Bamburgh is by far one of Northumberland’s most renowned villages. Combining rich history with breathtaking backdrops and world-class landmarks, this attractive civil parish sits on the acclaimed Northumberland coast and is the perfect location for a UK holiday.
Bamburgh is found opposite the Farne Islands, and lies 2 miles from Budle Bay. It is within easy reach of Seahouses (3.5 miles) and Craster (12.5 miles) to the south, and Berwick-upon-Tweed (20 miles) to the north. The edge of Northumberland National Park is within 18 miles, opening up a choice of walking routes and days out.
Dominated by its magnificently striking castle and boasting impressive stretches of golden sandy beaches, Bamburgh itself has a lot to offer holidaymakers. From a fascinating museum to a fine array of eateries, a wealth of water sports, walking, cycling and golf, you won’t be short of fun things to do.
Things to do in Bamburgh
Best for history buffs - Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh Castle is a dramatic fortification which sits on an outcrop of volcanic dolerite at 45 metres above sea level. The castle's 9-acre grounds are home to enlightening audio tours, live archaeological excavations and a gift shop packed with one-of-a-kind local souvenirs. You can’t fail to be impressed by the sheer scale of this mighty fortress. There are several nearby spots that will give you the best view of Bamburgh Castle, but nothing compares to exploring the interior and experiencing a taste of what it must be like to live in this extraordinary building.
Bamburgh Castle was used in the filming of hit Netflix series The Last Kingdom, and you can follow in the footsteps of the actors, and try out film props and costumes. Hands-on family activities run throughout the holidays, and an exciting programme of events, including open-air cinema screenings, adds to the attraction of this majestic castle.
Good to know
- Address: Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, NE66 1NQ
- Facilities: Parking, WCs, limited disabled access, shop, café, assistance dogs only
- Prices and opening times: Adult £15.50, child £7.65, disabled £22.40. Open 18 Feb-5 Nov, 10am-5pm, last admission 4pm
Best for surfers - Bamburgh Beach
Bamburgh Beach has been voted one of the best surf spots in the North East, where vast expanses of golden sand meet northerly and easterly swells. A popular spot for dog walkers, horse riders, surfers and even daring kite surfers, this beach is the perfect place for visitors to catch a glimpse of the Farne Islands and Holy Island in the long shadow of Bamburgh's formidable castle.
Good to know
- Address: Bamburgh Beach, Bamburgh, NE69 7DF
- Facilities: Car park, WCs, no lifeguard
- Is Bamburgh Beach dog friendly? Yes, there are no dog restrictions
- Activities: Walking, surfing, wind surfing, swimming, fishing, sandcastle building, games
Best for museum fans - RNLI Grace Darling Museum
RNLI Grace Darling Museum sheds light on a courageous young woman's incredible story and houses a huge collection of commemorative items as well as genuine belongings of this local heroine. Established in 1938, the museum is accessible to everyone and educates people of all ages on the day 22-year-old Grace Darling risked her life to rescue nine survivors from the wrecked SS Forfarshire.
Good to know
- Address: Radwick Road, Bamburgh NE6 7AE
- Facilities: On-street parking/free parking facing the castle, no WCs, limited disabled access, shop, assistance dogs only in museum
- Prices and opening times: Free. Open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm
Best for golf enthusiasts - Bamburgh Castle Golf Club
Bamburgh Castle Golf Club is one of the most scenic golf courses in Britain boasting views of Lindisfarne, the Farne Islands, the Cheviots and Bamburgh Castle. With golf courses-a-plenty in this part of Northumberland, you could also enjoy a round at the popular 18-hole Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course, which is nearby and designed by the great golf course architect James Braid.
Good to know
- Address: 40 The Wynding, Bamburgh NE69 7DE
- Facilities: Car park, WCs
- Prices and opening times: Please see website for prices and tee times.
Things to do near Bamburgh
Best walk for lunch en route - Bamburgh to Seahouses
The idyllic seaside village of Seahouses sits to the south of Bamburgh on the Northumberland coast. If you have the time during your holiday, this would be a great walk to do so you can experience the charming stretch of coastline between these two Northumbrian towns.
It is a 6-mile, there-and-back walk, making this a perfect day out, stopping for a bite to eat and an explore when you reach Seahouses. You can either walk south along the beach, which can add an extra element of fun as you splash in the waves, or you can walk along the St Oswalds was which takes you on a path through fields and quiet country roads – just follow the signs!
Best walk for bird watching - Bamburgh to Budle Bay
Going north this time, you can reach the magical beach called Budle Bay. This is a large stretch of beach going further inland than the other beaches in Northumberland and here you will find huge mudflats that become exposed at low tide. This is a particularly good spot for those who are into birdwatching as thousands of sea birds come to migrate here over winter, so remember to take the binoculars.
There is a lovely circular walk which starts at the car park of Bamburgh Castle. Follow the coastal road north west to Bamburgh Moor and Budle Point passing sand dunes, rock formations. You can take in beautiful views of the coastline and over to the island of Lindisfarne. After reaching Kiln Point turn south towards Budle along footpaths passing through farmland, you will then reach the B1342 which you can follow all the way back to the castle.
Best route for serious walkers - Bamburgh to Alnwick
For a longer challenge, you could take on a 21-mile coastal walk south to Alnwick Castle. You simply follow the well-maintained and well-signposted coastal path all the way south and then inland on country paths. You will find a wonderful mixture of sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, secluded coves, ancient castles, fishing villages and an amazing variety of wildlife. You'll also find the local Northumbrian people you will meet along the way to be friendly and welcoming, which makes it even better. If you plan to get a bus or a taxi back to Bamburgh it will give you some time to explore Alnwick while you are in the area. Or instead of turning inland, you can carry on down the coast to Alnmouth - read our full guide to Alnmouth here to find out what you can do there.
Best for nature lovers - The Farne Islands
The Farne Islands can be enjoyed from the water by boat from Seahouses, which is just 3 miles down the coast from Bamburgh. Owned by the National Trust, these islands are home to puffins, a colony of grey seals and a variety of other types of interesting birds – don’t forget your camera! You may also be lucky enough to spot dolphins from the boat.
There are 28 islands in total, divided into two clusters, the Inner Farnes and Outer Farnes. See how many islands you can spot on your trip, and don't forget your binoculars to watch the wildlife from afar.
Good to know
- Sail with: Serenity or Billy Shiels
- Parking: Pay and display parking in Seahouses (no parking at the harbour)
Best for family fun - Heatherslaw Light Railway
Heatherslaw Light Railway is fun for all the family and about half an hour’s drive (19 miles) from Bamburgh. It’s full steam ahead as this 15-inch gauge steam railway runs a charming route from Heatherslaw Station across to Etal Castle with picturesque views of the River Till – kids are sure to have fun spotting the copious riverside wildlife along the way. The return journey lasts 50 minutes and it’s a magical way to see the surrounding Northumberland countryside.
Good to know
- Address: Ford Forge, Heatherslaw, Cornhill-on-Tweed, TD12 4TJ
- Facilities: Car park, WCs
- Prices and opening times: Every day from 1st April-5th November, first outward journey 11am, last return journey 3.30pm or 4pm. Adult £9.50, child £5, infant (2-5 years) £3, carers £5, under 2s free, dogs free
For even more inspiration for things to do in Bamburgh and beyond, take a look at our guide to 10 things to do on the Northumberland coast.
Places to eat in Bamburgh
The Apple Inn is a fabulous dog-friendly gastro pub, just 4 miles inland from Bamburgh, combining local charm with a gourmet dining experience. With a menu full of delicious classic mains, steaks and fish dishes, this is without doubt one of the finest restaurants near Bamburgh and well worth a visit during your holiday in the village.
Copper Kettle Tearooms is the perfect place for a bite to eat - especially during the afternoon, where you can spend an hour or two in the sun with your four-legged friend. Whether you're in the mood for one of their freshly made sandwiches or can't wait to sample the scones, these charming tearooms are unmissable.
The Bamburgh Castle Inn is an essential rest stop during any visit to Bamburgh, with a dog-friendly beer garden that guarantees lively local atmosphere. Known locally as 'The Middle', this is one of the most popular Bamburgh pubs - and with the village's striking castle offering an incredible backdrop, it's easy to see why.
The Victoria Hotel is not only one of Bamburgh's finest restaurants but also an excellent place to spend an evening sampling the local booze. As well as being dog friendly, The Victoria Hotel isn't far from the castle - meaning you can explore the historical grounds before retreating here for some well-earned refreshments.
The Lord Crewe Hotel boasts delicious beers and wines on top of superior service, making it one of the very fine dining restaurants in Bamburgh. In 2023 it won an AA rosette award for culinary excellence, notably for 'standing out in the local area'. For special evening full of Northumbrian charm and delicious drinks, look no further.
The Potted Lobster serves up fresh, locally sourced seafood in a relaxed yet elegant setting. Bookings can be made online, and there's a dog-friendly area that you can request if you're visiting with a four-legged friend.
Be sure to have a look at our top spots for afternoon tea in Bamburgh and across the rest of Northumberland, to sample some of the best the county has to offer.
Things to do in Bamburgh on a map
View all the things to do, restaurants and walking destinations on the map below.
Places to stay in Bamburgh
If you have been inspired to visit the lovely village of Bamburgh, we hope you have a wonderful experience. Lots of our holiday cottages in Bamburgh are within walking distance of the magnificent castle and not far from the village's range of lively pubs and restaurants - meaning you'll have easy access to the very best the area has to offer.
Browse our full range of Bamburgh cottages to rent which will act as the perfect base for your holiday in Northumberland. We have cottages ranging from romantic retreats sleeping two, to family-friendly and dog-friendly holiday homes welcoming everyone!
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.