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  • Writer's pictureKelly

10 Castles to visit this year in the North East

We have loads of castles in the North East, and as history lovers we have visited pretty much all of them, including the ruins with not much left. This year we have plans to start visiting castles further out and tick some more off our list. Let me know your favourites!

I have asked the boys to name their favourite castles in the North East and here is their top 10 (They actually agreed on the below list!)

The Castles

Norham Castle - We lived not far from here for years and Norham Castle was one of our favourite places to kill a few hours. We would go for picnics and just enjoy the surroundings. You can also access the river a few minutes down the bank too. There's no longer a shop or any facilities here, although you can find toilets in the village along with a bakery, convenience store and a pub that serves lunches.

Edlingham Castle - One of the first we ever stumbled upon and we just think it is mesmerizing. We have been back quite a few times we love to have picnics and explore inside of the church. Again there is no facilities here and parking is limited.

Warkworth Castle - A fantastic English Heritage castle, we have been to Warkworth lots of times and think it is definitely up there with the best. You can find lots of interesting rooms to explore and there's usually a wide range of events going on too. Toilets/Shop available Here

Barnard Castle - I personally love Barnard Castle, it has some amazing views and you can spend a few hours just wandering. Again you can picnic here and there's a small shop. There used to be a toilet here but for some reason they wouldn't let anyone use it the last time we visited, so the nearest toilet is just in the market square

Hylton Castle was once just a ruin that we would drive past now and then until a group of local volunteers renovated the castle and now you can take a tour around the lovely rooms. Also a lovely little café and toilets.

Belsay Hall, Castle & Grounds - Belsay is a regular of ours and we try to visit throughout the year and we always have a great day out (combine with Bolam Lake for a proper day out) Café, shop, toilets etc.

Prudhoe - I love the walk around Prudhoe castle. It is super pretty especially in the warmer months. It's not the biggest to visit but it is worth a visit if you are in the area. shop and toilets

Brough - This was one of the first we visited, it is out of the way in the gorgeous countryside but it is worth a visit. There are no facilities but there's a toilet in the village. This one is a great stop off if you are heading for Blackpool.

Ford & Etal - I know this is two separate Castles, but if you are going to see Etal castle you may as well visit Ford. Etal castle is English Heritage and has a lovely little museum too. Ford castle is privately owned and you can not visit this castle. It is used by the local schools as a residential activity location. (Our boys visited when we lived close by and loved it) However you can walk to the church which takes you past the castle and it is just breath-taking, so it is worth a look. ( So is the church)

Chillingham Castle is a very popular attraction and we love visiting. It has the stigma around it of being haunted but if you can get past that it is absolutely gorgeous. We love the river walk and usually walk all the way to the end of it. The staff are always fantastic here too.

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