The Wild Cattle of Chillingham

The Wild Cattle of Chillingham are the remarkable survivors of the ancient cattle which once roamed Britain’s forests.

Today they live in the beautiful enclosed Park at Chillingham, between Alnwick and Bamburgh in Northumberland, their home for hundreds of years. Although the first written record of “The Earl’s Wild White Cattle” is dated 1650, it is thought that they may well have been in the Park since the initial enclosure in 1344.

The herd currently numbers around 120 beasts. About half of them are bulls. All cows and bulls have horns and a fierce temperament to match. The bulls must fight for the right to mate, but the cows will fight to maintain their dignity if they don’t like the suitor. Injuries are common place and death in combat is not unknown. In April 2023, the Park Manager witnessed a bull killing another.

Chillingham Park has stunning views across Northumberland and the Cheviots – a beautiful place to visit at any time of year. Close to Alnwick, Berwick and the Northumberland Coast, Chillingham offers a great family day out in Northumberland.

The Warden will escort you on a fascinating tour which highlights the magnificent scenery and introduces you to the mysteries of the wild cattle. The Warden will take you close, but not too close, to the cattle and share with you the secrets of their amazing story, the ups and downs of their fighting and mating, killing and goring.

These remarkable wild beasts are completely untamed. They have never been touched by human hand; no vet has ever treated one. They are recognised as wild by Defra, so are exempt from the rules and regulations which apply to normal, farm cattle.

Chillingham Park is home to many other species of wildlife. During your visit you may see Roe and Fallow deer, brown hares, foxes and over 50 bird species including the nuthatch, redstart and woodpeckers. The badgers are very wary and not often seen, but the ancient beech and oak trees planted around 1790 are home to the native red squirrel which you may be lucky enough to glimpse.

The Wild Cattle of Chillingham are the remarkable survivors of the ancient cattle which once roamed Britain’s forests.

Today they live in the beautiful enclosed Park at Chillingham, between Alnwick and Bamburgh in Northumberland, their home for hundreds of years. Although the first written record of “The Earl’s Wild White Cattle” is dated 1650, it is thought that they may well have been in the Park since the initial enclosure in 1344.

The herd currently numbers around 120 beasts. About half of them are bulls. All cows and bulls have horns and a fierce temperament to match. The bulls must fight for the right to mate, but the cows will fight to maintain their dignity if they don’t like the suitor. Injuries are common place and death in combat is not unknown. In April 2023, the Park Manager witnessed a bull killing another.

Chillingham Park has stunning views across Northumberland and the Cheviots – a beautiful place to visit at any time of year. Close to Alnwick, Berwick and the Northumberland Coast, Chillingham offers a great family day out in Northumberland.

The Warden will escort you on a fascinating tour which highlights the magnificent scenery and introduces you to the mysteries of the wild cattle. The Warden will take you close, but not too close, to the cattle and share with you the secrets of their amazing story, the ups and downs of their fighting and mating, killing and goring.

These remarkable wild beasts are completely untamed. They have never been touched by human hand; no vet has ever treated one. They are recognised as wild by Defra, so are exempt from the rules and regulations which apply to normal, farm cattle.

Chillingham Park is home to many other species of wildlife. During your visit you may see Roe and Fallow deer, brown hares, foxes and over 50 bird species including the nuthatch, redstart and woodpeckers. The badgers are very wary and not often seen, but the ancient beech and oak trees planted around 1790 are home to the native red squirrel which you may be lucky enough to glimpse.