An hour’s drive north of Newcastle, Bamburgh castle sits on a rocky outcrop, looking out over the North Sea, and plays host to the site which many consider may well have been the nominal capital of the British Kingdom as it existed at the time.
The name Bamburgh is thought to come from one of its Anglo-Saxon rulers, passing through several generations until it was gifted by Æthelfrith of Northumbria to his wife, Bebba. The location in Northumberland was originally occupied and fortified by native Britons, conquered by Anglo-Saxons, and then destroyed by Viking invaders, having been largely ignored during the Roman occupation of the British Isles. It was however the Normans who built the castle on the site which actually forms the core of the remaining structure to this day.
Venturing inside, the castle boasts a considerable wealth of artefacts and exhibits from antiquity, but it’s really when you get outside that Bamburgh Castle shines. On clear days, the sites’ elevation allows for incredible views of the adjacent beach and North sea, while Lindisfarne Castle, which sits on Holy Island, is often visible five miles to the north. Dunstanburgh Castle is located almost 10 miles to the south, meaning those with a passion for history of the British Isles could, should they wish, experience a considerable slice of ancient northern heritage all in one day.
A day with the sea air in your lungs may well have made you particularly peckish, so to round off your trawl around British heritage in true style you could do a lot worse than sampling the local fish and chips, which comes highly recommended.