things to do in bamburgh

The Best Things to Do in Bamburgh

The village of Bamburgh is one of the highlights of a visit to Northumberland.  The town and indeed the area is dominated by the stunning Bamburgh Castle, high on the rocky headland and bordered on one side by the glorious Bamburgh beach which stretches for miles affording stunning coastal scenery.  Whether you use Bamburgh as a base for exploring the area and the glories of Northumberland, there are some great things to do in Bamburgh and her surroundings that make a trip here a highlight of a visit to Northumberland.


The Best Things to do in Bamburgh

The village of Bamburgh is a great location to base yourself for a visit to Northumberland.  In Bamburgh, you’ll find great holiday cottages, bed and breakfasts, and local pubs.  The RNLI Museum here tells the history of the challenges that the North Seat has brought to the area and no visit to Bamburgh is complete without a visit to Bamburgh Castle.

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Take a locally guided tour of Bamburgh

If your time here is limited and you want to get the best out of the places and locations, then you can take a guided tour to visit the best of Bamburgh and Holy Island. You don’t need your own transport, as this includes pick up from your hotel or holiday cottage – so you can taste the wines and meads on Lindisfarne and have a beer at lunchtime! You’ll get to visit Bamburgh, take a guided tour around Bamburgh Castle, St Aiden’s Church in Bamburgh – see the grave of Grace Darling, and then head to Holy Island – famous for both the Lindisfarne Gospels and being one of the first locations in the United Kingdom to be attacked by the Vikings. Known as the cradle of English Christianity, recognizing the monastery’s importance in the Dark Ages. All with a local, historical commentary. Sound good? You’ll also have an included lunch in Bamburgh! There are more details and booking information here!

Visit Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle sits on a rocky cliff 45 metres above the village of Bamburgh and is one of the largest inhabited castles in England.  There has been a castle in Bamburgh since 547 AD, although the oldest structure currently standing is the keep which dates from 1164.  The walls here are 4 metres thick in places, as the castle was designed to be impenetrable.   Due to its location, Bamburgh castle has been attacked many times and it was sacked during the War of the Roses in 1464.

Northumberlands Best Bamburgh Castle

Today Bamburgh castle is owned by the Armstrong Family, having been bought in 1894, by the Victorian Industrialist and arms manufacturer.  Visiting Bamburgh Castle includes access to the Keep which includes an exhibition of arms and armour through the ages, a tea room, toilets, and a gift shop.  Bamburgh Castle is one of the most stunning castles in Northumberland.  Inside Bamburgh Castle, there is also a series of exhibitions about the castle through the ages and an archaeological dig as well as displays as to how life was here in years gone by.  (Bamburgh Castle makes an appearance in the DCI Kate Daniels series from Mai Hannah – just one of our must-read books set in Northumberland. ) Expect to spend 2-3 hours here, and bring a picnic, there’s a lot of space with glorious views of the beach and surrounding area.  Bamburgh Castle is really is one of the best things to see in Northumberland.  Buy tickets in advance (AND SAVE 5%) for Bamburgh Castle to save the queues here.

You can even stay at Bamburgh Castle – self-catering apartments allow you to stay in Bamburgh Castle – check here for booking details

You’ll also want to head down to Bamburgh Castle beach – just below the castle for stunning views of the castle as you look back up.

Visit the RNLI Grace Darling Museum in Bamburgh

Grace Darling was born in Bamburgh in 1814, the daughter of a lighthouse keeper.  She was 12 when the family moved to Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands.  It was in 1838 that the steamship Forfarshire ran aground on rocks and then broke in two.  Grace and her father set off in their family rowing boat after she spotted survivors from the Forfarshire clinging to rocks, believing that the lifeboat from Bamburgh would not be able to launch, such were the conditions.  9 people were rescued as a result of their actions.  Much more detail on Grace Darling and the lighthouses of the Northumberland coast can be seen at the RNLI Grace Darling Museum in Bamburgh.  It’s also possible to visit Longstone Lighthouse as part of a trip to the Farne Islands from nearby Seahouses. (read our guide on everything that there is to do in Seahouses here)

Explore St Aidan’s Church in Bamburgh

There has been a church here since 635, began by St Aidan as he moved to establish Christianity here.  A wooden beam inside the Bamburgh church is the only remnant of that original wooden church.   It is said that St Aidan was touching the beam when he died.  The church is in a glorious location and regardless of your religious beliefs is worth a visit for the location alone.  There’s also an effigy of Grace Darling inside the church.  St Aidan’s Church, Bamburgh is open from 0900 until late afternoon.

Pay Respects at the Tomb of Grace Darling

Grace Darling is buried in the graveyard of St Aidans Church, Bamburgh and the monument on her grave is a testament to her bravery.

Northumberlands Best Grace Darlings Tomb

Spend time on Bamburgh Beach Northumberland

St Aiden’s Beach or Bamburgh beach runs for miles along the coast of the North Sea. Bamburgh beach is wild and untamed and battered by winds from the North Sea.  It is one of the most glorious beaches in the world, with no facilities (although these are available in the village of Bamburgh).  It’s a great beach to walk for miles on, the sand is hard-packed for a good long way and dog walkers are also welcome.  On clear days you’ll get stunning views of the Farne Islands. While the beach is long and wide, you’ll want to check the Bamburgh beach tide times here before visiting.

Northumberlands Best Bamburgh Beach from the Castle

Come to Bamburgh beach, Northumberland for solitude and a bracing walk in Northumberland.  It’s definitely a good weather place to visit, the wind here can be particularly strong!  Visiting Bamburgh beach is one of our top 10 things to do in Northumberland.

If you do spend the day on the beach be sure to secure your valuables. We use and recommend portable travel safes. Here are our top travel safes to use.

Watch or Play Cricket in Bamburgh

The cricket ground in Bamburgh sits at the heart of the village, under the walls of Bamburgh Castle.  Bamburgh cricket club has been here since the 1800s.  The village cricket team usually plays on a Sunday afternoon.  If you’re visiting Bamburgh during the summer cricket season then it may be possible to play for the Bamburgh town cricket team – contact the Bamburgh Castle cricket club team here.

Play Tennis in Bamburgh

If you’d like a game of Tennis during your visit to Bamburgh, then head to the Victoria Hotel, Bamburgh.  You can book the tennis court in Bamburgh at the reception desk for a cost of GBP£5 per hour with a deposit of GBP£5.

Play Golf in Bamburgh

There are golf courses at Seahouses, Dunstanburgh, and also just at the north of the village of Bamburgh.  Bamburgh’s golf course is a par 68 and provides superb views of the coast, Bamburgh Castle, and the surrounding countryside.  The Bamburgh Castle Golf Club is open to visitors and tee booking times can be done by phone or via their website, it is recognized as one of the most stunning golf courses in the country when it comes to views.

Visit Budle Bay from Bamburgh

The Bamburgh to Budle Bay walk takes in part of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve, a bird sanctuary.  You’ll want to do the Bamburgh to Budle Bay circular walk at low tide to see the huge mudflats, it is also renowned for stunning sunset views.  You can check the tide times Bamburgh here.  The four-mile (in total) ((6.4 kilometres) easy walk is described in detail here.

Plan your route using the Ordnance Survey OS Maps app – easy to use and you can download the map data to your phone. Try a free trial for a week or buy monthly.

Map of things to do in Bamburgh and near Bamburgh

Click on the image of our map of things to do in Bamburgh or click here to see more detail.


Things to do near Bamburgh

Bamburgh is a great place to base yourself – try a holiday cottage for the ultimate flexibility and then explore the area around Bamburgh, this part of the country really is glorious.  Here are some of the best options on what to do near Bamburgh.

Walk to Seahouses from Bamburgh

One of the best walks around Bamburgh is the Seahouses to Bamburgh walk.  Take part of the Northumberland Coastal path and walk from Bamburgh to Seahouses.  The Seahouses to Bamburgh beach walk is 3 miles (5 kilometres) each way and covers some great views.  Why not walk to Seahouses and get the bus back if one way is enough for you.  There are plenty of places to eat in Seahouses or lots of picnic stops along the way if you prefer to self-cater.

We always travel with the Ordnance Survey mobile app – which lets us plan walking routes and download maps before we set off. Try a free trial for a week or buy monthly.

Learn to Surf near Bamburgh

You can surf on Bamburgh beach if you have your own surfing gear.  Bamburgh surf can be quite rough, depending on the weather though.  If you’d like to learn to surf in Northumberland, then head to the Northside Surf School at Amble.  Classes start at 2 hours in length and go up to 5 days and sometimes include surfing at Bamburgh beach.  The lessons are run by a British Surf Association Coach who is also a Beach lifeguard and are available year-round.

Visit the Farne Islands from Bamburgh

The Farne Islands are one of the most stunning places to visit near Bamburgh.  You’ll need to head to Seahouses in order to visit the Farne Islands, but it is well worth the trip.  There are more than 15 islands that make up this wildlife area – trips run from Seahouses and circle the islands with some trips landing on the islands, including a visit to the Longstone Lighthouse. 

Northumberlands Best The Farne Islands Lighthouse

There are great varieties of seabird life here and even if you’re not a birder this is a stunning trip to make.  If you’re a keen wildlife fan you should also spend some time at Kielder Water and Forest Park – it’s a great haven for wildlife

Visit Holy Island from Bamburgh

Linked to the mainland by a tidal causeway you’ll want to seriously check the tide tables before heading to Holy Island or Lindisfarne.  It’s a fabulous place to spend a day, or longer with Lindisfarne Castle to explore as well as some great walks and some super local mead to stock up on. > Read more about the best things to do on Holy Island here

Visit Alnwick from Bamburgh

Alnwick is the market town of Northumberland – it’s famous for its castle – which you may have seen in the Harry Potter film franchise or Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, and its glorious castle gardens. Alnwick is also the place where you can dine in the Olympic Suite at the White Swan Hotel – it’s essentially the decoration (and there’s also a staircase too!) from the sister ship of RMS Titanic! Read more in our guide on things to do in Alnwick!

Where to Stay in Bamburgh Northumberland?

Bamburgh on the northeast coast of Northumberland is a fabulous place to stay and a great place to base yourself in Northumberland.  You’ll get to see the beach at the beginning and end of the day when the day-trippers have gone home.  Here are our recommendations for the best Bamburgh accommodation. There are more on the best places to stay in Bamburgh here.

Hotels in Bamburgh Northumberland

These hotels in and around Bamburgh are fabulous places to stay for the night or longer.

  • Waren House Hotel, Bamburgh – this Georgian house is a beautiful place to stay and houses an award-winning restaurant too.  > Check room costs and availability here
  • The Victoria Hotel Bamburgh –  fabulous location right in the centre of Bamburgh with en-suite rooms and a great brassier > Book rooms now!

Self-Catering and Cottages in Bamburgh

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding cottages in Bamburgh. Whether you’re interested in a coastal cottage or a cottage in the centre of Bamburgh here are our favourites.

Pepperclose Cottage, Bamburgh: Sleeps 4

This gorgeous 18th century stone cottage is within walking distance of the centre of Bamburgh and has views of Bamburgh Castle. Pepperclose cottage is close to the long golden stretch of sandy beach and has a lovely south-facing private terrace with garden furniture for al fresco meals. Book this cottage now!

Grove House, Bamburgh – Sleeps 8

Beautifully appointed 19th-century holiday home in the centre of Bamburgh with four spacious bedrooms, perfect for large family getaways. Grove House has stunning views of Bamburgh castle. Easy walking access to Bamburgh village and local facilities. Bamburgh glorious beach is a short walk away. Book Grove House Now!

Where is Bamburgh?

Bamburgh is in the county of Northumberland – halfway between Alnwick and Berwick upon Tweed.  The town of Bamburgh is set next to the North East Coast and is 39 miles (62 kilometres) from the closest airport, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

How to Get to Bamburgh Northumberland

Bamburgh is accessible by local bus services, by train to Berwick Upon Tweed or Alnmouth and it is also easy to drive to Bamburgh.

How to Get to Bamburgh by Car

To travel by car to Bamburgh take the A1 north until the B1341 junction. Bamburgh is 5 miles (8 kilometres) from the A1.  If you are travelling from the north, take the B1342 junction from the A1.  If you have more time then the B1340 coastal road provides lovely views.

How to Get to Bamburgh by Train

The closest train station to Bamburgh is Chathill, but not many trains stop at this station.  The more regular train station to use to get to Bamburgh is either Berwick or Alnmouth.  Both Berwick and Alnmouth are on the East Coast Mainline. Check train times and buy tickets here.

How to Get to Bamburgh by Bus

In summer there are hourly local buses that go from Newcastle to Berwick.  The best planner to use in order to travel by bus to Bamburgh is here.

Final Words on the Best Things to Do in Bamburgh

Bamburgh is an iconic place to visit, the beach is, for me, one of the best in England and indeed the world.  Bamburgh Castle is a stunning visit, and the area around Bamburgh is some of the most stunning scenery that you can imagine.  We hope that we’ve given you a selection of what to do in Bamburgh Northumberland in this article.  So come to Bamburgh, enjoy the fabulous things to do here, and you’ll be back again before you know it.

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