbey television series. Visitors can now enjoy a special Downton Abbey exhibition featuring photography, costumes and props from the programme.