Alnwick Castle

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With a history dating back 950 years to the Norman period, Alnwick Castle has been home to the Percy family for centuries. As the 2nd largest inhabited castle in the UK, Alnwick has served as a military outpost, a teaching college, a refuge for evacuees and a film set. It is currently home to the present Duke and Duchess of Northumberland who kindly open their doors to us, the public, to enjoy the many features and attractions it has to offer. These include themed events such as Medieval Life Week and daily activities including Historic Tours, State Room Tours and ‘On Location Tours’. It has become a very popular attraction for families and a must see when visiting Northumberland.

 

Bamburgh, ‘The King of Castles’

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A walk around the quaint village of Bamburgh to include the Grace Darling trail and/or its stunning beach which offers views of Lindisfarne Castle and the Farne Islands. The trail will lead to the majestic Bamburgh Castle which dominates the village, standing on a rocky plateau 45m above sea level. The earliest history of this great fortress dates back to the Iron Age from 700BC – AD43. It was bought and restored by the first Lord Armstrong in the 1890s and houses a museum of his work and creations with examples of shipbuilding and heavy engineering as well as a section on hydro-electric power for which his home in Cragside (see below) is famous.

 

Cragside House, Gardens and Estate

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Victorian home to the former Lord Armstrong, an eminent scientist and inventor. The house was the first in the world to be lit by hydro electricity and was built as a showpiece for many distinguished guests including royalty. The house was also used as a film location for the recently released blockbuster movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The surrounding Estate is owned by the National Trust and features some stunning walks amongst lakes, rocks and a fantastic display of rhododendrons. It also has a play area for children, labyrinth, cafe and shop. Voted one of the top 10 family days out in the UK by Guardian readers.

 

 

Holy Island of Lindisfarne + Castle Tour

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Cross the tidal causeway to visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and explore the history of St Aidan and St Cuthbert who brought Christianity to our great county through the Lindisfarne Gospels. The Priory (seen above) demonstrates the ancient tapestry where the monks used to preach the gospels: Not forgetting a visit to St Aidan’s Winery for tastings of the famous Lindisfarne Mead and Fudge.

NB: The newly renovated Lindisfarne Castle is now open to the public again and may be possible to visit as part of our tour.

Then we can journey to and explore at least one of the three following great castles in Northumberland.

  • Alnwick Castle – Home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and filming locations for Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and many more.
  • Bamburgh Castle – Perhaps the most impressive looking castle in Northumberland, perched 45m above sea level on a plateau of volcanic rock.
  • Dunstanburgh Castle – Once the largest fortress in Northumberland built as a strategic defence for the ongoing battle of the Scottish borders; it now lies in ruin on the cliffside of the coast stretching from Craster to Embleton.

 

Central Northumberland Historical/Sightseeing Trip

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Fancy history and sightseeing in one? Then this is the trip for you! Explore the rural market town of Alnwick containing history in abundance such as it’s famous castle owned by the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and Barter Books, a second hand book shop that was once a railway station. We will then journey down to the mesmerising coastline of Alnmouth Bay which has a stunning beach and estuary to explore. For lunch, we will visit the recently developed harbour town of Amble (the friendliest port), full of rich coastal food before ending the trip at the medieval castle you see above at Warkworth. The castle is situated along the  beautiful River Coquet where you can enjoy a pleasant walk or rowing if you prefer.

 

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