You'll see Bamburgh Castle long before you reach it: a solid, weatherbeaten clifftop fortress that dominates the coastal view for miles around. A fortification of some kind has stood here since the 6th century, but the Norman castle was damaged during the 15th century and the central tower is all that remains intact. Much of the structure—the home of the Armstrong family since 1894—was restored during the 18th and 19th centuries. The interior is mostly late Victorian
(most impressively, the Great Hall) although a few rooms, such as the small but alarmingly well-stocked armory, have a more authentically medieval feel. The breathtaking view across the North Sea is worth the trip much as anything else; bring a picnic if the weather's good (or order to-go sandwiches at the café).