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The Northumberland coast is truly stunning. Miles and miles of windswept beaches stretch into the distance, interspersed with dramatic, atmospheric castles looking out to sea.

The most impressive of the coastal castles is Bamburgh, perched on a crag at the edge of tiny Bamburgh village. The rooms of the castle are well worth exploring, filled with suits of armour, antique furniture and works of art.

Further down the coast, the ruins of imposing Warkworth Castle and remote Dunstanburgh Castle are almost equally impressive.

Just inland, the historic town of Alnwick, with its inviting narrow, cobbled streets, is home to yet another remarkable castle. Medieval Alnwick Castle remains entirely intact and has been home to the Percy family since the 14th century. It is equally impressive from inside as out, due in part to its large collection of Italian paintings. It is also popular with Harry Potter fans, having been used as Hogwarts in the first two films.

Just off the coast sits the small island of Lindisfarne, or ‘Holy Island’, on which a remote priory was founded in the seventh century, the ruins of which make a moody and atmospheric sight today. Further out to sea are the Farne Islands, where thousands of sea birds gather and England’s only grey seal colony can be found.

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