Visiting Bamburgh Castle at Christmas

 

Bamburgh Castle is one of our favourite castles in Northumberland. Actually scratch that. One of our favourite castles in the world. After all these years I still get goosebumps when I first catch glimpse of the castle as you drive through the Northumberland countryside towards the coast. 


We visited Saints & Angels at Bamburgh Castle without kids at the end of November in 2021. I would honestly recommend a visit either with or without children - both are suitable. There were quite a few babies and little ones there who loved the twinkling lights when we visited. Plus there is plenty of space to run around outside and reindeers too. 

This year, I am delighted that for the first time ever, Bamburgh Castle is hosting a magical Christmas event - Saints & Angels at the Christmas Kingdom.

The Castle is adorned by twinkling lights and decorations and I bet little ones' eyes will light up when they see everything. 

Saints & Angels will run from 13 November - January 3rd and it is included with your castle admission. The castle is open daily throughout the festive season (with the exception of Christmas Day & Boxing Day). They do appear to be open on Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and New Years Day and I know that lots of you are looking for activities on those dates. Saints & Angels fits the bill! 

What I like about booking tickets at Bamburgh Castle is that you just book a date, not a time slot so once you have booked, you can visit at any time during that date and there is no rush / traffic stress / worry about missing your time. 






So what exactly is Saints & Angels? Well as you walk through England's finest coastal fortress, you will be welcomed by dazzling decor, towering flower arrangements, bejeweled Christmas Trees and gorgeous Christmas decor. The castle has been beautifully decorated for the festive season and we're all invited to take a look and enjoy. 

Inspired by the castle's past as a Royal Citadel, the staterooms have been transformed into a celestial extravaganza where angels fly overhead sending peace, strength and good fortune to those visiting the castle and beyond. 

Outside, you can visit the reindeer who are grazing peacefully on the very same ancient Norse ancestors as they prepare for their big night. 

Once you have paid admission, you can come and go to all of the various areas as you please. The Saints & Angels part is all indoors and suitable for all weathers. 

The first tree we came across was a special Northumberland themed tree. Wow I loved this so much! It was adorned with Vikings, Viking Ships and Puffins. I loved it so much that we've been inspired to create our own North East themed tree at home now. I'm excited to get started. 




You can buy some of these decorations at the end in the Christmas themed gift shop too (which of course I did). 


Each room has been decorated in a unique style and colour scheme, there is something for everyone and lots of inspiration to take home. Do expect lots of grandeur and glamour though. 



I have also been encouraged to try and find a big fireplace garland and make more of a feature of our fireplace this year after visiting so watch this space. 


The main hall is just stunning with Angels flying overhead and two different style of trees taking centre stage. I loved it so much. 







The Billiard room was another favourite with a bright and bold colour scheme in here. I can only imagine what it must be like to dine in here. 



And how about this for a party frock? Love it! 




Even the scullery hasn't escaped and you can take a little peek at what may be on the menu over the festive season. 



Exit through the gift shop. As well as the main Bamburgh Castle Gift Shop there is a festive pop up behind the main shop (pictured below). How stunning is this? You wouldn't think it was a gift shop. Lots of tree decorations and books to choose from in here. 


We have visited Bamburgh Castle many times before so just had a quick walk around the walls, said hello to the reindeer and popped in to the tack room before leaving. We spent two hours here but if it's your first visit and you include lunch in the tea room, I would probably recommend 3 hours. 










I like that it is a mostly indoor festive activity so something you can book without worrying about the weather. 


You can purchase tickets online here or buy from the ticket office on the day (although numbers are still limited so I would recommend buying in advance if you can). 


Need to Know 

  • Parking is not included with admission and payable on arrival (£4 at the castle - card payments only). There are other car parks close by too. 

  • Prams and pushchairs are not permitted in the state rooms, please bring a baby carrier if needed. Hippy chicks are available to borrow 

  • Not all of the state rooms are accessible and a reduced entry price for wheelchair users (+ free carer) reflects this. Wheelchairs can access the first five state rooms and there is an audiovisual presentation sharing the rest of the castle. You can read more about access at Bamburgh Castle and their full statement here. 

  • There is a Clock Tower Tearoom and Tack Room Cafe on site (both card only) plus other options including The Potted Lobster or Creel & Reel seafood trailer in Bamburgh. 

  • Dining with kids? If you don't fancy fish and chips, I recommend the Bamburgh Castle Inn (although this was closed for refurbishment when we visited) or Elan Pizzeria in nearby Seahouses. 

  • The coastal walk from Bamburgh Castle to Seahouses is a lovely one if you fancy combining with a coastal walk and fish and chips. It's around 3.5 miles each way (you can catch the bus back)

  • Dogs are permitted in the outdoor areas, Armstrong & Aviation Museum & Victorian Stables Bar only. They are not permitted in the state rooms (assistance dogs are of course exempt). Please keep your dog on a lead. 

  • Buses serve Bamburgh including the X18 and 418 (please double check timetables before setting out) 

  • As far as I can see, Bamburgh Castle is open on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day plus between Christmas and New Year (excluding Boxing Day) if you are looking for a walk and something to do at Twixmas/New Year. 

  • Father Christmas visits and Wreath Making have both now sold out.
Afterwards we ventured into Seahouses which is just a few miles away and an easy drive along the road. Parking in the main car park is free for one hour (you still need a ticket) which is all we needed. 

There are lots of lovely gifts shops in Seahouses and we managed to pick up a few more local decorations (including a Puffin one from the Northumbrian Hamper). We enjoyed Lobster Bites and Chips overlooking the harbour from Lewis' Fish Bar and then popped along to the Craster Arms in Beadnell for a pint by the fire. Perfect! 

Honestly, I wasn't feeling festive at all but after this day out, I feel full of the festive spirit and I couldn't be happier. 












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