Once the northern frontier of the Roman Empire, there are romantic castles and gardens with enchanting tales to tell, Hadrians Wall guarding the Northern Roman frontier, endless stretches of stunning heritage coastline and lush, rolling countryside with impressive country houses and picturesque villages.
A beautiful region to visit and the contrast between the spectacular forest, quaint villages and sandy beaches combined with the wonderful included highlights make this a popular coach holiday destination.
We leave Kent and make our way north to the hotel, with comfort stops on the way, arriving in time to settle in before dinner is served in the evening.D
Today we follow the scenic heritage coastline. If the tide permits, we cross the narrow causeway to the peace and tranquillity of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, famous for both its medieval religious heritage and its picturesque 16th century Castle.
In the afternoon, we include entry to the imposing Bamburgh Castle which gives a taste of Northumberland's tremendous heritage of castles. Spanning nine acres of land, discover this iconic castle perched on its rocky plateau high above the sea reigning supremely over the surrounding landscape. With majestic views out to the Farne Islands and north to Lindisfarne, you can't fail to be impressed before you even get inside. The state rooms are filled with the finest porcelain, china, furniture and artworks. Blood thirst weapons glint from the walls and cases, hinting at the turmoil and sieges that have taken place here. An active archaeology dig also reveals the dark secrets of the Anglo-Saxons.
A day of wonderful scenery today as we head out on a leisurely drive into the dramatic Northumberland National Park. With its clear air, clean waters and dark skies, it is unsurprising that the park is officially the country's most tranquil location. Covering almost a quarter of the county, it is one of the least populated of the UK's national parks.
We include a visit in the afternoon to nearby Cragside House and Gardens, an impressive and extraordinary Victorian house, gardens and woodland. Enter the world of Lord Armstrong - Victorian inventor, innovator and landscape genius. Truly a wonder of its age, discover the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity and crammed full of ingenious gadgets, most of them still working. Also experience the magnificent gardens, lakes and unique Orchard House, which are set in over 900 acres. This is a National Trust property so a reduced price is available for any National Trust members.
Today we again travel north to spend a day in and around the famous medieval market town of Alnwick with included entry to resplendent Alnwick Castle, one of the UK's most significant heritage destinations plus The Alnwick Garden, the finest contemporary garden in the UK.
We first discover Alnwick Castle where you can explore this renowned castle. It combines magnificent medieval architecture with sumptuous Italianate State Rooms and is an important part of British heritage steeped in history and filled with tales of warfare, romance and chivalry. The second largest inhabited castle in England, it has been in the Percy family, Earls and Dukes of Northumberland, for over 700 years. More recently the castle found fame as "Hogwarts" in the Harry Potter films plus it was used in filming for a series of popular ITV drama Downton Abbey. The medieval castle in considered to be one of the finest in the country and has magnificent spacious grounds designed by Capability Brown, domineering medieval towers, a 14th century dungeon and beautiful staterooms with Italian Renaissance design.
Later on explore The Alnwick Garden with acres of fascinating plants, water sculptures, the infamous Poison Garden and one of the world's largest wooden treehouses. The spectacular 12-acre gardens are a modern creation, contemporary and exciting with a broad appeal. You can experience the vast Grand Cascade with its many weirs and fountains, the Ornamental Garden with more than 15,000 plants, the Rose Garden of walkways heavily scented with climbing and shrub roses, clematis and honeysuckle. There are also many secret gardens where you can sit amongst the pergolas, fruit trees and individual pools.
Today's full day visit takes us to Beamish: The Living Museum of the North. This world-famous open air museum is a truly unforgettable experience. Set in a picturesque valley in 300 acres of beautiful County Durham countryside, award-winning Beamish vividly recreates life as it was in the Great North in the early 1800's and 1900's. Unlike ordinary museums, Beamish displays its objects, machinery and furniture in realistic surroundings with trained staff in period costume ready to answer your questions. Visit Pockerley with its stunning manor house and railway, and take a tram ride through a real Edwardian market town with its beautifully rebuilt houses and shops. You can also visit Home Farm, wander around the Pit Village and even enjoy a ride on an old carousel.B, D
After breakfast, we leave the hotel and make the return homeward journey with suitable stops on the way.B
B=Breakfast Included, D =Dinner Included
5 nights dinner, bed & breakfast
3-course dinners with choice of menu
Tea/coffee after dinner
Full hot and cold breakfast
Porterage at the hotel
Bamburgh Castle with brief introductory talk
Holy Island (tide permitting)
Northumberland National Park
Cragside House & Gardens
Beamish Open Air Museum
Any optional excursions to be advised by your driver
Single room supplement
Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.
Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.
|Ashford|| Park Street Bus Stop A, Ashford |
|Canterbury|| St George's Lane, between bus station and Fenwicks |
|Deal|| South Street, Deal (surcharge applicable) |
|Dover|| Market Square, Dover |
|Faversham|| Railway Station, Faversham (surcharge applicable) |
|Folkestone|| Bus Station Bay D, Folkestone |
|Hawkinge|| Haven Drive, bus stop outside Lidl, Hawkinge |
|Herne Bay|| Bus garage High Street, Herne Bay |
|Hythe North Bound|| Red Lion Square next to pub, Hythe |
|M2 Medway North Bound|| M2 Medway Services, North Bound |
|Maidstone|| Bus stop outside Vinters Road Car Park, |
Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone
|Rainham|| Bus stop next to St Margaret's Church, Rainham |
|Sandgate|| Outside Royal Norfolk Pub, Sandgate |
|Sittingbourne|| Railway Station, Sittingbourne |
|Walmer|| Thompson Bell pub, Walmer (surcharge applicable) |
|Whitstable|| Bus layby outside Tesco Extra, Whitstable |
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