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Northumberland

Castle & palace tours

Our most recommended Northumberland Castle & Palace Tours

From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour

1. From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour

Explore the borderlands of Scotland and England during this full-day tour from Edinburgh. Stop at the charming town of Kelso, where you can explore this handsome town and what is thought to be Scotland’s largest market square. You also see the ruins of Kelso Abbey, a reminder of the many ancient conflicts between Scotland and England. Cross the border and travel to thousand-year-old Alnwick Castle, one of the great castles of Northumberland. 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 around 3 hours at Alnwick, travel north along the stunning Northumberland Coast. You stop on your way back to Edinburgh at one of the beautiful historic villages or castles that pepper the rolling landscapes of Southern Scotland.

Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

2. Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

On this 9.5-hour excursion from Edinburgh you’ll visit the picturesque town of Coldsream and the inspiring Bamburgh Castle. But it’s Alnwick Castle that’s the main destination of the day. It’s been a key filming location for Harry Potter and Downton Abbey and is a historic location in its own right. You will leave Edinburgh in the morning and head east to the Scottish Borders. Enjoy the views of gently rolling hills and dramatic coastlines along the way.  The first stop is the beautiful coastal town of Bamburgh. Take a stroll to the stunning beach and view the picturesque 5th-century Bamburgh Castle sitting on a natural throne of volcanic dolerite. In the afternoon you’ll visit Alnwick Castle. Admire the large stately rooms and the stunning architecture or learn a little about all the popular films and TV shows filmed at the site, including Harry Potter. After spending time in Alnwick, you will return over the border and into Scotland.  The final stop is Coldstream's border town, which lies on the north side of the River Tweed. Hear about the turbulent past of this charming town before your journey ends in Edinburgh in the early evening.

From Edinburg: Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle Day Tour

3. From Edinburg: Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle Day Tour

Follow the sweeping coastline of the North Sea on a scenic drive towards the historic border town of Berwick-on-Tweed. Cross the ancient Scotland/England border into Northumberland and visit Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, a tidal island settled by Irish monks from Scotland circa AD 635. From here the Christian message spread throughout the north of England. In 793 a fierce Viking invasion heralded the beginning of the Viking Age. Take a short walk through an area of outstanding natural beauty to 16th century Lindisfarne Castle, and visit the Priory where the Lindisfarne Gospels were created and enjoy the spectacular views of Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands. You may also wish to buy some delicious souvenir Lindisfarne Mead from St Aidan’s Winery. Arrive back at Alnwick Castle at lunchtime after a short drive. This magical place (the 'Windsor of the North') is one of Europe’s finest castles and has been at the center of key historical events – from bloodthirsty battles between the Scots and the English to the intrigues of the Guy Fawkes plot. Alnwick Castle's sumptuous setting and exquisite architecture has famously been used as a film location for ‘Downton Abbey’, 'Harry Potter' (Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry), 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves', 'Elizabeth' and 'Blackadder'. Enjoy ‘Harry Spotter Tours’ and revisit some of your favorite scenes. Go with costumed guides on a historical and magical tour. Be sure to check the events board on entry to make the most of your time. With fun and interactive activities for children, you'll have 2.5 hours to fully appreciate and enjoy the castle. The tour returns north via the beautiful Border country and, subject to timing, may also visit the East Lothian coast to the south of Edinburgh.

Northumberland: Private Bamburgh and Lindisfarne Guided Tour

4. Northumberland: Private Bamburgh and Lindisfarne Guided Tour

Visit Bamburgh, a town in the heart of Northumberland. See the famous Bamburgh Castle, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, and visit St. Aiden's Church.  Start your day with a pickup from your hotel or meet your guide at the meeting point, depending on which option you choose. Listen as your guide explains the history of this fortress town and the neighboring island. Then, enjoy a guided tour around Bamburgh Castle, which has stood guard above the spectacular Northumberland coastline for over 1,400 years. Stroll through one of the largest inhabited castles in the country, known as the king of castles. The first castle in the world to fall to gunpowder in the War of the Roses.  Next, head to Lindisfarne, famous for both the Lindisfarne Gospels and being one of the first locations in the United Kingdom to be attacked by the Vikings. Known as the cradle of English Christianity, recognizing the monastery's importance in the Dark Ages.  Afterward, enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant in Bamburgh.

From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Day Tour

5. From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Day Tour

Your full-day tour begins in Edinburgh and continues further south through the Scottish Borders, where you’ll stop at Melrose Abbey. This is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful ruins in Europe. The heart of Robert the Bruce is said to be buried at the Abbey, which is also the final resting place of a number of other Scottish Kings. From here it's on to England, where you'll have lots of time to explore the tour’s main attraction, Alnwick Castle. Alnwick is the 2nd-largest inhabited castle in England, having been lived in for over 700 years. It’s filled with fascinating things to see and mysteries to uncover. You may recognize it as a location from some of the Harry Potter films.

From Edinburgh: The Best of Northern England 5-Day Tour

6. From Edinburgh: The Best of Northern England 5-Day Tour

Spend 5 glorious days exploring the very best of northern England on this exciting multi-day tour. Discover the beautiful East Lothian coastline and the amazing Alnwick Castle, spend some time in the city of York, and explore nature in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Visit the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones, travel to the shores of Ullswater,, said to be England's most beautiful lake and much more along the way. Day 1 Your tour starts with a beautiful drive down the magnificent East Lothian coastline as you travel towards the walled border town of Berwick Upon Tweed. After stopping to admire the fortifications, continue to Alnwick Castle, whose magnificent interior and gardens have appeared in many films and television programs. Leaving Alnwick behind, travel towards the City of York on the Great North Road, and arrive in York in the late afternoon. [Overnight in York.] Day 2 This leisurely day 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 before traveling to the North Sea coast of Yorkshire. Your journey begins in the late morning when you 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. After lunch and free time in Whitby, travel to the fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay*, a perfectly preserved conservation village of winding lanes and narrow alleys before returning to York. [Overnight in York. * The mini coach 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 center. Day 3 Head west in the morning 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 rich cultural heritage. Continuing West, your route takes us through the Northern Dales, a beautiful area of natural beauty that is the center of the Dales cattle trade. Throughout the day, you will have the opportunity to taste the flavors of Yorkshire when you visit the town of Masham, home to two of Yorkshire's best-known breweries, and the cheese-making center in historic Hawes. The final leg of the journey takes you high up into the remote hill 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. [Overnight in Keswick.] [**During July this tour may stay in Windermere instead.] Day 4 After breakfast, 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. Then travel on to the shores of Ullswater, described as England’s most beautiful lake, for a forest walk to see the mighty Aira Force waterfall. Continuing south over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass, stop at Lake Windermere for a leisurely cruise on the lake or simply eat lunch while enjoying views of the mountains and lakes. After lunch, travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water, arriving at the picturesque conservation village of Hawkeshead. After exploring the village, take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, and enjoy some free time to visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage or to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. Return to Keswick In the late afternoon. [Overnight in Keswick.] Day 5 Leaving the Lakes behind, start your climb towards Hartside Pass, at over 1900 feet above sea level, with the hills and mountains of Scotland and the English Lake District easily visible on a clear day. Follow the route of the old sheep drovers road between England and Scotland, stopping at Hadrian's Wall along the way, and crossing the border into Scotland and towards the town of Jedburgh for refreshments by the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey. The final stop of the tour 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.

From Newcastle: Bamburgh Castle & Anglo-Saxon Kings Tour

7. From Newcastle: Bamburgh Castle & Anglo-Saxon Kings Tour

Journey back in time on this private trip from Newcastle. Explore Bamburgh Castle with a guide, visit Ad Gefrin, the first whiskey distillery in England, and learn about the ancient Kings of Northumbria at the Anglo-Saxon Museum. Leave Newcastle and head out into Northumbria. First, visit Ad Gefrin, and learn about the early process of distilling whiskey. Next, explore the Anglo-Saxon Museum. Learn about Northumbria's history as a powerful kingdom in the British Isles and hear stories of its cunning and ferocious kings. Next, travel to Bamburgh to visit St. Aidan’s Church and Bamburgh Castle. Explore these ancient sites before returning to your accommodation at the end of the day.

Edinburgh: Scottish Borders Tour from Scotland to England

8. Edinburgh: Scottish Borders Tour from Scotland to England

Begin the tour by visiting the Rosslyn Chapel, which dates back to the 14th Century and was made famous by the Da Vinci Code. After a brief drive, arrive in the beautiful countryside of the Scottish Borders. Next on the agenda is Melrose Abbey. Have the opportunity to visit this magnificent ruin. The heart of Robert the Bruce one of the most famous Scots is also buried here. Then, give your senses an overload and take in one of the most magnificent views in Scotland at Scott's View. You may choose to have a dram or two to honor Sir Walter Scott as you take in the view. Floors Castle is next on the itinerary, the largest inhabited castle in Scotland and the family home of the Duke of Roxburghe. Built for the first Duke of Roxburghe in 1721, what you see is an evolving story of a house and gardens and outstanding views. Later, head to Abbotsford House, home to the literary genius Sir Walter Scott. Today, the house serves as a museum and monument to its famous occupant.

Berwick: Anglo-Scottish Wars and Norham Castle Guided Tour

9. Berwick: Anglo-Scottish Wars and Norham Castle Guided Tour

England and Scotland have a bloody history of warfare, conflict, and battles! This warfare exists right back into the early medieval period when the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, the Scots and the Picts duelled it out to see who would rule in Northern Britain. Following the Norman conquest, the thrones of England and Scotland continued to battle to decide where the border would finally be set. During this tour we will explore the English and Scottish borders, travelling to Carham, an Anglo-Saxon battle site where the Border moved from Lothian to the river Tweed. From there we will move on to Norham Castle – one of the most fought over Castles in the region. After Norham Castle we will head to Berwick for lunch. Berwick itself was a fortress city with an incredibly bloody and contested history and its impressive walls are still visible and able to be walked upon today. Finally, we finish the tour by heading to Flodden Battlefield – one of the greatest victories that the English had over the Scots and the largest battle between the two nations.

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What people are saying about Northumberland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 334 reviews

Our 5-day tour of northern England was wonderful, with guide Adam driving us through thoughtfully-selected historical sites and charming villages, with two days passing leisurely along backroads through the glorious pastoral landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lakes District. This inspiring tour of rural beauty exceeded expectations.

Great excursion - our guide Andrew was a walking history encyclopedia (former history teacher). A very nice person and very easy-going…. Have learned a lot. Alnick- castle was fabulous - fun & interesting film tour with Brad…. For Fulmfreunde of Harry Potter, Downtown Abbey, etc. a MUST tour highly recommended

Our tour was with Ally and Stuart. Ally is amazing, his vast knowledge off history, being a great dj as well and his funny jokes made it an experience to never forget!! Stuart will be a great guide as well. Thanks so much for a wonderful day, definitely recommend to book.

The tour was very enjoyable. Well organized in time, it allowed us to visit Alnwick for a long time, which deserves a lot both for the castle and for the gardens, and to enjoy Bamburgh. Our guide Carrie was nice and spoke quite understandable English.

conor was such a nice guide, i was able to see some pretty amazing castle and im really happy with my choice of tour