Your holiday itinerary:
Monday: Leaving Essex, we travel northwards along the Great North Road. With suitable stops along the way and a view of the Angel of the North, we arrive at our hotel with plenty of time to settle in before dinner.
Tuesday: Today we visit Alnwick Garden & Alnwick Castle. Created by the Duchess of Northumberland, Alnwick Garden is a unique, contemporary garden in the heart of Northumberland featuring Europe’s largest wooden treehouse, a Bamboo Labyrinth, Poison Garden and Rose Garden as well as interactive water features and stunning ornamental garden. Dubbed the Windsor of the north, Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in the country and has been home to the Dukes of Northumberland, the Percy family for over 700 years. The castle’s rich history is brimming with drama, intrigue, and extraordinary people, from the gunpowder plot to decadent hosts and medieval England’s most celebrated knight, Harry Hotspur. In recent years the castle has also featured in several film and television productions, featuring as the magnificent Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey, a setting for the Blackadder series, and as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.
Wednesday: After breakfast we travel along George Wade’s ‘Military Road’ tracing the path of Hadrian’s Wall to Chesters Roman Fort, where we include admission. Part of Hadrian’s Wall, Chesters is the best-preserved Roman cavalry fort in Britain. Wander around the unusually well-preserved baths and steam rooms and the officers’ quarters. Discover an amazing collection of Roman artefacts discovered in Victorian times. On then to the picturesque market town of Hexham. Clustered around the Abbey, one of the earliest seats of Christianity in England, Hexham is also home to the oldest purpose-built prison in the country, and has an excellent range of independent shops to explore.
Thursday: Our excursion today takes us to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. This place of worship, tranquillity and breath-taking beauty was home to St. Adian, St. Cuthbert and St. Oswald and became one of the most important centres of early English Christianity, noted for the Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the most beautiful and intricate manuscripts ever produced. Leaving Holy Island early afternoon to miss the incoming tide we return to our hotel along the heritage coast with brief stops in Bamburgh with stunning views of the castle and the little fishing village of Seahouses with views out to the Farne Islands.
Friday: After breakfast we begin our journey home, with suitable stops along the way we hope to be back in Essex late afternoon.
Located just to the north of Newcastle, the 4-star Holiday Inn, Newcastle Gosforth Park is set in 18 acres of grounds and is an ideal place from which to explore Northumberland. All the bedrooms are en-suite and offer flat screen TV, hairdryer, tea/coffee making facilities and complimentary WiFi. The hotel boasts a Fitness and Spa complex with an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room and spa bath. The hotel has a lift
Please read the itinerary carefully before deciding if this tour will be suitable for you:
1) Single Supplement – £136pp (max 5)
2) Sensible footwear and clothing are advised for the visits to Alnwick Garden and Chesters Fort.
3) Due to the historical nature of Alnwick Castle and its grounds, disabled access is limited in some areas. Also, the grounds of the castle include a variety of surfaces including cobblestones, flagstones, grass, gravel and wood. Some of these surfaces can be slippery when wet and can be uneven and steep in places. There are also a number of steps in places.
4) There is a walk from Alnwick Gardens to the Castle and back again.
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