Door 2 Tour

Coach Holidays, Escorted Tours & Events

0330 440 3999

Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm

Northumberland & Border Country - Romans & Reivers

UK & Ireland
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Board Basis: Half Board
  • Tour Ref: D2TJUS9114

Holiday Summary

  • Travel Type: Coach

7 days

Heritage 2022

PRICE FROM ? £845 per person
Plan My Trip

Itinerary

Description

The compelling and often turbulent history of the border country that separates Scotland and England has resulted in a region that is exceptionally rich in cultural heritage; with a host of defensive forts, ruined abbeys and ancient castles scattered through the scenic and romantic landscape. On this engaging tour, we discover the fascinating stories behind some of the iconic places along this oft-disputed border. We delve deeper into tales of Roman Britain along Hadrian’s Wall, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and uncover the feuding history of the Border Reivers, a time when the Anglo-Scottish border displayed all the characteristics of a lawless frontier.

Coach Itinerary

Day One
We check in to the Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle Quayside in the afternoon. Later, we enjoy a welcome drinks reception hosted by our tour manager. 

Day Two – Alnwick Castle & Newcastle
Still home to the Duke of Northumberland and his family, Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, and featured in the hugely popular Downton Abbey and Harry Potter. We explore the history of the Percy family through the eclectic array of furniture and art they collected and displayed in the impressive State Rooms.

On our return to Newcastle, we enjoy a guided tour, partly by coach and partly on foot, to learn more about this vibrant city with its inspiring heritage and acclaimed architecture. The history of Newcastledates back almost 2,000 years when the Romans built the first bridge across the River Tyne and created a settlement known as Pons Aelius. Due to its prime location on the river, the town developed greatly during the Middle Ages and played a major role in the Industrial Revolution.

Day Three – Bamburgh Castle & Berwick-upon-Tweed
After checking out of our Newcastle hotel, we make our way to Bamburgh Castle, which has proudly stood above the unspoilt Northumberland Heritage Coast for over 1,400 years. There is so much to discover here, including the fascinating state rooms, the Battery gate, the medieval kitchen and the stables. The treasure trove of unique paintings, furniture, weapons, and china tell the story of Bamburgh’s history, from an Anglo Saxon Royal Palace to the family home of the Victorian inventor, industrialist and philanthropist William George Armstrong. We find out more on a fascinating guided tour.

Next stop is Berwick-upon-Tweed, England’s most northerly town, lying at the mouth of the River Tweed just three miles from the Scottish border. This peaceful coastal town is a far cry from Berwick's turbulent past; captured or sacked 13 times before finally falling into English hands in 1482. Berwick’s great Elizabethan walls were built to keep invading Scots from entering the town and offer spectacular views across the river. There are also sandy beaches and beautiful riverside walks to enjoy.

Afterwards, we continue to Carlisle where we check in to the Carlisle Station Hotel, our base for the next two nights.

Day Four – Carlisle Castle, Tullie House Museum & Penrith Castle
We start the morning with a visit to Carlisle Castle, founded by William Rufus in 1092 to deter the Scots. It was built on the site of a large Roman fort and town called Luguvalium. A mighty stronghold in the frequent conflict between England and Scotland, the castle was besieged many times in its history, and was the headquarters of the Border Regiment from the 18th century to the 1960s. 

We then head to Tullie House Museum, which is home to considerable collections of fine art, human history and natural sciences. The main displays take us on a journey through the ages, from the present day back to the Romans and before, with objects and ephemera including Roman and Viking discoveries. 

This afternoon, we make our way to the ruins of Penrith Castle, built at the end of the 14th century by Ralph Neville, who played a key role in the defence of the Scottish border. The castle’s location was chosen because it was the likely site of an old Roman fort, the banks and ditches of which could be conveniently re-used for their defensive function. It was later transformed into a luxurious residence by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who became Richard III. The future king held the position of sheriff of Cumberland whose role was to secure the county against the Scots and keep rival local families under control.

Day Five – Melrose Abbey & Jedburgh Abbey
Today we are joined by our guide for a fascinating themed tour on the infamous Reivers, bringing their fascinating story to life. We travel first to Melrose Abbey, a magnificent ruin on a grand scale, known for its many carved decorative details. David I founded Scotland’s first Cistercian monastery in 1136 and being so close to the border, Melrose Abbey was on the front line of conflict with England during the Middle Ages. Rebuilt in the 1380s, it was used as an abbey until the Protestant Reformation of 1560. The abbey is also the final resting place of Robert the Bruce’s heart.

Later we continue on to Jedburgh Abbey, founded by David I in around 1138 for Augustinian monks.

Like Melrose, its close location to the English border meant it was frequently targeted by invading border armies and was badly damaged and rebuilt several times during the Wars of Independence.

Jedburgh is striking for its unusual mix of Romanesque and early Gothic architecture. Explore the abbey ruins spread over a magnificent sloping site and view the fascinating exhibition in the visitor centre here.

Day Six – Lanercost Priory, Hadrian’s Wall & Chesters Roman Fort
This morning, after checking out of our hotel, we are met again by our guide and head first to the Augustinian Lanercost Priory, founded in 1166. The tranquil setting of the priory belies an often troubled history. Standing close to Hadrian’s Wall, it suffered frequent attacks during the long Anglo-Scottish wars, including once by Robert the Bruce. The mortally sick King Edward I rested here for five months in 1306-7, shortly before his death on his final campaign. Although the chancel and transepts are in ruins, the cloisters are beautifully preserved. We are also able to visit the beautiful priory church nearby.  

From here we drive along part of Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans as a fortification across Britain some two thousand years ago and stretching 80 miles from coast to coast. We learn more about this fascinating archaeological site from our guide before arriving at Chesters Roman Fort, the most complete Roman Cavalry fort on the wall. Here we can take a stroll through history as we wander around the unusually well-preserved ruins of this ancient hilltop fortress and visit the fascinating museum, which gives an insight into the life of a Roman soldier at one of the Roman Empire’s most northerly outposts.

Afterwards, we check back in to the Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle Quayside for our final night’s stay.

Day Seven
After breakfast, we check out of the hotel for our journey home.

Coach Bullets

  • Return coach travel
  • 4 nights at the 4-star Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle Quayside with dinner & breakfast 
  • 2 nights at the 3-star Carlisle Station Hotel, Sure Hotel Collection by BW, Carlisle with dinner & breakfast 
  • Porterage
  • Welcome drink at the Copthorne Hotel
  • After-dinner tea and coffee at the hotels
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Carlisle Castle, Tullie House Museum, Penrith Castle, Melrose Abbey, Jedburgh Abbey, Lanercost Priory, Hadrian’s Wall & Chesters Roman Fort
  • Guided tour of Newcastle
  • Local Blue Badge guide for two days to bring our theme, Romans & Reivers, to life 
  • Accompanied by a knowledgeable Tour Manager throughout

Search Bullets

  • 4 nights at the 4-star Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle Quayside with dinner & breakfast 
  • 2 nights at the 3-star Carlisle Station Hotel, Sure Hotel Collection by BW, Carlisle with dinner & breakfast 
  • Visits to Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Carlisle Castle, Tullie House Museum, Penrith Castle, Melrose Abbey, Jedburgh Abbey, Lanercost Priory, Hadrian’s Wall & Chesters Roman Fort
  • Guided tour of Newcastle
  • Local Blue Badge guide for two days to bring our theme, Romans & Reivers, to life 
  • Accompanied by a knowledgeable Tour Manager throughout

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Itinerary

Day One
We check in to the Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle Quayside in the afternoon. Later, we enjoy a welcome drinks reception hosted by our tour manager. 

Day Two – Alnwick Castle & Newcastle
Still home to the Duke of Northumberland and his family, Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, and featured in the hugely popular Downton Abbey and Harry Potter. We explore the history of the Percy family through the eclectic array of furniture and art they collected and displayed in the impressive State Rooms.

On our return to Newcastle, we enjoy a guided tour, partly by coach and partly on foot, to learn more about this vibrant city with its inspiring heritage and acclaimed architecture. The history of Newcastledates back almost 2,000 years when the Romans built the first bridge across the River Tyne and created a settlement known as Pons Aelius. Due to its prime location on the river, the town developed greatly during the Middle Ages and played a major role in the Industrial Revolution.

Day Three – Bamburgh Castle & Berwick-upon-Tweed
After checking out of our Newcastle hotel, we make our way to Bamburgh Castle, which has proudly stood above the unspoilt Northumberland Heritage Coast for over 1,400 years. There is so much to discover here, including the fascinating state rooms, the Battery gate, the medieval kitchen and the stables. The treasure trove of unique paintings, furniture, weapons, and china tell the story of Bamburgh’s history, from an Anglo Saxon Royal Palace to the family home of the Victorian inventor, industrialist and philanthropist William George Armstrong. We find out more on a fascinating guided tour.

Next stop is Berwick-upon-Tweed, England’s most northerly town, lying at the mouth of the River Tweed just three miles from the Scottish border. This peaceful coastal town is a far cry from Berwick's turbulent past; captured or sacked 13 times before finally falling into English hands in 1482. Berwick’s great Elizabethan walls were built to keep invading Scots from entering the town and offer spectacular views across the river. There are also sandy beaches and beautiful riverside walks to enjoy.

Afterwards, we continue to Carlisle where we check in to the Carlisle Station Hotel, our base for the next two nights.

Day Four – Carlisle Castle, Tullie House Museum & Penrith Castle
We start the morning with a visit to Carlisle Castle, founded by William Rufus in 1092 to deter the Scots. It was built on the site of a large Roman fort and town called Luguvalium. A mighty stronghold in the frequent conflict between England and Scotland, the castle was besieged many times in its history, and was the headquarters of the Border Regiment from the 18th century to the 1960s. 

We then head to Tullie House Museum, which is home to considerable collections of fine art, human history and natural sciences. The main displays take us on a journey through the ages, from the present day back to the Romans and before, with objects and ephemera including Roman and Viking discoveries. 

This afternoon, we make our way to the ruins of Penrith Castle, built at the end of the 14th century by Ralph Neville, who played a key role in the defence of the Scottish border. The castle’s location was chosen because it was the likely site of an old Roman fort, the banks and ditches of which could be conveniently re-used for their defensive function. It was later transformed into a luxurious residence by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who became Richard III. The future king held the position of sheriff of Cumberland whose role was to secure the county against the Scots and keep rival local families under control.

Day Five – Melrose Abbey & Jedburgh Abbey
Today we are joined by our guide for a fascinating themed tour on the infamous Reivers, bringing their fascinating story to life. We travel first to Melrose Abbey, a magnificent ruin on a grand scale, known for its many carved decorative details. David I founded Scotland’s first Cistercian monastery in 1136 and being so close to the border, Melrose Abbey was on the front line of conflict with England during the Middle Ages. Rebuilt in the 1380s, it was used as an abbey until the Protestant Reformation of 1560. The abbey is also the final resting place of Robert the Bruce’s heart.

Later we continue on to Jedburgh Abbey, founded by David I in around 1138 for Augustinian monks.

Like Melrose, its close location to the English border meant it was frequently targeted by invading border armies and was badly damaged and rebuilt several times during the Wars of Independence.

Jedburgh is striking for its unusual mix of Romanesque and early Gothic architecture. Explore the abbey ruins spread over a magnificent sloping site and view the fascinating exhibition in the visitor centre here.

Day Six – Lanercost Priory, Hadrian’s Wall & Chesters Roman Fort
This morning, after checking out of our hotel, we are met again by our guide and head first to the Augustinian Lanercost Priory, founded in 1166. The tranquil setting of the priory belies an often troubled history. Standing close to Hadrian’s Wall, it suffered frequent attacks during the long Anglo-Scottish wars, including once by Robert the Bruce. The mortally sick King Edward I rested here for five months in 1306-7, shortly before his death on his final campaign. Although the chancel and transepts are in ruins, the cloisters are beautifully preserved. We are also able to visit the beautiful priory church nearby.  

From here we drive along part of Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans as a fortification across Britain some two thousand years ago and stretching 80 miles from coast to coast. We learn more about this fascinating archaeological site from our guide before arriving at Chesters Roman Fort, the most complete Roman Cavalry fort on the wall. Here we can take a stroll through history as we wander around the unusually well-preserved ruins of this ancient hilltop fortress and visit the fascinating museum, which gives an insight into the life of a Roman soldier at one of the Roman Empire’s most northerly outposts.

Afterwards, we check back in to the Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle Quayside for our final night’s stay.

Day Seven
After breakfast, we check out of the hotel for our journey home.

Self drive bullets

  • 4 nights at the 4-star Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle Quayside with dinner & breakfast 
  • 2 nights at the 3-star Carlisle Station Hotel, Sure Hotel Collection by BW, Carlisle with dinner & breakfast 
  • Porterage
  • Welcome drink at the Copthorne Hotel
  • After-dinner tea and coffee at the hotels
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Carlisle Castle, Tullie House Museum, Penrith Castle, Melrose Abbey, Jedburgh Abbey, Lanercost Priory, Hadrian’s Wall & Chesters Roman Fort
  • Guided tour of Newcastle
  • Local Blue Badge guide for two days to bring our theme, Romans & Reivers, to life 
  • Accompanied by a knowledgeable Tour Manager throughout

New for 2022

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Accommodation

Copthorne Hotel

The 4-star Copthorne Hotel Newcastle Quayside overlooks the River Tyne. The en-suite rooms offer free Wi-Fi, TV and tea and coffee-making facilities and the hotel also features a bar and restaurant with an outstanding waterfront view. 

The Victorian 3-star Carlisle Station Hotel, Sure Hotel Collection by BW is located in Carlisle’s historic Court Square and offers contemporary interiors. The stylish hotel features a restaurant, bar and comfortable en-suite rooms with free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities and a flat-screen TV.

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