We have recently been away on holiday, and this year we took ourselves up to the North East. We stayed on a little farm in Berwick and made the most of our week away.
One afternoon we travelled up the road to visit Norham Castle. I am a big fan of visiting castles and have a real love of the history that surrounds them, especially in this part of the world given its proximity to Scotland.
The Norham Castle site is managed by English Heritage, but it is free to visit. There is a small car park located there and the site is well worth a wander. We spent maybe an hour there, but could easily have spent longer exploring.
The castle is a Motte and Bailey castle and as such is set high on a grassy mound and commands a great view over the River Tweed and I can imagine that it was once a very important place. The English Heritage site tells us that the castle was besieged at least 13 times, once for nearly a year by Robert Bruce.
The castle has a really interesting history and as you walk around the site there are information boards to help you visualise what the layout might have once looked like. The children were able to identify the kitchen and dining areas and enjoyed climbing the spiral staircase to look out over the ruins.
The castle is surprisingly intact, despite its tumultuous history, and there is a lot of well maintained ground and grassy banks to sit on and look across to the castle, in awe of the history it must have seen. It would be the perfect spot for a picnic if you were in the area.
Before we went away on holiday the children had been learning all about castles and the history of the monarchy. We had recently visited Skipton Castle which is a very complete castle. To visit a ruins like this helps the children to understand the history as well as put into practice some of the learning they took from Skipton as they’re able to point out the different areas and how they would have looked.