Saturday, 12 October 2013

Chillingham 'Wow' Castle

A day out with the jam eaters during the school holidays can easily turn into a nightmare. And the first sign that things are going to go very wrong are when you here that spine chilling phrase, 'I'm bored'!

I find the best way to avoid such nightmare scenarios is to engage children in activities that are simply not boring. So yesterday me and a seven year old jam eater headed to Chillingham Castle in the heart of rural Northumberland.

Chillingham Castle is brilliant for kids as it's not one of those stuffy properties you visit where everything screams 'Don't Touch'.  Quite the opposite in fact.

Chillingham Castle is a bonafide castle, with lots of suits or armour, ridiculous amounts of medieval weaponry, dead animals, and it's own torture chamber for welcoming our friends from over the border - Scots beware! Also handy if any children should misbehave :)

I gave my jam eating friend a camera and asked him to taking photos of anything he felt warranted a loud utterance of, Wow! And here's the results:

After a tour of Chillingham Castle we headed to see the wild cattle that have been at the castle since the 12th century. They are wild ancestors of our domesticated cows and only about 130 remain of this rare breed.

The wild cattle are about half a mile up the hill from the castle, requiring a short drive and a 5 minute walk.

The cattle can be seen at a distance of about 100 metres. They are truly wild and so there's no close encounters.

Standing in field of cows learning about their history and mating habits wasn't too interesting to be honest, and it was no surprise the dread words were heard, 'this is boring'. He was right. Time for a hasty retreat!

What was of interest was the fox and it's cub we encountered on the return walk, the robin's nest in the outdoor cattle exhibit, and learning about the badger setts, thanks to a gentleman we met on the estate. Now a Badger watching evening would have been very interesting! Like so many of these animal attractions the natural wildlife around has greater interest for those who care to look..

Chillingham Castle:
Chillingham Wild Cattle:
For visitor information:
#nlandspirit, #nlandfun, #nlandbeauty and #wild