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
An incredible visit
Andy B, London, England, United Kingdom
Fortunately for us it was just my wife and I that arrived for the mid-week 2pm tour and so Ellie took us out in her armoured buggy (it can only seat her plus 2) and was able to cover much more ground and get closer to these magnificent cattle. Ellie is incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable about everything on the estate, we learned so much from her as we toured the grounds. As we drove around the cattle we also saw a herd of fallow deer. We stopped whenever it was deemed a safe distance away, but certainly close enough to get some great photos. As we were touring we were discussing gestation periods when I asked how old 'that one' was ... as Ellie looked closer she realised it was 'brand new', even she had not seen such a new calf. This made the whole visit so much more special. I imagine any tour with 3 or more people would be different but the enthusiasm and the knowledge of the staff coupled with seeing a herd that has not had any human contact in over 800 years is well worth a visit.
Neil W, Silsden, United Kingdom
I'm afraid the importance of these cattle are a bit lost on me. I am no farmer, and certainly not a townie either, but to be honest they just looked like white cows to me. Yes I understand that they are the only wild cattle in the world and for this reason they are scientifically important, but this in itself does not make them a great visitor attraction! Our guide (Ellie) seemed very knowledgable, but had the air of someone who thought her 4pm tour might not have any visitors and she could therefore avoid having to repeat herself for the umpteenth time this week. You don't get very close to them, so bring a pair of binoculars (to be fair the guide passed hers around). Mildly interesting but quite expensive at £8 each!
A very "Different" but superb day out
pookierara, newcastle upon tyne
My wife had wanted to see the wild cattle for a number of years and we eventually made it. Arriving at the "Top Car Park" we doused our shoes in disinfectant (foot and mouth precuations) and set off through the kissing gate at the top of the lane. To get to the place where the tour starts, you have to cross a field full of cows and sheep (delightful company and not interested in us at all). Takes about ten minutes to cross, through a gate and up to the small "shed" that acts as a reception. No frills - just straight forward "wild" reception. The yong lady that met us was very helpful and charming and because there was only two of us for the 3.00pm tour, she took us out on the "safari buggy" and right around the large 300+acre estate. We got within a few yards of the magnificent cattle and they were truly fantastic. Big, strong and showing plenty of muscle - friendly(ish) but still with that wild glint in their eyes. I got some fantastic shots of the cattle and learned a great deal about this superb and very distinctive breed from the young lady (sorry I cannot remember her name). My wife was over the moon that she had finally seen this unique herd of animals and we are signing up to be "Friends" (good value at a cost of £12 per annum) so we can visit again whenever we feel the need.
Day out walking
jennifer b, Darlington, United Kingdom
We were out walking near the Chillingham Estate Northumberland and came across a field with lots of Chillingham Wild Cattle in it .They are very different from any other cattle I had seen before. There were warning signs not to approach the cattle !We were very pleased we had seen them.
An ancient breed
cockneyshaun, Wetherby, United Kingdom
Very interesting visit to see the rare cattle. They breed throughout the year so there is always a variety of different aged cattle about. Herds of deer also wandering around the large area that the cattle are roaming around. Very interesting reading about their history and rarity.