Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bamburgh Castle, Seahouses & Self Catering - Northumberland

There are many medieval castles built near or on the coast of Great Britain, many of them purposely built as coastal fortresses to defend against possible invasion. Therefore when you visit a British coastal town or port, seeing a medieval castle there or nearby is a common occurrence. Take for example Scarborough Castle which we visited and photographed on a misty, rainy (but very atmospheric day). Slap bang in the middle of Scarborough, high up on the hill straddling the two bays stands the castle and you simply cannot miss it once you enter the town.

One of the most striking views of a medieval castle from a British coastal town has to be that of Bamburgh Castle when viewed standing in the centre of Seahouses, a delightful little place on the Northumberland coast. When we last visited Seahouses we were fortunate enough to enjoy lovely, sunny weather. We were ravenously hungry when we arrived so headed straight for the main fish and chip restaurant (I think it's called the Neptune on Seafield Road and regarded by many as the finest fish and chip restaurant in Northumberland).

Only when we came out of the restaurant, suitably refreshed, did we take in the magnificent view looking northwards down the coast - high up on its rocky crag about 3 miles away stood Bamburgh Castle. You can imagine just how imposing it must have looked back in medieval times to anyone approaching from towns and villages in the area - let alone how it would have frightened anyone if they had dared to attempt an attack from the sea!

We came away that day promising ourselves to revisit Seahouses and perhaps even stay a few days in a Seahouses self catering cottage or a Bamburgh holiday cottage, which I understand from a friend can be high quality and very good value for money as a holiday option. (See his Seahouses blog: for more ideas). There is so much to see on the Northumberland Coast that, whether you are interested in medieval history or not, it's a fantastic place for a holiday. If you stay in a self catering cottage in Bamburgh or Seahouses you can come and go as you please, make your own timetable, enjoy fantastic visits to a wide range of castles including:
  • Alnwick Castle - remember the famous lawn there where Harry Potter was filmed taking his first broomstick flight. Visit the link and see the actual lawn I photographed. Well worth a visit!

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