Review - Chillingham Castle - Our trip to the most haunted castle in England.
**We were kindly invited along in return for our honest review**
I have always loved Chillingham Castle and, as a bit of a history buff, I just love to hear the stories and imagine what life would have been like throughout the years. I am a huge fan of Howick Hall and the two families are linked together.
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Chillingham Castle has been owned by the same bloodline relating back to the Earl Greys in 1246, with various Kings and Queens visiting over the years, Chillingham Castle really does have some stories to tell.
Now owned and lived in by Sir Humphrey Wakefield bt and wife The Hon. Lady Wakefield. We actually had the pleasure of chatting with Sir Humphrey and it is clear to see how passionate he is about the castle.
I think out of all the other castles I have visited (quite a lot) Chillingham is probably one of my favourites, mainly because of the history. I actually read the guide book on the way home in the car and found it all fascinating. I can't believe some of the things that have been found here, such as the documents in the window slit. Amazing.
We arrived at Chillingham for 1pm and parked in the trees. We decided to take a walk through the forest down to the castle as it is such a lovely walk.
There is quite a lot to see here, I would highly recommend buying the guide book which is £2.50 and written by Sir Humphrey Wakefield himself If you follow the guide you won't miss anything out. Admissions is through the gift shop which has some amazing items for sale. Look out for the bats! The bat is the Wakefield family crest.
As you follow the one way system, which has been put in place due to Covid-19, there are plenty of fascinating rooms to explore.
The Still Room & Dungeons - No idea if it was a draft but the door in here kept opening and closing! This sent Elliot straight back outside as he has heard about the Chillingham ghosts.
Not to miss... The portrait of the Spanish witch and the last dog sled to be used in the antarctic
The Armoury - This is the pre covid entrance to the castle. you can still see into this room and will find many fascinating goodies to look at.
Medieval Courtyard - Wow, you must take a look around at the high walls which date back to the 12th,13th,14th centuries. Check out the steep steps that lead up to the Great hall, which originally went over the moat.
The Great Hall - What a fantastic room, make sure you look up at the beams. Not to miss... The giant Elephant. The boys had so many questions in this room and the steward was happy to assist, although they could have kept him there all day asking about stuff.
Edward I room - Edward I stayed in this room on two separate occasions. This section is the most ancient of the castle. Look out for the secret door.
King James I room - First of three rooms that were specially built to receive the King of Scotland. Make sure you check out the ceiling here.
We were very lucky to be given permission to go up to the roof to see the view, unfortunately due to covid it is not safe for the public to be passing each other on the stairs. You would normally go up before you go into the King James I room.
The Plaque room library - One of our favourite rooms. The boys made friends with the lovely steward, who took his time to share some stories with the boys and even let them take a sneak peek at some of the old maps from India He let the boys carefully look at some of the old books and followed us around on that floor to answer their questions and show them some rather interesting items. He had some interesting stories to tell about his life too. As home educators we really appreciate it when people take time out of there day to really show the boys a slice of history. So thank you!
The New Dining Room - Look out for the photo which shows the old rotten beams and the Victorian chimney that was built over the 1500s fireplace.
The Museum - Oh wow where do I start, what trinkets and goodies you will find in here. Look out for the Mammoth tooth, model hydroplane and to be honest just stop and look. You will find so many great things to look at.
The Chapel - In the 1100s this would have been the main room in the castles first tower, which was built over the prehistoric cave. Check out the windows.
The Minstrels hall - I love this room! Check out the huge fire, this would have been the room where the Minstrels would have played music to those dining. I could just stay in here all day. (Especially if the fire is on)
Berthele - The undercroft with some fascinating artefacts, check out the dinosaur teeth, and take a look at the mysterious door.
Torture Chamber - Take a look for yourself and see what you think. I found it rather interesting and the boys did too. I can see why some may find it a bit scary so maybe not for the faint hearted or the very young.
The Gardens - You can walk around the extensive grounds and explore, check out the urns and the statue of Poseidon. The current one way system takes you out into the garden, before visiting most of the rooms inside the castle.
The Lakes - You go through big heavy gates and through the woods to get to the lakes, maybe not the best for those less mobile or with pushchairs. Stunning scenery and the view over the lake is beautiful.
Once we had walked back from the lake we sat for 5 minutes and then headed to the shop, where the boys bought a few goodies such as pens, notebooks etc. There is a great range of products in the shop although we would have loved to have seen things like jams and maybe mead/wine etc.
I am sure you will have heard the many stories of the Chillingham ghosts, I will let you make your own mind up.
Toilets are open
Food is takeaway only from the summerhouse on the South Lawn.
Face coverings are a must inside the castle.
No guided tours at present, due to Covid-19
Ghost tours have been suspended until further notice
Limited disabled access due to uneven floors and steep spiral staircases
No dogs allowed in the castle or the gardens except for assistance dogs
Free parking, follow the signposts. For disabled parking go down to the castle, you can park on the side of the road, closer to the castle.
Adults - £10.50
Concessions - £9.50
Children (u16) - £6.50
Family - 2 Adults & 3 Children £26
Sat nav - NE66 5NJ
Stay at the Castle
You can also stay at the castle all year round, with rooms available in the castle itself or in the nearby coach house.You also gain free access to the castle and grounds. (No Access to the castle during winter)
All in all Chillingham Castle is great value for money and you will without a doubt be amazed at how much history it tells.
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