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Scottish Borders

Castle & palace tours

Our most recommended Scottish Borders 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 Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Day Tour

3. 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.

Edinburgh: Scottish Borders Tour from Scotland to England

4. 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

5. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Scottish Borders Castle & Palace Tours

What are other things to do than Castle & Palace Tours that are worth visiting in Scottish Borders?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Scottish Borders

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What people are saying about Scottish Borders

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 108 reviews

The tour was great. The guide was wonderful and friendly. She made sure to talk to each of us. She was also knowledgeable about each site and had great stories to tell. The time spent at each site was just the right amount of time, never felt like we were being rushed. We visited two castles, with other stops along the way. Plenty of breaks.

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