As you may have seen, we’ve recently been on a little trip to Northumberland. It was wonderful and the best way to recharge after a stressful few months. We tried to pick some of the quieter things to do while we were up there so that we could safely stay away from the crowds. We did make an exception for Barter Books but other than that, we were after outdoor things to do as much as possible.
While searching for things to do off the beaten path, we came across Chillingham Castle. It is often known as one of the most haunted places in the country (which made me more than a little nervous) and is packed full of history (which is much more my cup of tea). We realised that we were staying nearby and decided to pay it a visit.
It is impressive from the very first sight of it!
You do have to pay entry to go in. It’s £10.50 for an adult so not the cheapest day out but worth it in my opinion. You also don’t have to prebook, which is a bit of a luxury at these times. When we visited, you did have to wear a mask inside which I did struggle with after a while but wasn’t a massive problem. It is just worth bearing in mind! I would recommend checking out the website before your visit, just in case anything has changed since we visited.
The castle has its origins in a 12th century stronghold so it is packed full of history. It is probably best described as organised chaos as every room is absolutely jam packed. It makes a walk through the castle absolutely fascinating but it does mean that you might miss something if you don’t look carefully. To make sure you don’t miss anything, you might want to pick up the guide (£2.50 and written by Sir Humphry Wakefield, who still resides at the property. We tended to ask the super helpful guides who were more than happy to keep us informed in a friendly and often funny manner!
Even after a visit, I think there’s still more I could have seen or learnt at Chillingham Castle which makes me think it would be perfect for repeat visits. It was so hot when we visited that I didn’t overly linger as I usually would in a castle or museum so I’d like to go back up when it’s not so warm (and I’m not in a mask) to try and take a bit more time on it.
If I can bring myself to do it…
While I’m not 100% on whether or not I believe the claims that this is one of the most haunted buildings, it was definitely creepy! I can certainly see why some people would believe something supernatural resides in Chillingham Castle. In fact, I couldn’t help but think that it would be the perfect setting for a Gothic story. Maybe I’ll write it one day!
The creepiest bit is definitely at the end when you can see some old torture devices. I rushed through that room a little so if you are also a bit of a wuss, you might want to skip it. If you love things like that, it will be right up your street. You’ve been warned…
Speaking of writing material, I was intrigued by the rumours of the Spanish Witch who punishes misbehaving guests at Chillingham Castle. I won’t spoil it for you but it was an interesting read and I certainly made sure that I was on my best behaviour!
After getting suitably creeped out, we escaped into the garden for a wander in the fresh air and an ice cream. This was my favourite part of the visit as it was just so beautiful. It felt so peaceful and there was so much space that it felt really safe. After getting rather warm in the castle, seeing that they sold ice creams was the dream!
We had other plans that day or I would have loved to have a longer wander around. I imagine it’s the kind of place with lots of hidden gems and natural beauty.
We certainly had a great time exploring Chillingham Castle and I have a feeling that it won’t be the last time I’m checking what I see out of the corner of my eye at this fascinating place…