Door 2 Tour

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Northumberland Castles, Priories & Lindisfarne Adventure

UK & Ireland
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Board Basis: Half Board
  • Tour Ref: D2TJUS9059

Holiday Summary

  • Travel Type: Coach

5 days

Heritage 2022

PRICE FROM ? £575 per person
Plan My Trip

Itinerary

Description

Northumberland’s spectacular and dramatic coast is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and this ruggedly handsome county is home to more castles than any other in England, reflecting its turbulent past and infamous conflicts such as the Border Wars. We discover many of these magnificent castles on our north eastern adventure, including mighty Bamburgh and iconic Alnwick, and delve deeper into the past with visits to historic priories and the atmospheric Holy Island of Lindisfarne. 

Itinerary

Excursion One – LindisfarnePriory, Lindisfarne Castle & Bamburgh Castle
We head across to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, lying just a few miles off the Northumberland coast. Only accessible twice a day at low tide, this beautifully unspoilt island is where Christianity first took hold in Britain. 

Here we explore Lindisfarne Priory. Step back in time and follow in the footsteps of the monks who built the priory nearly 1,400 years ago, and marvel at the remarkable Rainbow Arch, a feature which has survived despite the central tower above collapsing over 200 years ago. The museum provides a fascinating insight into the Viking raid and the cult of St Cuthbert, and here we can see the medieval manuscript, the Lindisfarne Gospels.  

Next we discover Lindisfarne Castle which commands a spectacular position, built on a rocky crag high above the sea. This former fort was converted into an Edwardian holiday home by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and both the military and domestic aspects of the castle are in evidence today. 

On our return to the mainland we enjoy a scenic drivealong the unspoilt Northumberland Heritage Coast, taking in the stunning vistas and vast sandy beaches as we make our way to Bamburgh Castle, which stands proud above the rugged coastline. 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 Anglo Saxon Royal Palace to the family home of the Victorian inventor, industrialist and philanthropist William George Armstrong. 

Please note: access to Holy Island is reliant on tide times therefore the order of excursions may be subject to change. 

Excursion Two – Alnwick Castle and Gardens, Ford and Etal Estate & Heatherslaw Light Railway
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. Take the chance to explore the history of the Percy family through the eclectic array of furniture and art they collected and displayed in the impressive State Rooms. There’s also time to discover the stunning Alnwick Garden, set around a cascading fountain and surrounded by ‘Capability’ Brown landscape. 

In the afternoon, we make our way to the Ford and Etal Estate, the home of the Joicey family for over 100 years.  Here we visit the striking Lady Waterford Hall, a former village school which now houses a unique collection of paintings by Louisa Anne, Marchioness of Waterford.

We then enjoy an included lunch at Boes Café, situated inside the Heatherslaw Corn Mill and popular for its lovely riverside views.

A short walk away is the Heatherslaw Light Railway, the most northerly steam railway in England. Here we step back in time and take a trip on the 15” gauge railway pulled by a steam locomotive, admiring the idyllic vistas of the River Till and Cheviot Hills along the way. We then have time to visit the 14th-century Etal Castle or have a coffee (not included) at the Black Bull Inn before returning by train to Heatherslaw station. 

Excursion Three – Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Brinkburn Priory & Tynemouth Priory and Castle
This morning we head to Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, where we take in the Grecian architecture, admire the medieval castle and explore the extensive and beautiful Grade I listed gardens. Belsay’s Greek-revival mansion was inspired by a honeymoon trip to Athens, with the Pillar Hall at the centre of the house built from rock carved from Belsay’s own quarry. 

We continue on to Brinkburn Priory, a secluded medieval monastery built on the banks of the River Coquet. The 12th-century Augustinian Priory was dissolved in 1536, and was subsequently owned by the Fenwick family who built a manor house on the ruins of the Priory building. The church was reroofed and restored in the mid-19th century, and is one of Northumberland’s finest examples of early Gothic architecture. Admire the stunning stained glass windows and discover the ruined interiors of the abandoned manor house. 

Afterwards, we visit Tynemouth Priory and Castle, situated on a rocky headland overlooking the North Sea. The moated castle towers, gatehouse and keep are combined with the ruins of the historic Benedictine priory, where early kings of Northumbria were once buried. The extensive site was once one of the largest fortified areas in England and boasts an exciting 2,000-year history, from its original beginnings as an Anglo-Saxon settlement to an Anglican monastery and, more recently, its role in defending the Tyne in the First and Second World Wars. 

Itinerary

Excursion One – LindisfarnePriory, Lindisfarne Castle & Bamburgh Castle
We head across to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, lying just a few miles off the Northumberland coast. Only accessible twice a day at low tide, this beautifully unspoilt island is where Christianity first took hold in Britain. 

Here we explore Lindisfarne Priory. Step back in time and follow in the footsteps of the monks who built the priory nearly 1,400 years ago, and marvel at the remarkable Rainbow Arch, a feature which has survived despite the central tower above collapsing over 200 years ago. The museum provides a fascinating insight into the Viking raid and the cult of St Cuthbert, and here we can see the medieval manuscript, the Lindisfarne Gospels.  

Next we discover Lindisfarne Castle which commands a spectacular position, built on a rocky crag high above the sea. This former fort was converted into an Edwardian holiday home by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and both the military and domestic aspects of the castle are in evidence today. 

On our return to the mainland we enjoy a scenic drivealong the unspoilt Northumberland Heritage Coast, taking in the stunning vistas and vast sandy beaches as we make our way to Bamburgh Castle, which stands proud above the rugged coastline. 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 Anglo Saxon Royal Palace to the family home of the Victorian inventor, industrialist and philanthropist William George Armstrong. 

Please note: access to Holy Island is reliant on tide times therefore the order of excursions may be subject to change. 

Excursion Two – Alnwick Castle and Gardens, Ford and Etal Estate & Heatherslaw Light Railway
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. Take the chance to explore the history of the Percy family through the eclectic array of furniture and art they collected and displayed in the impressive State Rooms. There’s also time to discover the stunning Alnwick Garden, set around a cascading fountain and surrounded by ‘Capability’ Brown landscape. 

In the afternoon, we make our way to the Ford and Etal Estate, the home of the Joicey family for over 100 years.  Here we visit the striking Lady Waterford Hall, a former village school which now houses a unique collection of paintings by Louisa Anne, Marchioness of Waterford.

We then enjoy an included lunch at Boes Café, situated inside the Heatherslaw Corn Mill and popular for its lovely riverside views.

A short walk away is the Heatherslaw Light Railway, the most northerly steam railway in England. Here we step back in time and take a trip on the 15” gauge railway pulled by a steam locomotive, admiring the idyllic vistas of the River Till and Cheviot Hills along the way. We then have time to visit the 14th-century Etal Castle or have a coffee (not included) at the Black Bull Inn before returning by train to Heatherslaw station. 

Excursion Three – Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Brinkburn Priory & Tynemouth Priory and Castle
This morning we head to Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, where we take in the Grecian architecture, admire the medieval castle and explore the extensive and beautiful Grade I listed gardens. Belsay’s Greek-revival mansion was inspired by a honeymoon trip to Athens, with the Pillar Hall at the centre of the house built from rock carved from Belsay’s own quarry. 

We continue on to Brinkburn Priory, a secluded medieval monastery built on the banks of the River Coquet. The 12th-century Augustinian Priory was dissolved in 1536, and was subsequently owned by the Fenwick family who built a manor house on the ruins of the Priory building. The church was reroofed and restored in the mid-19th century, and is one of Northumberland’s finest examples of early Gothic architecture. Admire the stunning stained glass windows and discover the ruined interiors of the abandoned manor house. 

Afterwards, we visit Tynemouth Priory and Castle, situated on a rocky headland overlooking the North Sea. The moated castle towers, gatehouse and keep are combined with the ruins of the historic Benedictine priory, where early kings of Northumbria were once buried. The extensive site was once one of the largest fortified areas in England and boasts an exciting 2,000-year history, from its original beginnings as an Anglo-Saxon settlement to an Anglican monastery and, more recently, its role in defending the Tyne in the First and Second World Wars. 

Self Drive Bullets

  • 4 nights at the 4-star Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle with dinner & breakfast 
  • Porterage
  • Welcome drink
  • After-dinner tea and coffee at the hotel 
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Lindisfarne Priory, Lindisfarne Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Alnwick Castle and Gardens, Ford and Etal Estate, Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Brinkburn Priory & Tynemouth Priory and Castle
  • Lunch* at Boes Café, Heatherslaw Corn Mill
  • Heritage train journey on the Heatherslaw Light Railway
  • Accompanied by a knowledgeable Tour Manager throughout

    *Please inform us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements.

Coach Bullets

  • Return coach travel
  • 4 nights at the 4-star Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle with dinner & breakfast 
  • Porterage
  • Welcome drink
  • After-dinner tea and coffee at the hotel 
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Lindisfarne Priory, Lindisfarne Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Alnwick Castle and Gardens, Ford and Etal Estate, Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Brinkburn Priory & Tynemouth Priory and Castle
  • Lunch* at Boes Café, Heatherslaw Corn Mill
  • Heritage train journey on the Heatherslaw Light Railway
  • Accompanied by a knowledgeable Tour Manager throughout

    *Please inform us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements.

Search Bullets

  • 4 nights at the 4-star Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle with dinner & breakfast 
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Lindisfarne Priory, Lindisfarne Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Alnwick Castle and Gardens, Ford and Etal Estate, Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Brinkburn Priory & Tynemouth Priory and Castle
  • Lunch* at Boes Café, Heatherslaw Corn Mill
  • Heritage train journey on the Heatherslaw Light Railway
  • Accompanied by a knowledgeable Tour Manager throughout

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Accommodation

4-star Copthorne Hotel

The 4-star Copthorne Hotel is located in Newcastle, overlooking the River Tyne. Facilities include an on-site fitness room, a bar and a contemporary restaurant. All of the comfortable bedrooms offer satellite TV as well as tea and coffee-making facilities. 

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