Alnwick Castle, Northumberland Coast and the Borders Day Tour # 101 – 1 day tour

Highlights:

~ Kelso
~ The Borders
~ Alnwick Castle
~ Harry Potter
~ Northumberland Coastline
~ River Tweed
~ East Lothian

A fantastic day out to the Scottish Borders and the north of England discovering the magic of Harry Potter and Hogwarts Castle. You also visit Kelso in the heart of the Borders and pass through the historic walled town of Berwick on Tweed, which has changed hands between Scotland and England an incredible 13 times!

This fascinating day out is ideal for fans of Harry Potter, wizardry, magic and those wanting to discover the historic rivalry between Scotland and England as you explore the borderlands.

Alnwick Castle also stars as Brancaster Castle in the Downton Abbey 2014 Christmas special with extensive filming in the spectacular State Rooms.

A day spent in the Borderlands of Scotland and England. Our tour follows the ancient Roman Dere Street that connected Scottish Caledonia with Roman Britannia through the Scottish Borders.

Stopping in the Borders town of Kelso, you can explore this handsome town with what is thought to be Scotland’s largest market square. You will also see the ruins of Kelso Abbey, one of the reminders of the many ancient conflicts between Scotland and England.

Continuing South you will cross the border and travel to imposing Alnwick Castle, one of the great castles of Northumberland that has stood for nearly a millenium. Originally built to protect the north of England from Scottish border reivers and invaders, more recently Alnwick Castle and its perfectly manicured gardens have found fame as one of the settings for the fictional Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter movie series.

After almost 3 hours to explore Alnwick Castle you travel north along the Northumberland Coast, one of the UK’s most outstanding area’s of natural beauty. Stopping along the way to admire some of the area’s best known beaches, castles and ancient Border towns.

Continuing north along the rugged coast of Berwickshire and East Lothian you will return to Edinburgh approx. 19.00

Hadrian’s Wall, Roman Britain and The Scottish Borders Day Tour # 102

Highlights:

~ The Scottish Borders
~ Carter Bar – the Scotland/England Border
~ Hadrian’s Wall
~ Steel Rigg, Northumberland (Walk)

A day spent discovering the highlights of Roman Britain and Hadrian’s Wall. Let us guide you through the heart of the Scottish Borders and 2000 years of history to the wild last frontier of the mighty Roman Empire.

This tour is ideal for those who would like to experience the wild remoteness of this ancient Roman outpost and the rolling hills and borderlands of Southern Scotland.

Departing at 08.30 from Edinburgh you travel South on old Roman Dere Street which linked the supply ports on the South of England with the ancient city of York and North past Hadrian’s Wall to the Roman settlements in Central Scotland. Your first stop on this tour will be in the Border town of Jedburgh, a historic Burgh that lies only 12 miles north of the Scotland- England Border.

On arrival in Jedburgh you will have time to take a short walk through the narrow streets which surround the remains of the Augustinian Abbey that has been a great symbol of power during the Abbey’s 900 year history.
Continuing south we make a brief stop at scenic Carter Bar on the edge of the Cheviot Hills. This crossing point between Scotland and England runs close to the ancient Roman road and has formed the Border between the two countries for the past 700 years.

The tour continues through the magnificent forests of Northumberland National Park before turning west towards the remains of Hadrian’s Wall. We follow the road that takes us along the south side of the wall, stopping at Steel Rigg where you come face to face with large sections of the walls remains. You will have time to walk beside the wall and experience the isolation that Roman foot soldier’s would have experienced as they guarded their empire from the barbarians to the North. You will have time to explore this fascinating site and explore further sections of the wall before we turn north for our return journey to Edinburgh.

Travelling through the Galloway hills and Scottish Borders we return to Edinburgh for approx. 19.00

 The Lake District Explorer 3 Day Tour # 103

Highlights:

~ Ullswater
~ Aira Force Waterfall
~ Castlerigg Stone Circle
~ Lake Windermere
~ Wordsworth’s Cottage
~ Derwent Water
~ Honister Pass

3 Days spent discovering the secrets of the stunning lakes and mountains of Cumbria. Highlights include Aira Force Waterfall, Ullswater, Castlerigg Stone Circle, Lake Windermere, Wordsworth’s Cottage, Derwent Water and Honister Pass. For the variety of landscapes and history packed into three days this tour is difficult to beat.

Stay 2 nights in Keswick in the heart of the Lake District. (**During July/early August this tour may stay in the lakeside town of Windermere instead).

Day 1 Depart Edinburgh at 08.30 and travel South through the Scottish Borders, with stunning views the Galloway Hills and the Southern Uplands, on our way to the first stop of the day, the Victorian Spa town of Moffat,. From Moffat you continue south over the border into England and head to the historic Cumbrian Market town of Penrith. Here you will have the chance to get lunch and explore the ruins of Penrith Castle, which played a key role in defending the border from invading Scots. After lunch you travel into the Lake District National Park, along the northern shores of Ullswater described as England’s most beautiful lake where you can take a forest walk to see the mighty Aira Force waterfall. You then travel towards Keswick, stopping outside of the town to visit the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones, thought to have been built over 5,000 years ago and the scene of ancient rituals. You then have a short journey into the lively market town of Keswick where you will be dropped off at your accommodation and are then free to explore this charming town. (**During July/early August this tour may stay in Windermere).

Day 2 After breakfast you head along the winding country lanes to travelling along the southern shores of Ullswater, taking stops to take in the majestic views of this beautiful lake. Continuing south you journey over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass you stop at Lake Windermere where you have the option to take a leisurely cruise on the Lake or simply eat lunch while enjoying views of the mountains and lakes. After lunch you travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water and shortly afterwards you arrive at the picturesque conservation village of Hawkeshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School. After free time to explore the village you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, which Wordsworth described as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”. There is free time to visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage or enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. In the late afternoon you return to Keswick.

Day 3 You will be collected from your accommodation and you head for the Whinlatter Forest Park and over the Whinlatter pass and into some of the most dramatic landscapes that the Lake District has to offer. Your journey takes us through the rural village of High Lorton, along the quiet winding lanes to the shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere and on towards the Honister mountain pass. Stopping amongst the mountains you have the opportunity to visit the old slate workings where a small number of Cumbrians continue to make their living. Following refreshments, you continue through the forests of Borrowdale, passing Derwent Water on your return to Keswick where there is free time for lunch and shopping. Following lunch, you begin your return journey by heading towards Penrith and then north towards the border. After crossing into Scotland you take a stop in the town of Biggar, a royal burgh since 1415. From here it is a leisurely drive through the rolling border hills back to Edinburgh. Arrival approx 19.30.

York, the Dales, Lake District & Hadrian’s Wall 5 Day Tour tour # 104

Highlights:

~ Alnwick Castle
~ York Minster
~ Robin Hood’s Bay
~ Yorkshire Dales
~ Wordsworth’s Cottage
~ Lake Windermere
~ Scottish Borders

5 Days spent discovering the best of northern England – the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. Highlights include Alnwick Castle, York and York Minster, Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay, the Yorkshire Dales, Lake Windermere, Wordsworth’s Cottage, Hadrian’s Wall and the Scottish Borders.

Stay 2 nights in the historic city of York and 2 nights in Keswick in the heart of the Lake District. (**During July/early August this tour may stay in Windermere instead).

Day 1 Our tour starts by hugging the magnificent East Lothian coastline as we travel towards the walled border town of Berwick Upon Tweed. After stopping to admire the fortifications we continue to Alnwick Castle, home of the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland since 1309. This magnificent Castle and it’s gardens have appeared in many films and television programmes. Leaving Alnwick behind we travel towards the City of York on the Great North Road, a route that has carried countless Roman Legions between the remote Northern outposts and the more populous settlements of Roman Brittania. In late afternoon we arrive in York, your base for the next two nights.

Day 2 is a leisurely day that gives you the flexibility to spend time exploring the medieval heart of York, a city whose rich history goes back to the time of the Romans, Vikings and the Normans. Then join our excursion to the North Sea coast of Yorkshire. Our journey begins in the late morning when we head for the magnificent North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Lunch will be in Whitby, a bustling fishing port and the inspiration for the fertile imagination of author Bram Stoker, who stayed in the Royal Hotel on the western side of Whitby while writing his famous novel Dracula. After lunch and free time in Whitby we travel to the fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay*, a perfectly preserved conservation village of winding lanes and narrow alleys before returning towards York.

Day 3 You will be collected from your accommodation and head west into the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Established in 1954, the Yorkshire Dales National Park has outstanding scenery, a range of wildlife habitats and a rich cultural heritage. It’s a special place – a fantastic outdoor arena for recreation and peaceful relaxation and a haven for wildlife. Continuing West our route takes us through the Northern Dales an area of outstanding natural beauty that is the centre of the Dales cattle trade. Our final leg of today’s journey takes us high up into the remote hills of the Yorkshire Dales before descending into the lively market town of Keswick** where you will be dropped off at your accommodation and are then free to explore this charming town.
(**During July/early August this tour may stay in Windermere instead).

Day 4 After breakfast you head a short distance out of town to the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones, thought by many to have been built over 5,000 years ago and the scene of ancient rituals. You then travel on to the shores of Ullswater, described as England’s most beautiful lake, where you can take a forest walk to see the mighty Aira Force waterfall. Continuing south over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass you stop at Lake Windermere where you have the option to take a leisurely cruise on the Lake or simply eat lunch while enjoying views of the mountains and lakes. After lunch you travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water and shortly afterwards you arrive at the picturesque conservation village of Hawkeshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School. After free time to explore the village you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, which Wordsworth described as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”. There is free time to visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage or enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. In the late afternoon you return to Keswick.

Day 5
 Leaving the Lakes behind us we start our climb towards Hartside Pass, at over 1,900ft – on a clear day the hills and mountains of Scotland and the English Lake District are clearly visible. We follow the route of the old sheep drovers road between England and Scotland. Stopping at Hadrians Wall, built by Emperor Hadrian to keep the Scots out of the Roman Empire there’s an opportunity to explore some of the Roman remains and walk in the footsteps of the Roman Centurions who patrolled this desolate frontier of the Empire. Following the ancient Roman Dere Street we cross the border into Scotland and continue on to the Border town of Jedburgh for refreshments by the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey. Our final stop is at the world famous Scott’s view with stunning views over the River Tweed and the Cheviot hills that form the border between Scotland before continuing north to Edinburgh.

* Robin Hood’s Bay – The minicoach cannot access the main village because of local restrictions. The coach will drop you at the top of the village and you must walk down (and back up!) a steep hill to reach the old village centre.