History as mindfulness in Northumberland’s historic castles
Modern life is hectic and we are all consumed by gadgets and deadlines. If you wish to calm your mind or have a different focus, look no further than a visit to one of Northumberland’s historic castles. These places, whether they’re lavish and grand or a weary ruined relic, can fill us with a sense of awe and transformation. They transport us back to a bygone age, and in doing so, can help us filter out the demands of contemporary living, even just for a short while. And don’t think when you’ve seen one castle you’ve seen them all – the selection below illustrates a castle for every different taste.
- Alnwick Castle
First in any list has to be Alnwick Castle and the magic that it’s created! Known to millions of people worldwide as Hogwarts, the famous school in the Harry Potter series, it is a mecca for Potter fans and gives guided tours along this theme. Its real history is actually the stuff of myths and legends, given that interesting past residents including famous knights, gunpowder plotters and prisoners from the English Civil War .
With its origins spanning back to the Norman conquest of Britain in the 11th Century, it has been home to the Dukes of Northumberland for over 700 years and the family still reside there. If you love to lose yourself in a sense of magic and fantasy, this castle will whisk you away for sure.
- Bamburgh Castle
This royal fortress and Norman stronghold is the oldest castle in Northumberland . Dating back over 1,400 years, it was home to kings including Henry VI and James I . Visitors can enjoy over 2,000 artefacts and heirlooms on display in the 14 State Rooms or see the more macabre battle-used weapons on display in the Armoury . The castle is built on a volcanic outcrop and stands guard over the wild Northumberland coastline. So here you can immerse yourself in history and let the wild winds of the North Sea blow away the cobwebs!
- Lindisfarne Castle
If the thought of rugged landscapes and a spiritual tint to the air appeal to you, then Lindisfarne Castle will feel like home. The Castle was built in 1550 to defend the island against invaders. In previous centuries this included a Viking invasion in 793 . Although small, the island was of strategic importance to warring factions throughout history  and was the “preeminent centre of Christianity in the kingdom of Northumbria” .
The famous Lindisfarne Gospels were produced here in the early 1700s at the monastery and are celebrated around the island, from exhibitions in the castle to souvenirs in the gift shops! There is something special about this island and it can capture your soul with its haunting beauty.
- Chillingham Castle
If I told you this castle was originally a monastery in the late 12th century, you may respond that you bet many folk say it’s haunted. And you would be right! According to legend, this castle is said to be the most haunted in England, with high levels of paranormal activity occurring . Supposedly, there are more than four ghosts who haunt this space, including the White Pantry ghost . As far as nicknames go, that’s not exactly up there with the headless horseman in terms of frightening monikers, but perhaps this ghost had a thing for flour.
The castle had a strategic importance in centuries past, as it was located on the border between England and Scotland. Many notable people stayed here, including King James I, who was also King James VI of Scotland. He would stay here as he travelled between his two lands. Nowadays you don’t have to be royalty to stay, as it offers guest accommodation and – of course – late night ghost tours.
These are just four of the beautiful castles the county of Northumberland has to delight you.
Many are situated with coastal views and others have grounds that are as green and sumptuous as you would imagine. Allow yourself to connect with the past and feel the tingles on the back of your neck as something sparks a feeling of longing, calmness, or even déjàvu. When you think about those who have walked through these places before you, perhaps you will feel a sense of history and peacefulness that soothes your mind.
If you would like help with stress or anxiety, or even to resolve something of your history, we can help. My Family Psychologist is a leading family therapy expert in Northumberland. So, call today on 07801 079 555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and together we can find a happier future for you.
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