Dunstanburgh Castle – Worth A Visit

Dunstanburgh Castle is a fascinating historic site that makes for an enjoyable day trip. Located on the Northumberland coast, it’s one of England’s largest castles and offers stunning views out to sea as well as some interesting features.

It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area! The castle dates back to 1313 and was built by Earl Thomas of Lancaster, who had been sentenced to death but managed to escape his captors by taking shelter at Dunstanburgh.

Throughout its history it has been besieged multiple times and was eventually abandoned in 17th century. However, despite these tumultuous events, today much of the ruins remain intact and visitors can explore them and marvel at their grandeur.

Overview Of The Historic Site

First, let’s talk about the location of Dunstanburgh Castle. It’s situated on the Northumberland coast in the UK. Next, let’s discuss the history of the castle. It dates back to the 14th century and was built by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. And finally, let’s talk about the architecture. It’s an impressive castle featuring a large curtain wall, a keep, and two gatehouses.

The castle is in an incredible spot, built up on a small headland looking out onto the North Sea.  The location makes a huge impact and the castle is honestly different every time you visit it.  I’ve been many times and every visit feels different.  My favourites are always when the wind is up and the waves are crashing at the cliffs below the castle.

It’s like a scene from Game of Thrones or an Arthurian legend.


If you’re looking for a historic site to visit, Dunstanburgh Castle is a must-see! Located on the Northumberland coast in England, this imposing castle was built in the late 14th century by Thomas Grey, 1st Baron of Heaton.

It sits atop cliffs that are almost 200 feet high, giving it an incredible view out over the sea. The ruins of the castle remain today and visitors can still explore the grounds and see what’s left of its impressive walls, towers and gates.

With such stunning views from the top of its turrets and battlements, Dunstanburgh Castle is definitely worth checking out!


Now that you know about the beauty of Dunstanburgh Castle, let’s take a look at its history.

It was built in the late 14th century by Thomas Grey, 1st Baron of Heaton and has been around for centuries.

The castle also played an important role during wars such as the Wars of the Roses and Civil War when it served as a defensive stronghold against attack from enemy forces.

Throughout its history, it has remained mostly unchanged with small renovations done to repair damage caused by weather or war over time.

This makes it one of the best examples of a medieval castle in England today!

With so much rich history behind this site, there’s no better way to experience it than visiting Dunstanburgh Castle yourself.


Now that you know about the history of Dunstanburgh Castle, let’s take a look at its architecture.

This castle is an impressive example of medieval design and construction, with large stone walls and towers still standing today.

Its unique layout includes a central courtyard surrounded by long corridors and rooms on all four sides.

The use of arrow slit windows, merlons, and crenellations throughout make it easily recognizable as a defensive stronghold from centuries ago.

It also boasts two gatehouses which would have served to protect those inside in times of war or attack.

All in all, this majestic structure gives visitors an idea of what life was like during medieval times!

Location And Accessibility

Dunstanburgh Castle is located on the beautiful Northumbrian coastline and offers stunning views of the sea. It’s easy to access this 14th century castle, just a short drive from nearby villages and towns.

Visitors can explore the ruins of Dunstanburgh, with its distinctive walls, towers, and gatehouse still standing today over 700 years later.

The unique features of the castle are sure to captivate any history enthusiast or family looking for an exciting day out in nature.

Near the castle you’ll also find a decent pub called the Jolly Fisherman that does great sandwiches and meals.  It’s in the little village of Craster, only a few minutes from the castle itself.

Unique Features Of The Castle

Gothic architecture is one of the unique features of Dunstanburgh Castle; its design is quite distinct from other castles. The ruins of the castle are also a sight to behold, and visitors can explore the area and imagine what the castle was like in its heyday. Lastly, the coastal views from the castle are breathtaking; it’s no wonder why it’s been a popular destination for centuries.

Gothic Architecture

Dunstanburgh Castle’s Gothic architecture is one of its most impressive features. Its rugged towers, battlemented walls and other decorative details hint at the structure’s medieval origins, while its dramatic location atop a cliff overlooking the North Sea adds to its appeal.

The castle was built in 1313 by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster for defensive purposes and it remains largely intact today despite being damaged during the Wars of the Roses.

Visitors can explore the ruins and gain insight into their rich history as well as marvel at the stunning views from this majestic site.

It truly is an awe-inspiring sight that should not be missed!


The ruins of the castle are certainly a sight to behold. Even today, it stands tall and proud, a testament to its past glory and power. It’s amazing to think that so much of it is still intact after centuries of turbulent history.

You can really feel the atmosphere when you explore the grounds – there’s something special about being able to walk among these ancient stones and imagine what life must have been like for those who lived here long ago.

There’s no doubt that Dunstanburgh Castle continues to captivate visitors from near and far with its impressive architecture and fascinating history!

Coastal Views

Heading up to the castle’s highest point, you can enjoy stunning coastal views.

From there you get a real sense of how majestic and imposing it must have been in its heyday.

It’s incredible that this grand structure still stands today, despite all the battles fought over it throughout history!

You can take in the beauty of the surrounding countryside for miles around – from crisp green hillsides to vast expanses of sea and sky.

The sights are truly breathtaking and will stay with you long after your visit.

Activities And Experiences

Exploring the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle is an amazing experience, and guided tours are available to help visitors make the most of it! It’s definitely worth a visit!

Exploring The Ruins

Exploring the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle is an experience like no other. You can wander through its crumbling walls and imagine what it was once like when it served as a fortress for soldiers centuries ago.

The castle dates back to the 14th century, so there’s plenty of history for visitors to uncover! With views of the North Sea stretching out before you, this is definitely one of England’s most stunning medieval fortifications.

As you explore, take in all the details that tell stories about times gone by – from arrow-slits carved into stone walls to ancient graffiti scrawled onto doorways. It truly captures how powerful and imposing castles were at their peak.

So if you’re looking for a unique place to visit with plenty of history around every corner, make sure Dunstanburgh Castle is on your list!

Guided Tours

Visiting Dunstanburgh Castle can be even more fun with a guided tour. You get to learn all the interesting facts about its past, like when it was built and who used it for what. Plus, you’ll get insider information on some of the castle’s most fascinating features that regular visitors might not know about!

And these tours usually come with an experienced guide who will bring the place to life as they tell stories from times gone by. So if you want to make your visit extra special, why not join one of these amazing tours?

You’ll have to check ahead for one of these visits as normally Dunstanburgh is not manned outside peak times.  I’ve often been there on my own which adds to the atmosphere.

Tips For An Enjoyable Visit

Packing essentials for a visit to Dunstanburgh Castle should include comfortable shoes, a hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water. Safety precautions should also be taken, such as checking the weather forecast before visiting and being aware of the tide times.

Packing Essentials

If you’re planning a visit , there are certain packing essentials that will make it much more enjoyable!  Make sure to bring along lots of water and snacks, as well as appropriate clothing for the weather. Depending on when you go, an umbrella or raincoat might be necessary too; Dunstanburgh is located in Northumberland and can have unpredictable showers.

Sunscreen and insect repellent should also be packed if the forecast looks sunny, so you’ll be able to enjoy your time outdoors without worrying about sunburns or bug bites.

Don’t forget a camera either – this historic castle provides some beautiful photographic opportunities!

So don’t let anything ruin your day at Dunstanburgh Castle – pack smartly and get ready for a great experience!

Safety Precautions

Now that you know what to bring, it’s important to consider safety precautions as well.

You’ll want to make sure your phone is charged in case of an emergency and that you wear comfortable shoes for the walk around the castle grounds.

Stay on the designated paths and don’t climb any walls or towers – they may look sturdy, but can be dangerous!

Additionally, keep a close eye on children at all times – there are plenty of hidden crevices and stairways that could pose a risk if ignored.


Visiting Dunstanburgh Castle is a must-do for anyone looking to explore the history and beauty of Northumberland. From its imposing walls to its expansive coastline, this castle has something truly special to offer. It’s an experience that you won’t soon forget, so be sure to make it part of your next getaway!

The castle is easy enough to access by car or even on foot if you’re up for a bit of a trek, and there are plenty of activities and experiences available once you arrive.

Whether it’s admiring the beautiful grounds, taking in the views from atop the towers, or enjoying a picnic lunch with friends, there’s something at Dunstanburgh Castle for everyone.

So go ahead and plan your visit – I’m sure you’ll find it worth your while! With its stunning setting and intriguing past, Dunstanburgh Castle is definitely one destination where memories will last forever.

Updated: April 2, 2023 — 7:23 pm

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