Cutting an imposing figure on the clifftop above the town, Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland can’t fail to attract attention. Both the castle and Bamburgh itself are of historical significance, with evidence of human occupation as early as 10,000 BC. These days, it’s a fascinating visitor attraction for families. Children’s activities encourage learning and keep them entertained. Various museums allow visitors to learn about different aspects of history. And better still, it’s dog friendly.
About Bamburgh Castle
For the past 1400 years, Bamburgh Castle has guarded this part of the coastline from its high vantage point. Steeped in myths and legends, history combines with ghosts, dragons and fiction to make the castle a fascinating place to visit.
The castle grounds offer beautiful views over the surrounding coastline. Fourteen State Rooms are open to visitors, including the Great Kitchen and King’s Hall. Downstairs areas including the bakery and scullery are decorated as they would have been in Victorian times. An archaeology and games room displays things found at the castle during archaeological digs.
Despite being such a well preserved and restored building, archaeological digs still take place at Bamburgh Castle. Several museums pay tribute to different themes and eras in various parts of the castle. The stone museum and Armstrong and Aviation museums were fascinating. The latter documents the career of celebrated engineer William Armstrong. Numerous interesting but quite morbid exhibits are on display, including the cockpit of a spitfire that crashed over Northumberland.
Children at Bamburgh Castle
Whilst the castle’s history, views and information could keep adults captivated for hours, children often need a little more to hold their interest. Luckily, Bamburgh Castle has nailed this, and we happily spent a day there. Indoor areas had interactive games, which were great to allow us some time to read about the castle while they were occupied. The Games Room within the State Rooms had games and quizzes, while the Armstrong and Aviation museum had a large jigsaw puzzle that the girls enjoyed completing with other children.
Outdoors, there’s plenty of safe space to run around. They loved looking at the canons and sitting in the stocks. Quirky little stalls sold unusual items and traditional tents were laid out so they could get an idea of the way people might have lived in them. Better still, the girls were able to have a go at archery. Very little ones used a small toy crossbow, while older children could use a proper bow and arrow.
Dogs at Bamburgh Castle
We’ve been to Northumberland for the last few years and always admired the castle from afar. We’d never actually visited, and I was convinced this was because it wasn’t dog friendly. I’m not sure whether they’ve recently changed the policy or whether I just got it wrong. Either way, it is now dog friendly in the truest sense of the term.
When we arrived, Bubbles was made to feel very welcome indeed. While I was informed where she could and couldn’t go, Bubbles was treated to a biscuit. Dogs are allowed in the castle grounds and museums, but not in the State Rooms or the tearoom. There are plenty of places to shelter with the dog in bad weather and dog water is readily available. However, it’s advisable to go with someone if you’re bringing a dog to the castle. That way, you can swap around and make sure you both get time to explore the state rooms.
- Parking: A car park is available at Bamburgh Castle at a cost of £3 for the day. However, there is also a large, free public car park opposite the castle entrance. This fills up quickly though, so it’s advisable to get there early if you intend to use the free parking.
- Other things to do in and around Bamburgh: Bamburgh beach is beautiful and remarkably never seems too busy. The RNLI Grace Darling museum is free to look around and is a really interesting way to spend a couple of hours. Slightly further afield, Lindisfarne Holy Island is beautiful and well worth a visit. We also enjoyed Ford and Etal and Kielder Forest.
- More information about Bamburgh Castle: For further information about Bamburgh Castle, head to their website.