We enjoyed our trip to Bamburgh a few weeks ago so much that we knew we wanted to return and go inside the castle properly if we were ever in this part of the world again. When we booked this last minute bank holiday trip to Northumberland, one of the first things I did was to go on the Bamburgh castle website and book tickets for today. They've got quite a good system where you can pay online for a specific day and then enter the castle at any time on that day. It's a lot more convenient that the National Trust system of being tied to a particular arrival time!
Although we didn't need to be at the castle by a specific time, we made a fairly early start this morning, arriving not long after the castle opened at 10am. I'd also been able to pay for parking in the castle car park online. Just stepping outside of the car in the car park, the views were already pretty impressive. We could see down towards the village of Bamburgh in one direction...
...and up towards the castle in the other.
As you can see, we didn't have very far to walk from the car park to the castle entrance.
Unfortunately it was so sunny that it was a bit difficult to smile for a photo
We walked up past a poster depicting the history of the castle through the ages, which was about as far as we'd been able to get last time without paying.
This time we were able to continue through the archway into the castle grounds.
The great thing about being here just after opening was that there were very few other people around.
We could see a few other visitors as we strolled around the ramparts, but for a Bank Holiday Monday it was still very quiet
There were some lovely views out to sea.
And some great views of the castle itself.
As we walked through the grounds we could see this strange round tower in the distance.
It turns out that this used to be Bamburgh Castle's windmill, built for the local villagers to use.
Today it doesn't have any sails, but it was still interesting to see
Having walked as far as the mill, we could look back towards the castle keep.
From this side of the castle we could also look back down to the village.
Last time we'd been here people had been playing cricket on the village green, but today it looked quite peaceful
We walked past the clock tower...
...and could see that the grounds were starting to get a bit more crowded now.
It was still far from overrun with people though
It was time to go inside the castle now.
In one of the first rooms we came across this beautiful model of the castle.
The interior of the castle was very grand.
There was a very good one-way system in place around the rooms and all visitors had to wear face masks.
It worked pretty well, though it was slightly frustrating if you got stuck behind people who were looking at every single exhibit in a room very slowly and you had to try and stay appropriately socially distanced from them until you could find an opportunity to overtake
I think we're probably bigger fans of exploring the outsides of castles rather than the insides!
Once we emerged into the sunlight again we had some more beautiful views out across the sea.
The coast is really lovely here, with lots of little sanddunes.
That was the end of our castle tour, so we set off down a little path towards the village.
We wanted to get some views of the castle from the village green.
It was definitely worth the climb down
From here you can really see how long the castle is.
Once we'd finished admiring the views, it was time to walk back towards the car park.
We climbed back up the little path to the side of the castle and retrieved our car.
We had a long 5-hour drive back to Nuneaton ahead of us, which wasn't helped when we got stuck in some Bank Holiday traffic on the A1, but it was worth it; we've had a really nice weekend, staying in some amazing places, and it was especially fun to have the opportunity to visit Bamburgh properly today