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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

Join a day trip from Edinburgh to the medieval kingdom of Northumbria in North-East England. Visit Lindisfarne, once the most important center of religious learning in the British Isles. Explore the market town of Alnwick and its castle where scenes from Harry Potter and Downton Abbey were filmed. Meet your guide, hop on a bus, and make your way to your first stop, Holy Island, connected to the mainland by a causeway that leads into the quaint island village of Lindisfarne. Soak in stunning views of Lindisfarne Castle dating back to 1550. Spend time wandering through the ruins of its Priory where the 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. Continue south passing Bamburgh, the 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 which was home to the Percy Family for over 700 years. If you decide to visit the castle, step into the unexpected in the 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, begin the drive north to cross the River Tweed and back into Scotland at the historic border town of Coldstream. If time permits, stop at Flodden Field, the scene of the infamous battle of 1513, which ended in victory for the English and the death of James IV, King of Scots.

Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

3. 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

4. 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.

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.

From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Day Tour

6. 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 Lake District: Roman Britain and Hadrian's Wall Tour

7. From Lake District: Roman Britain and Hadrian's Wall Tour

Hadrian’s Wall, the monumental defensive fortification built in 122 A. D. in order to safeguard the Roman Empire, is one of the most important historical sites in Britain. Led by an expert guide, discover an ancient land brimming with beauty, and learn about the history of Roman Britain in this full-day tour. Choose from a pickup point in Windermere, Bowness, or Ambleside and begin the drive through the heart of the lakes taking in the fabulous scenery whilst heading towards the Scottish borders.  Follow Hadrian’s Wall past Mile Castles and Towers finally reaching the Roman Army Museum. You will stop here for a spot of lunch and take a look around. Afterwards continue walking along the wall taking in the spectacular sites of Fell End, Sunny Rigg, Great Chester, and eventually Steel Rigg. Return to the Lakes via Alston, England’s highest market town. Stop for a and view the Cumbrian Mountains from Hartside Pass.

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What people are saying about Northumberland

I really enjoyed this tour. I visited a Hadrian's wall - a great experience. We could walk for a while next to the wall. I wish here more time because we didn't see an iconic tree (saw it just from far). Then we were in a fort Vindolanda. For me it was stunning moment. Very nice preserved Roman fort with a museum. During driving our tour guide talk about history, nature or culture. But I wish little bit more time just for me in a silence.

Our driver cum guide, Nestor, an enthusiastic biological scientist, kept us regaled throughout the day, informing us of a vast array of interesting aspects about Scotland, the sights we visited and kept all of us engaged with his interactivity, ready willingness to answer questions and quiz us on interesting facts.

Allen from Hear of Scotland Tours was Amazing. I would do this tour again. he was very Knowledgeable and Melrose Abbey was an extra bonus.

It was a great experience. Guide knew all the answers he was just great.

Good amount of time at each stop, Paul is very personable & fun