Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland | History, Tickets & Lord Uhtred Story?
Are you ready to embark on a journey through time and history, exploring the magnificent Bamburgh Castle? This iconic fortress, nestled on the Northumberland coast of England, is a captivating blend of medieval grandeur, Viking legends, and breathtaking coastal beauty. Join us as we unlock the secrets of Bamburgh Castle, owned by the Armstrong family, and delve into its rich heritage.
Discover the fascinating story of the real Uhtred of Bebbanburg, whose adventures inspired tales of courage and conflict in “The Last Kingdom.” From opening times to attractions, pricing, and practical tips, we’ll provide you with all the information you need for an unforgettable visit. So, step into a world where history comes to life, and let Bamburgh Castle leave an indelible mark on your journey through time.
ABOUT THE Bamburgh Castle and Its History
Bamburgh Castle, perched majestically on the Northumberland coast of England, is a living testament to centuries of history and heritage. This iconic coastal fortress has been a silent witness to the ebb and flow of time, standing firm for over a millennium. Its story is a tapestry woven with threads of Anglo-Saxon origins, Viking invasions, medieval significance, and the ambitions of historical figures. While it may not be the exact home of the fictional Uhtred of Bebbanburg, it symbolizes the grandeur and strength of fortresses that existed during his time.
Bamburgh Castle’s allure goes beyond its physical walls; it beckons visitors to delve into the pages of history, explore its attractions, and immerse themselves in the tales of a bygone era.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a fan of literature and television, or simply a curious traveler, Bamburgh Castle offers an enchanting journey through the annals of time.
How to Get there?
Address: Bamburgh, Northumberland NE69 7DF)
Visiting Bamburgh Castle is a journey to a historic and picturesque destination in Northumberland, England. Here’s a detailed guide on how to get to Bamburgh Castle:
- From Newcastle upon Tyne: If you’re starting your journey from Newcastle upon Tyne, which is approximately 50 miles south of Bamburgh, follow these directions:
- Take the A167 road north.
- Merge onto the A1(M) toward Berwick-upon-Tweed.
- Continue on the A1(M) for about 40 miles.
- Take the exit toward B1342/Bamburgh.
- Follow the signs to Bamburgh Castle.
- From Edinburgh: If you’re traveling from Edinburgh, Scotland, which is around 90 miles north of Bamburgh, follow these directions:
- Take the A1road south, heading towards Berwick-upon-Tweed.
- Continue on the A1 for approximately 60 miles.
- Take the exit toward B1342/Bamburgh.
- Follow the signs to Bamburgh Castle.
By Public Transport:
- Train: You can take a train to the Berwick-upon-Tweed railway station, which is approximately 20 miles south of Bamburgh. From there, you can continue your journey to Bamburgh by bus or taxi.
- Bus: Local bus services connect Berwick-upon-Tweed, Alnwick, and other nearby towns to Bamburgh. Check the bus schedules and routes in advance to plan your journey.
- Newcastle International Airport: If you’re arriving by air, the nearest major airport is Newcastle International Airport, which is approximately 50 miles south of Bamburgh. From the airport, you can rent a car or take public transport to reach Bamburgh.
- Edinburgh Airport: Another option is Edinburgh Airport, which is about 90 miles north of Bamburgh. Similar to Newcastle Airport, you can rent a car or use public transportation to continue your journey.
Important Note Parking: Parking is not included in the admission price and must be purchased separately. Bamburgh Castle offers a private car park, which is conveniently accessible by following the designated parking signs and driving up the hill to the castle. Please note that the car park located opposite the castle is owned and managed by Northumberland County Council.
Bebbanburg’s Castle Pricing
|Child Admission (5-16 years)||£6.95|
|Family Ticket (2 Adults + 3 Children aged 5-16 years)||£37.10|
|Little Adventurers Admission (0-4 years)||£0.00|
|(Includes free access for carers)|
|Parking (Payable on arrival only)||£4.00|
|Dog (Grounds Only)||£0.00|
Please note that the prices listed are subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the official Bamburgh Castle website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date pricing information and any special offers that may be available.
|October-February (Weekends Only)||11:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Last Admission: 3:30 PM)|
|February-November (Open Daily)||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Last Admission: 4:00 PM)|
|Prams and Pushchairs||Welcome in the Grounds|
|Not Allowed in the Interior|
|Storage Facilities Provided|
|Registered Assistance Dogs||Permitted in the Grounds|
The Story of Real Uhtred of Bebbanburh
The character of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, portrayed as a formidable warrior in Netflix’s “The Last Kingdom,” may seem like a fictional creation, but there are historical inspirations for this captivating figure. While Uhtred’s adventures in the series are a blend of fiction and history, there are striking parallels to real individuals and events from the Viking Age, providing us with a glimpse into the life of a warrior who lived more than a thousand years ago.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg in “The Last Kingdom”
In “The Last Kingdom,” Uhtred of Bebbanburg is depicted as a complex character born a Saxon but raised among the Danes. His loyalties are often torn between conflicting oaths, and his ultimate goal is to reclaim his birthright—the Northumbrian coastal fortress of Bebbanburg, which corresponds to the real Bamburgh Castle we know today.
Uhtred’s adventures are set against the backdrop of the Viking Age, and viewers witness the tumultuous events of the 9th and 10th centuries. These events include the arrival of the Great Heathen Army in England, the defense of Wessex under Alfred the Great, and the political turmoil that followed Alfred’s reign. Uhtred’s journey takes us through the reigns of Edward the Elder, Æthelflæd in Mercia, and the rise of Æthelstan, each pivotal in shaping the destiny of England.
The Real Uhtred of Bebbanburg
While there may not be an exact historical counterpart to the Uhtred of “The Last Kingdom,” there were real individuals named Uhtred associated with Bamburgh Castle during the early Middle Ages. These historical Uhtreds may not perfectly match the fictional character, but their presence in historical records suggests their significance.
One Uhtred was the son of Eadwulf, Lord of Bamburgh, and he is mentioned in the Northumbrian work known as the History of St Cuthbert. Interestingly, he was referred to as the brother of a figure who enjoyed favor with King Edward the Elder of Wessex. This intriguing connection aligns with the fictional narrative in “The Last Kingdom.”
The Prominence of Historical Uhtred
Another historical Uhtred, linked with Bamburgh, played a more prominent role in history during the early 11th century, which is closer in time to the events depicted in “The Last Kingdom.” This Uhtred was a powerful figure during the Viking Age and was highly regarded, particularly in parts of Northumbria.
He held the title of earl, and charters from the period record his presence as a witness to King Æthelred’s documents. In the last years of his reign, King Æthelred even arranged a marriage between Uhtred and his daughter, Ælfgifu, solidifying Uhtred’s status as a significant figure within the English kingdom.
Uhtred’s Role as a Leader
Earl Uhtred was not merely a name on charters; he was a man of action. Historical manuscripts describe his role in defending the city-fortress of Durham against Scottish invaders in 1006, while his father, Waltheof, remained in Bamburgh. After successfully repelling the attack, Uhtred displayed the heads of the defeated Scots on poles around the city walls—a gruesome but not uncommon practice in medieval warfare.
Uhtred’s actions during this time suggest that he was the earl of Northumbria, extending his influence from Bamburgh to the broader Northumbrian region, including the Viking kingdom of York. While Northumbria’s allegiance was uncertain during this period, Uhtred’s marriage to Æthelred’s daughter indicated a leaning toward an English kingdom.
Challenges and Pragmatism
Uhtred’s historical actions reveal a pragmatism driven by changing political circumstances. He submitted to Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013, along with the Northumbrians and Lincolnshire inhabitants, which led to Sweyn briefly ruling England and Æthelred’s exile.
Upon Æthelred’s return, Uhtred aligned with Æthelred’s son, Edmund Ironside, to counter the ealdorman Eadric Streona, who supported another Danish invader, Cnut. Uhtred’s lands in Northumbria were ravaged by Cnut’s forces, leading to a truce and the exchange of hostages.
The End of Uhtred’s Story
Uhtred’s historical fate is somewhat shrouded in ambiguity. Some sources suggest he met his end at the hands of Cnut’s soldiers shortly after the truce. According to one account, Uhtred walked into Cnut’s presence during the truce, only for hidden soldiers to ambush and kill him, along with 40 of his men.
This dramatic account aligns with the sagas of Norse literature, adding a layer of legend to Uhtred’s story. Whether his death occurred during the truce or in the aftermath of the Battle of Carham, Uhtred’s legacy remains intertwined with the events of the Viking Age.
Bernard Cornwell’s Inspiration
It’s important to note that while Uhtred of “The Last Kingdom” draws inspiration from history, the character is ultimately a work of fiction. However, Bernard Cornwell, the author behind “The Last Kingdom” series, was personally connected to Northumbria through his family name, Oughtred. This personal link added a unique layer of resonance to the story, as Cornwell’s imagination was sparked by the historical context of Northumbria.
Visitor Review by TripAdvisor.
Activity and things to Do
Explore the Castle Grounds: Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful castle grounds, which offer stunning views of the Northumberland coastline and the surrounding countryside.
Castle Tours: Join guided tours of the castle to learn about its rich history, architecture, and the stories of its past inhabitants. Explore the various rooms and chambers, including the Great Hall and Keep.
Archaeology Museum: Visit the Archaeology Museum to discover artifacts and exhibits that highlight the historical significance of the castle and the region. Learn about the archaeological excavations that have taken place at Bamburgh.
Armoury and Weaponry: Explore the Armoury, which houses a collection of weapons, including pikes, halberds, muskets, and medieval bows. Gain insights into the weaponry used during different periods.
Bamburgh Beach: Enjoy a walk along the picturesque Bamburgh Beach, located near the castle. It’s an ideal spot for taking in the fresh sea air and views of the Farne Islands.
Birdwatching: Bamburgh Castle is close to important birdwatching sites, including the Farne Islands, which are known for their seabird colonies. Birdwatchers can spot various species in the area.
Photography: Capture the stunning architecture and scenic views around the castle. The castle’s dramatic setting against the coastline provides excellent photo opportunities.
Bamburgh Village: Explore the charming village of Bamburgh, where you can find quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a great place to experience local culture.
Family-Friendly Events: Check for family-friendly events and activities that may be taking place at the castle. These events often have themes related to the castle’s history and legends.
Gift Shop: Visit the castle’s gift shop to pick up souvenirs, books, and unique gifts related to Bamburgh Castle and the Northumberland region.
Enjoy the Views: Take time to simply enjoy the breathtaking views of the Northumberland coast and the Farne Islands from the castle’s vantage points.
Picnic: Bring a picnic and enjoy lunch in the castle’s grounds while taking in the scenic surroundings.
Who currently owns Bamburgh Castle?
Bamburgh Castle is currently owned by the Armstrong family. They have maintained and preserved the castle, allowing it to remain open to the public. Visitors can explore the castle’s rich history and enjoy its stunning architecture and surroundings, with entrance charges applying for admission.
Attractions at Bamburgh Castle
- Castle Tours: Explore the historic castle with guided tours that provide insights into its history, architecture, and the stories of its past inhabitants. Visit the Great Hall, Keep, and other fascinating rooms.
- Archaeology Museum: Discover the archaeological treasures of Bamburgh Castle and the region in the Archaeology Museum. View artifacts that shed light on the area’s history and the castle’s significance.
- Armoury and Weaponry: Visit the Armoury to see a collection of weapons, including pikes, halberds, muskets, and medieval bows. Gain a deeper understanding of the weaponry used throughout different periods.
- Bamburgh Beach: Enjoy the beautiful Bamburgh Beach, located near the castle. Take a walk along the shore, breathe in the fresh sea air, and take in the scenic views of the Northumberland coast.
- Birdwatching: Bamburgh Castle is close to important birdwatching sites, including the Farne Islands, which are known for their seabird colonies. Birdwatchers can spot various species in the area.
- Photography: Capture the stunning architecture and scenic views around the castle. The castle’s dramatic setting against the coastline offers excellent photo opportunities.
- Bamburgh Village: Explore the charming village of Bamburgh, which features quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants. Immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the village’s atmosphere.
- Family-Friendly Events: Check for family-friendly events and activities that may be taking place at the castle. These events often have themes related to the castle’s history and legends.
- Gift Shop: Visit the castle’s gift shop to purchase souvenirs, books, and unique gifts related to Bamburgh Castle and the Northumberland region.
Things to Avoid at Bamburgh Castle
Touching Artifacts: While exploring the castle and its museums, avoid touching any artifacts or historical items on display. This helps preserve these valuable pieces of history for future generations.
Littering: Keep the castle grounds and surrounding areas clean by disposing of your litter responsibly. There are likely designated bins for this purpose.
Disruptive Behavior: Maintain a respectful and considerate demeanor during your visit. Refrain from loud or disruptive behavior that may disturb other visitors.
Vandalism: Absolutely refrain from any form of vandalism or graffiti. Bamburgh Castle is a historic site, and defacing it is not only disrespectful but also illegal.
Ignoring Safety Instructions: Pay attention to any safety instructions or guidelines provided by the castle staff. These instructions are in place to ensure the safety of all visitors.
Unauthorized Access: Do not attempt to access restricted areas or enter parts of the castle that are off-limits to visitors. This helps preserve the castle’s integrity and prevents accidents.
Disregarding Photography Rules: If there are specific rules regarding photography, such as restrictions on using flash or tripods, be sure to follow them. These rules are often in place to protect delicate artifacts and exhibits.
A visit to Bamburgh Castle offers a fascinating journey through history and a chance to explore a significant piece of Northumberland’s heritage. From its stunning architecture to its rich collections of artifacts and exhibitions, the castle provides an enriching experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply enjoying breathtaking views of the Northumberland coast, Bamburgh Castle has something to offer.
While exploring this remarkable site, remember to respect the rules and guidelines in place to preserve the castle’s historical significance and ensure a pleasant experience for everyone. By following these guidelines and showing consideration for fellow visitors, you can make the most of your visit to Bamburgh Castle and create lasting memories of this iconic landmark. Enjoy your time at this captivating piece of England’s past!
How much did you like Our detailed Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland | History, Tickets & Lord Uhtred Story?? Review Also, please share these Blogs with your friends on social media.
Bamburgh Castle FAQs
Yes, Bamburgh Castle is a genuine historical site located on the Northumberland coast of England. It has a rich history dating back centuries.
Bamburgh Castle has a long and storied history, with roots dating back to the Iron Age. It has been associated with kings, battles, Vikings, and more. For a detailed history, refer to the respective section in this guide.
Bamburgh Castle is currently owned by the Armstrong family. While privately owned, it is open to the public, and visitors can explore its grounds and interiors.
Bamburgh Castle is located in Bamburgh, Northumberland, with the postal code NE69 7DF. Visitors can reach it by car or public transportation. Detailed directions can be found in the "How to Get There" section of this guide.
The admission prices for Bamburgh Castle vary depending on age and disability status. Please refer to the "Bebbanburg's Castle Pricing" section for detailed pricing information.
Bamburgh Castle's opening hours vary by season. From October to February, it is open on weekends only, while from February to November, it is open daily. Detailed opening hours can be found in the "Opening Times" section.
Some historic sites may have specific rules regarding photography, such as restrictions on flash photography or the use of tripods. Visitors are encouraged to follow any photography guidelines provided by the castle staff.
With the exception of registered assistance dogs, pets are generally not allowed within the castle grounds. This policy ensures the comfort and safety of all visitors.
Bamburgh Castle offers numerous attractions, including its historic interiors, museums, and the stunning views of the Northumberland coast. For more details, refer to the "Attractions at Bamburgh Castle" section.
Yes, Bamburgh Castle typically has a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and a café where they can enjoy refreshments. However, it's advisable to check with the castle for the most up-to-date information on amenities.
Guided tours may be available at Bamburgh Castle, providing in-depth insights into its history and significance. Visitors can inquire about tour options upon arrival.
Bamburgh Castle strives to provide accessibility for all visitors, including those with disabilities. There may be facilities and services in place to accommodate special needs. For more information, visitors can check with the castle staff.
Some historic sites offer event and wedding hosting services. If you're interested in hosting an event at Bamburgh Castle, it's recommended to contact the castle directly for details and availability.
Bamburgh and the surrounding area offer a range of accommodation options, including hotels, inns, and holiday cottages. Visitors can choose accommodations that suit their preferences and budgets.
Bamburgh Castle typically does not have a strict dress code, but it's advisable to dress comfortably and be prepared for varying weather conditions, especially if exploring the castle's outdoor areas.