Northumberland has so many castles due to its turbulent past. The Kingdom of Northumbria was formerly the Capital of England and this area has been the site of many power struggles in history. Keep an eye out as you drive around north Northumberland and you will notice many ‘Pele Towers’ or fortified houses – at times it was virtually impossible to live in anything else around here.
Here is a list of a few of the best Castles, Gardens and Stately Homes within an easy drive of Burnfoot:
Home to Duke and Duchess of Northumberland whose ancestors have lived there for over 700 years. Now known by many as the setting for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. Surrounding landscape designed by Capability Brown who was himself trained at Kirkharle, not far from Burnfoot.
Over £30 million has been spent to create this exciting contemporary garden. A good day out for all ages, with fun water features and mazes, a poison garden and walkways through the trees to the Treehouse restaurant. (Note for parents – take a change of clothes for children as they will love the fountains so much they will be soaked through by the end of the day).
Bought by Lord Armstrong, Burnfoot’s illustrious former owner, and still the home to the Armstrong family. He saved it from ruin and remodelled the 11th Century Norman castle into what really is now a huge folly. Not much to see inside the castle but worth a visit to walk along the beach and wonder at its stunning location.
Approximately 700 years old. Not that much to see on entering the ruins, but well worth a visit to see the awesome effect it has on its setting on the coast. Makes a great walk from either Craster or Embleton.
Next to a delightful little church in a very pretty valley. You will see on your left as you drive along the road from Rothbury to Alnwick (past Cragside).
Cragside House and Gardenswww.nationaltrust.org.uk
A must for anyone staying at Burnfoot. Please go to Cragside to learn about the genius of the man who designed and built your holiday cottage. His passion for sustainable renewable energy was well ahead of his time and his house was the first house in the world to be lit by electricity.
Just the Grade I Listed gardens themselves are worth the visit, with plenty of trails for children to discover as well as a cascading water feature with huge boulders.
At over 13,000 acres, Wallington Hall is the National Trust’s largest estate. The Hall itself is small but perfectly formed and there are lovely gardens to stroll around and some pleasant walks. Only 30 minutes drive away.
Lindisfarne Castle and Priorywww.nationaltrust.org.uk
Another very dramatically located castle on the coast with a Christian history. Worth a visit just for the romance of chancing the tide to get to Holy Island.
Warkworth Castle and Hermitagewww.english-heritage.org.uk
Impressive former seat of the Percy family who now reside in Alnwick Castle, and a nice small village with cafes and art galleries.
No visit to Northumberland would be complete without a walk along what is now a World Heritage Site. Would recommend a visit to Walltown Crags to witness the true scale of this defence.