Viking warrior welcomes visitors back to Bamburgh Castle as Covid-19 restrictions are eased
A Viking warrior with sword and horn has reopened Bamburgh Castle to visitors.
Actor and tour guide Robert Jones welcomed visitors as the fortress reopened in line with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Bamburgh Castle owner Francis Watson-Armstrong was also there to greet visitors, along with pint-sized pony Marley with his own Viking chariot,
He said: “Today has been another extraordinary milestone in Bamburgh Castle’s history. It has been incredibly moving seeing the castle return to life once again, with people laughing, smiling and enjoying a taste of the freedom we have all been craving for so long.
“It is a real honour that people have chosen to visit Bamburgh Castle on the very first day that they have been given freedom to do so.
"We’ve had such heart-warming feedback from people who have come to visit, including local residents living nearby who are so familiar with the castle as a landmark, but who’ve never stepped inside its grounds before and hearing how much this has meant to them.”
He added: “The safety and wellbeing of our visitors and team is always our highest priority and we have opened as a Covid-secure VisitEngland ‘We’re Good to Go’ quality assured attraction, with social distancing measures in place to allow people to enjoy our grounds securely.
“We will continue to monitor Government regulations closely and hope to be able to reopen our staterooms on May 17. In the meantime, visitors can enjoy what really is one of the most magnificent open-air sites on the UK coastline and see Northumberland from a very different level.
“We would like to thank everyone for visiting us and for the many messages of support our team has received from around the world while the castle has been closed. We look forward to welcoming people back over Easter and beyond as restrictions continue to ease.”
One of the first visitors to enter the castle gates was 63-year-old Richard Hunter from Bamburgh.
He said: “It’s been quite emotional, really. It’s the first time I’ve gone out to go somewhere other than the shops. Although I’m from the North East I’ve never been inside Bamburgh Castle before and thought I’d use this opportunity as a chance to visit.
"It’s just fabulous, I think it brought the kid in me back. You can get the feel of what it was like throughout history. It just hits you how wonderful it is, when you stand here looking around. I’m looking forward to coming back and looking around the inside of the castle when that reopens, too.”
Covid secure protocols include enhanced cleaning operations, social distancing and one-way routes, restricted visitor numbers on site and the installation of additional WC facilities and hand sanitiser stations throughout the site. The rule of six or visiting with one other household regulations will also apply.
Takeaway hot and cold refreshments will be available from the new Tack Room Café Kiosk.
Visitors are advised to pre-book advance ground tickets which includes fast track entry at www.bamburghcastle.com