Set in a curve of the Cor Burn just north of Corbridge, Aydon Castle is really a very early fortified manor house, built at the end of the 13th century and given its battlements in 1305. Where it was most vulnerable, to the north side, it has an irregular outer bailey, and behind that a small, open courtyard, with the living quarters to one side. Unusually for its early date, there was no keep. Instead there was a hall and a solar with a fine fireplace and some beautifully detailed windows – don’t miss the bearded face staring out from above the northern one. Look out, too, for the garderobes – medieval toilets – to be found at the southeast corner of the south range.Within the walls there was an orchard, so conditions must have been comfortable for this unsettled border country. There were times of excitement. Being captured by the Scots in 1315, and by English rebels in 1317. In the less fraught 17th century it became a farmhouse – which helped to preserve its main features.
Facilities – at a glance
- Parking onsite
- Parking nearby
- Facilities: Induction loop (shop)
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Open Apr-Sep, check website; 1-30 Oct, Wed-Sun 10-4 (last admission 30 minutes before closing). Closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan
Also in the area
About the area
If it’s history you’re after, there’s heaps of it in Northumberland. On Hadrian’s Wall you can imagine scarlet-cloaked Roman legionaries keeping watch for painted Pictish warriors while cursing the English weather and dreaming of home. Desolate battlefield sites and hulking fortresses such as Alnwick, Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh and Warkworth are reminders that this, until not so very long ago, was a contested border region. The ruins of Lindisfarne bear witness to the region’s early Christian history.
Northumberland also has some of Britain’s best beaches. On summer days, and even in winter, you’ll see surfers and other brave souls making the most of the coast. Inland, there are some great walks and bike rides in the dales of the Cheviot Hills and the Simonsides – just hilly enough to be interesting, without being brutally steep. There's dramatic scenery in the High Pennines, where waterfalls plunge into deep valleys, and there are swathes of heather-scented moorland. Northumberland National Park covers over 400 square miles of moorland and valleys with clear streams and pretty, stone-built villages. It’s just the place for wildlife watching too. You’ll find flocks of puffins, guillemots and other seabirds around the Farne Islands, and seals and dolphins offshore.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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