When they weren’t fighting the Scots, the lords of Etal Castle spent their time feuding with the Heron family, masters of neighbouring Ford. By the 15th century, the de Manners had married into the de Ros dynasty and were able to move out of Etal into posher digs, leaving the castle to be garrisoned by a bunch of men-at-arms. Etal fell to James IV of Scotland when he invaded the northeast in 1413. It’s an atmospheric enough little stronghold, but not a patch on the great castles of the region.
Facilities – at a glance
Assist dogs allowed
- Parking onsite
- Wheelchair access restricted, uneven ground and 2 steps into the Tower House
- Facilities: Wheelchair users have full access to exhibition area and shop
- Opening Times: Open daily, Apr-Sep check website; Oct, daily 10-4 (last admission 30 minutes before closing). Closed Nov-Mar
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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