Before us moving on from County Northumberland and off to City of Newcastle, we visited a few more Castles – Dunstanburgh Castle and Chillingham Castle, whilst continuing to tick off on our Castle hunt bucket list.
Out of all the castles we’ve been to so far, Dunstanburgh has certainly been one of the most interesting ones. The Castle is actually a fascinating ruins, and it sits beautifully along the Northumberland coast, surrounded by complete greenery and the blue ocean. Oh, and I can’t forget, adorable Calves too!
…Told you they were adorable!
Unfortunately, there’s no public road leading to the castle. This meant a very long walk (of about 1 and a half miles) from the nearest village of Craster to the castle. The idea of having to walk so much was something I was dreading. But thank goodness I had my trekking boots on, which I highly recommend if you’re planning to trek anywhere around these areas.
Experiencing such beautiful greenery, listening to the calm waters hitting against the rocks, it sure made the peaceful walk an enjoyable part of the visit. Being a city girl, it was really nice to experience the contrary of the hustle and bustle.
As we finally arrived at the front gate of the castle, other than feeling relieved that we had finally made it, I was stunned by the remainings of the castle. It really captures the essence of its dramatic history.
Although it may not seem like it, Dunstanburgh Castle is actually the largest castle in all of Northumberland. With what remains left of the castle, there’s still enough to have an idea of what the full structure would have been like.
We ended our time at Dunstanburgh Castle by climbing up one of the towers to the highest level, where it’s the perfect place to get a real sense of scale of the castle from above, and take in the breathtaking views of the Northumberland coastline.
Not too long of a drive from Dunstanburgh Castle, we got to Chillingham Castle, the most quirkiest and spookiest castle I’ve ever been to. From the outside, I assumed the castle would be like a beautiful manor house on the inside, but I was very wrong. Walking into a haunted house was more like it!
The castle in general was very dark and moody. It seemed like the perfect place to visit on Halloween, especially with their frightening dungeons, torture chambers and spooky ghost tales. I mean, it’s supposed to be one of the most haunted castles in the country! So watch out for the “Blue Boy” ghost!.. who is said to have haunted the Pink Room in the castle. It has also been said that guests reported seeing blue flashes and a blue “halo” of light above their beds after a loud wail. The hauntings ceased after renovation work, which then revealed a man and a young boy inside a 10-foot-thick wall. Freaky or what?!
Moving on to the inside rooms of the castle. I was honestly a bit disappointed. The rooms were excessively filled with the castle owner’s own artefacts. Many being very quirky, and all actually lacked cohesion. So it was very confusing to get the sense of the history of the castle. But I guess this gave the castle a very different experience. With all the strange and out of place objects you get a real sense of mysteriousness and spookiness. Maybe this was what the owner was trying to go for?
One of the first rooms we went to was the Minstrel’s Hall. The hall is decorated with spears, banners, and tapestries to name a few. It is actually one of the places in the castle where the famous film “Elizabeth” was staged, amongst many other movies and TV programmes that were filmed at the castle.
Below is of one of the state rooms, James 1st Room. It is famous for its Elizabethan ceiling with the gilded ribbing and very finely moulded pendants. Furthermore, the room is furnished with many of Sir Humphry’s (the owner) fascinating antiques and treasures.
One place should not be missed is a visit to the glorious Italian-style garden. It has a very different vibe to the inside of the castle. I was actually quite stunned by it. It was just the perfect place to cool off from a creepy experience. There is also access on the rooftop of the castle where you can admire the garden from above.
Which castle would you prefer to spend the day at? The dramatic Dunstanburgh Castle or creepy Chillingham Castle?
Address: Dunstanburgh Castle, Dunstanburgh Road, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 3TT
Phone: 00 44 (0) 1665 576231
Address: Chillingham Castle, Chillingham, Northumberland, NE66 5NJ
Phone: 00 44 (0) 1668 215359