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Northumberland

Day trips

Our most recommended Northumberland Day Trips

Hadrian's Wall & Roman Britain 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh

1. Hadrian's Wall & Roman Britain 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Travel south from Edinburgh on the old Roman Dere Street that linked the supply ports in the south of England with the ancient city of York. Then go 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. Here you have time to take a short walk through the narrow streets that lead to the remains of the Augustinian Abbey, which has been a great symbol of power during its 900 year history. Continuing south you 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 2 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. Follow the road taking you along the south side of the wall, stopping at Steel Rigg where you come face-to-face with large sections of the wall’s remains. Take time to walk along the wall and experience the isolation that Roman foot soldiers would have experienced as they guarded their empire from the barbarians to the north. You continue your journey west along the wall towards the village of Lanercost, the western gateway to Hadrian’s Wall. After pausing for lunch you travel a short distance to Birdoswald, one of the best preserved of the 16 Roman forts along the length of Hadrian’s Wall. Enjoy time to explore this fascinating site and further sections of the wall before you turn north for the return journey. Traveling through the Galloway hills, stop in the Victorian spa town of Moffat before continuing through the Southern Uplands and Scottish Borders, and returning to Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: Holy Island, Alnwick Castle & Northumbria

2. From Edinburgh: Holy Island, Alnwick Castle & Northumbria

Take the scenic coastal route south into the Medieval Kingdom of Northumbria in North-East England; visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, once the most important center of religious learning in the British Isles. Explore the medieval market town of Alnwick and its stunning castle - where scenes from ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Downton Abbey’ were filmed. Our first stop is Holy Island, connected to the mainland by a causeway that leads into the quaint island village of Lindisfarne, where there are stunning views of Lindisfarne Castle* (dating back to 1550). Spend time wandering through the ruins of its Priory* where the magnificent Lindisfarne Gospels were produced, sample some of the world-famous Lindisfarne ‘Mead’ brewed by Monks on the island, and enjoy the tranquility for which the island is renowned. We continue south passing Bamburgh, ‘Ancient Capital of Northumbria,’ then on to the bustling market town of Alnwick, whose greatest building is the medieval Alnwick Castle*. Enjoy time in the town center or visit the castle complex where there is something for everyone. Home of the Percy Family for over 700 years, Alnwick Castle is considered one of the finest castles in England and is proudly known as “The Windsor of the North”. Visitors can step into the unexpected in the spectacular Alnwick Garden* with its Grand Cascade fountain and Poison Gardens. The castle grounds were also used in the TV series Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter films. In the mid-afternoon, we begin the drive north to cross the River Tweed and back into Scotland at the historic border town of Coldstream. If time permits during this journey there may be a stop at Flodden Field, one of the best-preserved battlefields in Northern Europe and scene of the infamous battle of 1513, which ended in victory for the English and the death of James IV, King of Scots.

From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour

3. 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

4. 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.

Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour

5. Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour

Visit intriguing Rosslyn Chapel, explore the town of Melrose, journey to the Scottish Borders, and see Hadrian’s Wall on this full-day tour from Edinburgh. Rosslyn Chapel has always been mysterious, and has achieved worldwide fame since the publication of The Da Vinci Code. This beautiful and highly ornate 15th-century chapel has long been the subject of speculation about its origins and the meanings of its famous stone carvings. Visit the charming town of Melrose for lunch, then cross the ancient Scotland/England border at Carter Bar. Follow in the footsteps of feuding clans and families, known as Border Reivers, who fought a series of violent raids here until the end of the 16th century. Then visit one of the world's most important Roman monuments: Hadrian’s Wall. Travel to Housesteads Fort (National Trust) in Northumberland National Park, the best preserved Roman fort along Hadrian’s Wall. Enjoy a free nature walk along one of the most dramatic and photographed stretches of the wall. Upon returning to Edinburgh, stop in the Border market town of Jedburgh to stretch your legs and take photos of the famous abbey.

Northumberland: Full-Day Tour of Vera Filming Locations

6. Northumberland: Full-Day Tour of Vera Filming Locations

Follow in the footsteps of Ann Cleeves’ no-nonsense Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope on this full-day guided tour of “Vera” film locations in Northumberland by coach. Get an insider perspective of ITV’s best-loved detective drama. Starting and ending in the center of Newcastle, visit coastal locations in Northumberland including Amble, Warkworth, Alnmouth, Bamburgh, and Lindisfarne Island (or Holy Island), the fictional home of Vera. See more than 15 actual locations from episodes all the way through ten years of "Vera." Enjoy time to get on and off the coach and see some locations up close with plenty of opportunities to take photos.

From Edinburg: Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle Day Tour

7. 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.

From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Day Tour

8. 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.

Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman Fort Entry Ticket

9. Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman Fort Entry Ticket

Rising over ridges and snaking through moorland, the 73 mile-long Hadrian's Wall is an incredible monument with incredible stories to tell. Go on a journey back to life on the frontier and into the Roman Empire's extraordinary tale of power and ambition. Start your Hadrian's Wall adventure at Birdoswald Roman Fort, where you can still see the remains of all of the Wall's defining features. Birdoswald Roman Fort is set on a spectacular ridge above the river Irthing, offering fabulous views down into the gorge below. To the east are the crags of the Whin Sill, where the remains of Hadrian's Wall can be seen tracing the contours of the dramatic landscape. Stand in awe of more than 1,800 years of history as the longest remaining stretch of the Wall spans as far as your eye can see, and explore the ruins of the Roman fort, a turret, and milecastle. Delve into the story of the most famous Roman frontier with the exhibition in the visitor center. Find out how the Wall was constructed, check out some Roman artifacts, and gaze through a periscope to take in the view from the original height of Hadrian's Wall.

Edinburgh: Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Tour in Spanish

10. Edinburgh: Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Tour in Spanish

The tour will depart at 08:45 from Edinburgh and return to the original departure point at approximately 20:00. You will leave Edinburgh to stop in the village of Roslin, where you will be able to see the ruins of its castle and the famous Rosslyn Chapel, a Gothic structure built during the 15th century that maintains its mysterious attraction. It is well-known all over the world for the connections established by Dan Brown with Masonic and Templar theories.                                                                                                                     Later on, you will cross the green fields of the Lowlands, and reach Jedburgh, a small town in the border between England and Scotland. After crossing the border, you will go through the Northumberland National Park, one of the most important national parks in England, where you will visit the main attraction of your journey: Hadrian's Wall. This structure, a UNESCO World Heritage, is one of the most impressive Roman works of engineering. It splits the island in two parts, and it was the empire's northern frontier. You will also visit the military camp of Vindolanda. After this main visit, see the charming village of Gretna Green, one of the world’s most popular wedding destinations, where you will be able to rest and enjoy its wonderful environment before your way back to Edinburgh.

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Frequently asked questions about Northumberland Day Trips

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What people are saying about Northumberland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 246 reviews

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.

Such an amazing tour! Eric is an incredible tour guide - very professional and an excellent storyteller. He gave us the perfect amount of time at each stop and was very kind. 5/5 stars!

It was great the places were lovely and the guide Paul was amazing he did the travel so funny. Very recomendable for Harry Potter fans and for people who likes the castles in general.

Very interesting tour and lots of fun! Our guide Nik was great and gave us tons of interesting details! Very informative!

Loved our guide, Sinclair. Really fun and so knowledgeable! Good day was had by all five of us.