Chillingham Wild Cattle

Northumberland | Chatton | Wildlife tour | ★★★

[Chillingham Wild Cattle]

A visit to Chillingham's cattle is the opposite of a trip to a zoo. Instead of seeing wild animals in captivity, this mini-safari in an untended part of Chillingham Castle's grounds gives you the chance to see an almost always domesticated species free from human influence. The wardens claim (though we can't verify) that the 100-strong Chillingham Wild Cattle herd are the only remaining wild cattle anywhere in the world, having been "kept" within the park for over 800 years. Great lengths are taken to ensure no direct human contact or spreading of diseases from domestic cattle, so tourists are kept at a safe distance, and the nearest dairy cows separated by multiple fences. Nevertheless, you should get plenty of options to observe and take photos - all of the pictures on this page were taken on our single visit. The cattle are potentially dangerous: fighting within herds and sub-herds is common, and is sometimes to the death. Calving takes place at all times of year, and the calf further down this page was a mere three weeks old when we visited. What you'll see on your particular visit is, to a certain extent, down to luck, but the group dynamics are interesting to watch (especially when explained by the knowledgeable guide - we recommend asking plenty of questions) even if the herd are in a sedate mood. The warden suggests visiting on the first or last tour of the day to see the beasts at their most active, with the warmer months a better time than over winter. If you're still thinking, "why should I pay to see an animal I can see on a normal farm?" - then maybe the tour isn't for you.

[Chillingham Wild Cattle]

Location & info

📌 Chillingham Wild Cattle ★★★
By end of (public part of) minor road 1 mi south of Chatton, G.R.: NU 062260 ///scratches.digs.pirates
🚌 Rare bus to Chillingham (0.5 mi) | 🚗 Park on side of road
Open Sunday to Fridays, April to early November. 4 tours daily - check website for times | £8.50 adult / £4 child / joint ticket with Chillingham Castle available

[Chillingham Wild Cattle, Cheviot Hills beyond]

[Just Chilling(ham)]

[Chillingham Wild Cattle]

[Chillingham Wild Cattle]

[Chillingham Wild Cattle]

[Locking horns]

[Eyeing each other up]

[Things heating up]


[Cow and calf]

[Ground markings from horn impacts]

[Wild Cattle Park, Ros Castle summit behind]


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