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Family-friendly things to do at Lindisfarne Castle

A family walk down a path with a summer garden to the right and a castle in the distance beyond the garden.
A family explores the Gertrude Jekyll garden at Lindisfarne Castle in Northumberland | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Fresh sea air, seal calls drifting over the island, wide expanses of beach, dramatic sunsets, abundant nature and a castle that's not a castle on an island that's not an island. Lindisfarne Castle is a magical place to explore.

Planning your visit with kids

  • Self-led family trail - how many pairs of Lutyens' spectacles can you find hidden around the castle? Free ( admission applies)
  • Seal spotting from the Upper Battery
  • Picnic spots with views to the Farne Islands and lots of fresh sea air
  • Space to run
  • Family friendly art installation
  • Breastfeeding friendly.
  • Area available to leave pushchairs
  • Access is by two cobbled ramps and a short flight of steps.
  • Due to low doorways baby back carriers can't go inside the castle. We have hip carriers available for loan. Baby front carriers are also available. Just ask the Welcome team at admissions.
  • Last entry to the castle is 45 minutes before the advertised closing time.

Seal spotting

Look out for our volunteers outside on the Upper Battery. They have scopes to give visitors a close up look at the seals lounging on the rocks across the water - and if you're lucky, you will hear the ghostly sound of the seals' "singing" drifiting across the island.

Rainy day discoveries inside the castle

It's fair to say that the British weather, even in May, can be somewhat mixed, but what better place to take shelter than inside a castle? And a very cosy castle it is, too.

Can you hear the soud of the wind roaring in the chimneys in the Entrance Hall, Ship Room and Long Gallery? Can you see the needle turning on the Wind Indicator? Can you find a cosy spot to sit on the Long Gallery and peer out of the rain splattered Lutyens - designed windows until the rain passes?

Head outside onto the Upper Battery and embrace the weather - can you spot any seals? Or see the Fulmars soaring past? They don't mind the rain at all.

Find Lutyens' spectacles trail (free with admission)

The castle is full of nooks and crannies - can you find Ned's spectacles hidden around the building? How many can you find?

Family-friendly event

Until 3 Nov

Artist Liz Gre has installed a very special light and sound installation - Embodied Cacophonies.

Follow the sound right to the very top of the castle, up to the Upper Gallery, and spend some time listening to Liz's thought - provoking work.

A rich sensory experience for all.

A view over the Gertrude Jekyll Garden at Lindisfarne Castle dominated by yellow flowers
The Gertrude Jekyll Garden at Lindisfarne Castle | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Family-friendly things to do outside

Explore the castle headland and garden

Outside, there is lots to explore.

The blazing summer colour of the Gertrude Jekyll garden is building; with blossom on the fruit trees in the spring it is a peaceful spot to sit for a while and take in the view.

The short circular walk around the castle headland is an ideal length for smaller legs ( approx. 1 mile). The keen eyed will be able to spot curious seals swimming just off shore, and watch birds and butterflies while hunting for shells by the shore or skimming stones.

Go inside the limekilns

Whilst you’re wandering, take a peek inside the impressive 19th-century limekilns. They’re a great place for younger visitors to enjoy a game of hide and seek! With their beautiful structure and surprising scale, the kilns are some of the best preserved examples in the UK.

Visitors pushing buggies approaching Lindisfarne Castle
Visitors exploring the grounds of Lindisfarne Castle | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

'50 things to do before you're 11¾'

If the kids need to run off some energy, you could go for a walk around the castle headland, which is a great spot to get some sea air, spot seals swimming or stop for a picnic, and also where they can tick off some of the '50 things'. Try a few of our suggestions to get you started:

  • No. 5 Skim a stone: Skimming stones across the surface of water looks incredibly cool, but there's definitely a knack to it
  • No. 7 Fly a kite: When there's a bit of wind in the air it's the perfect time to enjoy one of the purest pleasures in life. So, if you haven't flown a kite before, what are you waiting for?
  • No. 44 Watch a bird: To be a successful bird watcher, you'll need to be as quiet as a mouse while you keep a look out for our feathered friends. What will you spot?

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