Bamburgh Northumberland Coast

Bamburgh – famous castle, coastlines & walking trails

Bamburgh is one of the villages and small towns that populate the coastline of northern Northumbria and is approximately fifty miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne that is only accessible by road when the tide is out is a few miles to the north and a 30 minute road journey away. While, to the south and a pleasingly drive via the Links Road is the larger village of Seahouses where there are supermarkets, a cinema and petrol station.

A delightful little village in its own right, what makes Bamburgh special is Bamburgh Castle that dominates the coastline when viewed from the village. The castle is set on top of a small hill with the sea on one side and the reasonably flat countryside and village land, adding to the dramatic nature of the large castle. It is one of the most iconic buildings in the north east of England; Bamburgh castle was used in two Harry Potter films, in Downton Abbey and the films BFG and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Bamburgh Northumberland Coast
Image by Jonathan Cannon from Pixabay

There is evidence of population at Bamburgh as far back as 420 AD. The castle site was previously a Celtic fort. Aiden of Lindisfarne visited Bamburgh as part of his role of converting the people of Northumbria to Christianity. As a result a Dominican Friary that included a leper’s hospital were built close to the castle and the medieval village. The current St Aidan’s Church was built during the 13th century, and the present church bears the same name being an essential reminder of the history of Bamburgh. The dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII also saw the castle being seized and sold and it has passed through a few different family ownerships since.

The heroine Grace Darling is buried at St Aidan’s Church, and there is a Grace Darling museum close to the cottage where she lived after her father retired. Grace Darling was known for rowing out with her father from the Longstone Lighthouse in a terrible storm when stormy seas wrecked a ship on the Farne Islands. Grace became famous for her selfless actions that night.

The golden sandy beach stretches to both the North and South of the village and is backed by dramatic sand dunes. Most accessible from just north of the Castle and the proximity of the castle enhances the dramatic atmosphere. And the most northernmost lighthouse in England is here as well.

The village is well appointed with pubs, restaurants, tea rooms and a village butchers and a delicatessen. Bamborough village was remodelled during both the 17th and 19th centuries. Today the architecture is an interesting mixture of traditional old local styles, stone cottages and larger, newer houses and bungalows. The village has an old fashioned phone box and letterboxes that help capture the old fashioned feel to the area. Where Front Street and Church Street meet, the village water pump, which was once the main source of water for the villagers before modernisation in the early 20th century, can be viewed.


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