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Rising from the dunes below, Bamburgh Castle is a stunning sight © Dave Head, Shutterstock
Bamburgh’s famous medieval castle spectacularly rising from the dunes is undoubtedly one of England’s finest coastal fortresses.
One of the most bewitching coastal views in Northumberland bursts upon the traveller on reaching the brow of the B1340 between Waren Mill and Bamburgh. From here, Bamburgh’s famous medieval castle comes into sight, spectacularly rising from the dunes – all rock, turrets and battlements. It is undoubtedly one of England’s finest coastal fortresses and this is one of the most unspoilt and dramatic coastal panoramas, with the Farne Islands to the south, Lindisfarne Castle silhouetted on its rocky perch to the north, and the wide, creamy sands of Bamburgh’s three-mile beach below. The view is most expansive from the castle’s Battery Terrace.
In the village, the castle maintains its heavy presence despite keeping close watch over the North Sea. My 19th-century travel guide describes Bamburgh as ‘clean and cheerful’ and a ‘model village’. Nothing has changed in that respect. The centre is almost entirely made of stone and centred about a wooded green. Front Street has a pleasing run of 18th-century stone cottages, a number of which are now gift shops, eateries and B&Bs.
Keep heading uphill and you’ll reach Bamburgh Gallery, the sister studio to the Chatton Gallery near Wooler. Most prints and original pastel landscapes (largely depicting the coastal scenery between Bamburgh and Lindisfarne) are by well-regarded artist, Robert Turnbull, and prices are reasonable.
Those wanting to escape the throb of tourists in the village centre may like to walk (or cycle) along The Wynding – a quiet paved lane (opposite the Lord Crewe Hotel) north out of the village to a golf course. Walkers can continue beyond the green to Budle Point and drop down on to the sandy shore. A beach towel comes in handy here.
Instead of retracing your steps to Bamburgh, you can make a circular loop via the bird-rich flats of Budle Bay. From Budle Point, continue west on the coast path before striking off inland to meet the B1342 for the final mile back to Bamburgh (on a grass verge).