Dunstanburgh Castle


This magnificent castle stands on top of a remote headland in Northumberland. Built at a time when relations between King Edward II and Earl Thomas of Lancaster were openly hostile, this castle was a symbol of power as well as a military fortress. It was later strengthened against Scottish attacks and saw fierce battles during the Wars of the Roses, but was not used afterwards and fell into ruin.

Information about your visit

Our number one priority remains the health, safety and security of all of our visitors, staff and volunteers. Our staff are still working hard to keep everyone safe and make sure you and your group have an enjoyable visit.

Important information to consider before you book:

  • To keep everyone safe we’re continuing to limit visitor numbers at some sites and in some indoor spaces. Please book as soon as possible to secure your preferred trip date and times.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit and make sure you download our COVID risk assessments; download a free copy of managing education visits during the pandemic and if you're participating in a Discovery Visit download our managing Discovery Visits during the pandemic risk assessment
  • To make the planning process as easy as possible, make sure you check our Plan Your School Trip section at the bottom of this page, for updated information on the facilities at the site as well as our free resources.
  • You’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our terms and conditions for full details.
  • Although is it not a requirement, any teachers, parents, or students aged 16 years can check in via the NHS Test and Trace app, using the NHS QR code posters displayed at the site entrance. Please factor this into your travel/arrival time. For more information about how we are handling your personal data for NHS Test and Trace please visit this page.
  • Our staff are continuing to wear a face covering in our busy areas and indoor spaces, and we encourage you and your group to do the same where possible.

At some sites you might not be able to use our handling collections or costumes as part of a free self-led visit, but where we can provide hands-on items in a safe way we will. We’ve adapted our Discovery Visit workshops to keep you and your group safe at all times, but for certain sessions we’re still working on this – please check the Discovery Visit section and Facilities section on this page below for further information.

Curriculum Links

Visit Dunstanburgh Castle to support your teaching in a fun and engaging way, and cover multiple topics across the curriculum.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places within the locality
  • KS1 Geography:  Use geographical skills and fieldwork
  • KS2 History: Local history study. Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Geography: Use geographical skills and fieldwork. Understand the strategic significance of the castle’s position
  • KS3 History: Local History study. Development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509 
  • GCSE History: Study of the historic environment

Free Self-led Visits

Book a free self-led visit to Dunstanburgh Castle and organise your day to suit your curriculum objectives. Explore the castle ruins and twin-towered gatehouse, imagine what life would have been like in the medieval period and discover the story of the man who built Dunstanburgh: the powerful rebel baron Earl Thomas of Lancaster.

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Plan your trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip.

We also offer free planning visits for group leaders once you have made a booking. Our Education Booking Team is on hand to advise and help you create the best possible school trip to suit your needs and area of study.

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: There is no parking available at the site. There is a council-run car park in Craster with 60 spaces 1.3 miles from the site and limited car parking at Embleton Golf Club, which is not managed by English Heritage. There is no refund of car park charges on admission.
    • TOILETS: There are no public toilets on site. The nearest public toilets are in Craster, 1.3 miles away and Embleton, 1.5 miles away.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to eat in the grounds, with benches and tables available, or on the seashore immediately adjacent to the site.
    • SHOP: There is a gift shop located in the Site Administration Building near the entrance, with ramped access. The shop sells a wide range refreshments and confectionery, together with medieval toys and gifts. 
    • GARDENS: There are extensive areas of short grass available for games and re-enactment of famous battles within a historic setting. There are paths which give opportunities to see large varieties of birds, flowers and mammals including nesting seabirds and birds of prey.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There are two disabled parking spaces at Craster, 1.3 miles from the Castle, which are not managed by English Heritage. Dunstanburgh Castle is approx 1 mile from the car park by foot across uneven ground. There is ramp access to the shop.
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