Come to Northumberland and see the rare and beautiful Chillingham Wild Cattle roaming through their natural habitat. The Chillingham Wild Cattle can be found at Chillingham Park near Alnwick in the north of the county and are truly unique. They are natural clones and are thought to be rarer than the giant panda. Not only are the cattle genetically identical, each one has received identical genes from its sire and its dam - unique among wild living animals. You can see them up close as they roam through the 330 acres of Chillingham Park. The park has spectacular views to the Cheviot Hills and you may also see fallow and roe deer, red squirrels and a fine variety of bird life.
The cattle can breed at any time and are true survivors. It is thought they have been living at the park for more than 700 years and the fierce winter of 1947 almost wiped them out entirely reducing the herd to 13. Today there are now over 100 animals - looked after by a specially formed association and the thriving herd has become one of the county's best loved attractions. This unique herd of wild cattle, in the park at Chillingham, are the sole survivors of herds that once roamed the forests of Britain. They are truly wild and potentially dangerous, so must be approached with care.
Visitors are able to see the cattle only when accompanied by the warden, who will ensure their safety, take them as close as possible and talk about the cattle and the herd's history. This is the total world population. They can only be seen at Chillingham.
Read the blog of Whylde, the latest addition to the Chillingham Wild Cattle herd
|Type||Entry for||Guide price|
(Child (4-16 years old))
(Family (2 adults + up to 3 children))
Joint tickets for the Wild Cattle and Chillingham Castle are available.
Car parking available
Oldpigsqueal, Devon, United Kingdom
I'd wanted to see the cattle for decades so it was a "must" when we were in the area. We are still confused as to the position regarding dogs. As one of us has a bad foot, we were going to drive to the top car park and leave our dog in the car there but we saw a sign that we interpreted to mean that dogs weren't allowed up there even when confined in cars, so we parked at the bottom and made our way up - and it's a bit of a climb. When we reached the top car park we saw no reason why a dog couldn't be left in the car there as the nearest cattle (wild or domesticated) were quite a way away. We erred on the "safe side" as to what was meant by the signage but it could do with a little clarification, we think, and advance warning in the leaflet. It was lovely to see the cattle at last. The setting is lovely with pasture, woodland and distant moorland within their range, creating a sense of what it might have been like when cattle like these were the norm. So to see and hear them in this habitat was at the same time unusual and yet actually perfectly correct. To hear them calling from distance was a little primaeval. The guide answered questions well on husbandry and behaviour but a little more information on other aspects would have been interesting, over and above that on the display panels.
Jen M, Durham, United Kingdom
We've wanted to see these for a few years and finally made it. Everything is well signed and we were made aware that there is a walk from both car parks. The display at the hut was very informative. Ellie, the guide is knowledgeable and enthusiastic on her subject. She explained about our safety and asked us not to make sudden movements or loud noises. She was patient and answered all the questions. There was no rush and plenty of opportunity to linger and stare. We were lucky to see a calf which was about a week old. Ellie had seen it born but no interference.It was a very enjoyable trip and worth the wait.
Thought this would be a good half day out but advertising is not good. My fault that I hadn't noticed that there was no walk at 1pm so had to wait 1 1/2 hours in the car park. But think there should be some idea given that the nearest car park is a brisk 10 minute walk to the meeting place. Off I went though, with plenty of time to spare, found the meeting place but didn't realise the closed hut was not where the displays were so missed those! Decided to have a walk through trees labelled 'woodland walk' which led off along a track to more woodland with no routes marked and ended up hopeles sly lost and missed the guided tour! My friend more fortunate, and was given tour which came close to the animals but the giude only answered questions not giving a talk as expected. My advice, for what it's worth, is to i mprove signage, state likely time taken walking to site, and even better, arrange meeting point near to car park. This latter, might mean more visitors as 8 people walked to gate and returned without walking across the field whilst I was sitting in my car!
Chillingham Wild Cattle replied: Dear Loretta R Ellie, our warden, was very hurt by your review as you did not actually go on the tour and are reporting on what is actually hearsay. Your misadventure arose from a misunderstanding between your friend and yourself and probably down to a lack of mobile phone signal in the park. She was taken on, what could be seen as a private tour, on our kubota, while you lost your way and missed the tour entirely. Your friend had a fabulous time and, I believe, had a very pleasant conversation with Ellie and even bought a souvenir from the gift shop whilst you, deciding to take the forest walk, got lost! Ellie did not 'give a talk' as it is more usual to chat and pass information on a one to one basis while driving the kubota, which is a rather noisy vehicle. The signage seems to meet the needs of most people and this is the first time a visitor has suggested inadequacy. If you read the signs correctly, you will find all the information you need for a very rewarding visit to the cattle park and the wild cattle. All your problems seem to have arisen because you went on a walk and got lost. If you read the other reviews, most visitors to the park have a great time with Ellie. 99% of our visitors find all the information they need on our signs and leaflets. I am sorry you got lost and did not enjoy the loveliness of the cattle park in all its autumnal colours and the five new calves born in the last three weeks. Please come again when you are in Chillingham.
Jayne B, Arnside, United Kingdom
Myself and 4 teenagers very much enjoyed seeing the Chillingham Wild Cattle up close. We were expecting to have to walk miles to see the cattle but they were right by the ticket shelter so everybody was happy. Interesting talk too by our guide.
Potentially interesting but lacklustre guide who failed to engage with her visitors and did the bare minimum