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Gems of Northumbria

Gems of Northumbria

Enjoy visits to the Northumbrian Castles & Gardens on this 5 day tour of the North East

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Enjoy visits to the Northumbrian Castles & Gardens on this 5 day tour of the North East

Beamish Living Museum

Beamish is a world famous open air museum telling the story of the people of North East England at two important points in their history - 1825 and 1913. In 1825, the region was rural and thinly populated. The Industrial Revolution, particularly the coming of the railways, accelerated change. By 1913 the heavy industries of the region were at their peak. Beamish stands in 300 acres of beautiful County Durham countryside, eight miles south west of Newcastle upon Tyne, twelve miles north west of Durham city. It is not a traditional museum. Most of the houses, shops and other buildings have been dismantled, brought to Beamish and rebuilt there. Some - Home Farm, Pockerley Manor and the Drift Mine - were there already. All of the buildings are filled with furniture, machinery and objects, real artefacts from designated collections. What sets Beamish apart from glass case museums is that the story is told not by labels but by costumed staff who are proud of their heritage and happy to share their knowledge with visitors.

Alnwick

The beautiful, historic market town of Alnwick (pronounced like 'panic') has quickly become one of the country's top tourist destinations. Located just 5 miles from Northumberland's heritage coastline and roughly in the centre of the County, equidistant from Berwick and Newcastle, it makes a great base from which to explore. The town has a population of just under 10,000 and with it's old buildings and cobbled streets has recently had the honour of being voted the best place to live in the UK. The town's history is evident everywhere you look, it dates back to 600AD and has thrived ever since.

Alnwick Garden

The Alnwick Garden is one of the world’s most ambitious new gardens. The Duchess of Northumberland’s vision for a forgotten plot is now a truly 21st century experience full of imagination, inspiration and fun. Designed by Jacques and Peter Wirtz, The Garden is a wonderful combination of spaces, themes, quirkiness and play. From the tranquility of the Cherry Orchard, the excitement of the Grand Cascade and the mysteries of the Bamboo Labyrinth, to the Serpent Garden’s spell-binding water sculptures, the intrigue of the Poison Garden and one of the world’s largest tree houses – there is plenty to surprise and delight. The Garden is a space designed to be enjoyed by all your senses, with a collection of over 4,000 plant varieties to discover, thousands of seasonal blooms and countless opportunities to get wet in The Garden’s water sculptures.

Holy Island

Situated off the Northumberland coast, Holy Island (Lindisfarne) is linked to the mainland by a causeway which is covered by the tide twice a day. In 635AD Saint Aidan came from Iona and chose to found his monastery on the island. From here the Christian message flourished throughout the world and Lindisfarne is possibly the holiest site of Anglo-Saxon England. Although the Priory is now in ruins, it is impressive how much of the building stands today and the rooms of the priory can still be easily identified. The rainbow arch is one of the most incredible features of the Priory and amazingly has survived despite the tower above it collapsing over 200 years ago.

Bamburgh Castle

Situated 150 feet above magnificent Bamburgh Beach, the magnificent Bamburgh Castle is England's finest coastal fortress. Explore the extraordinary grounds and staterooms which cover nine, glorious acres of the UK’s best-loved coastline. Whether it’s the thrill of seeing the coast open out beneath you, with sweeping views towards the Farne Islands, Holy Island and Bamburgh village from this extraordinary viewpoint, or its treasure filled staterooms, including the castle’s centrepiece – The King’s Hall, discover a fortress like no other at Bamburgh Castle. Follow in the footsteps of Uhtred into the real Last Kingdom of Bebbanburg, an Anglo-Saxon citadel where saint kings ruled the Kingdom of Northumbria. Discover a Norman stronghold, Royal seat and the first castle in the world to fall to gunpowder. Bamburgh Castle remains the private, family seat of the Armstrong family to this day and has starred in countless films and small screen productions.

Cragside

This pioneering home is filled with Victorian gadgets for efficient and modern living. With man-made lakes, foaming waterfalls, and swathes of rhododendron, this 1000-acre fantasy mountain landscape was envisioned by inventor and arms manufacturer Lord William Armstrong, with his wife Lady Margaret Armstrong charged with leading its creation.

Take a stroll through the winding path in the Pinetum and marvel at the collection of non-native coniferous trees, planted especially for their scale and size - home to some of the tallest of their kind in the UK. You can enjoy a burn-side walk and hear the peaceful sound of the water burbling and birds tweeting in nearby trees before climbing the stone steps through the Rock Garden

Durham

Explore the timeless quality of this quintessential old English University City with its winding cobbled streets and a prominent peninsula. Take some time out with a relaxing riverside walk or river cruise, or soak up the atmosphere with superb cafés, artisan workshops, boutiques, galleries and museums.

Day 1

A morning departure from Penrith for the journey via Scotch Corner to Beamish, where we spend the afternoon at the Living Museum of the North. The Beamish Museum is set within 300 acres of beautiful County Durham countryside and tells the story of life in North East England during the 1820’s, 1900’s and 1940’s. Visit a 1940’s farm, pop into the Colliery and Pit Village in the early 1900’s and take unlimited free rides on the Beamish tram. We leave late afternoon for the journey into Newcastle and our 4 night stay at the Riverside Copthorne Hotel.

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Day 2

Today we take the road north, past Blyth and Ashington, to Amble and then Warkworth on our way to the Medieval market town of Alnwick which still retains many of its cobbled streets, narrow alleys and fine stone buildings. Time at leisure for lunch before our afternoon visit to the beautifully landscaped Alnwick Garden with its Grand Cascade of 120 water jets, sculptures, the infamous Poison Garden and one of the largest tree houses in the world. Dinner at the hotel.

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Day 3

After a leisurely breakfast we take a drive along the scenic north east heritage coastline and cross the tidal causeway to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, home to Lindisfarne Castle. We have time at leisure to explore and enjoy lunch before we visit Bamburgh Castle, one of the most impressive looking castles in England. It is visible for many miles and from its battlements offers views of Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island, the Farne Islands and the Cheviot Hills. It was the Royal Seat of the Kings of Northumbria and holds a treasure trove collection of unique pieces which tell the story of Bamburgh's many reincarnations over the centuries. Dinner on our return to the hotel.

B, D

Day 4

Our first visit today is to the magnificent Cragside House & Gardens, former home of the famous inventor, Lord Armstrong. In 1878, Cragside was the first house in the world to be lit by hydro]electricity and it is crammed full of ingenious gadgets - most of them still working - as well as an eclectic collection of British art, furniture, ceramics and natural history. Outside the house, one of the largest rock gardens in Europe leads down to the Iron Bridge, which in turn leads to the lovely formal gardens. Our afternoon visit is to the market town of Morpeth, enjoy a walk along the riverside or a spot of retail therapy in its many independent shops.

B, D

Day 5

A final breakfast in the hotel, we then head to the ancient and historic City of Durham, acclaimed as a World Heritage Site and dominated by the magnificent Norman cathedral and castle, high above the River Wear. Time at leisure and to obtain lunch before we leave late afternoon for the journey back to Cumbria.

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B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

Copthorne Hotel Newcastle ****

Located overlooking the River Tyne, the contemporary Copthorne Newcastle has 156 ensuite bedrooms that all boast wonderful river views from large bay windows. River View Restaurant, bar and an outside terrace that makes the most of the riverside location. Lift.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

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Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
High Hesket Palmerstons Furniture Store
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Bus Stop Tangier Street Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
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01 Aug 2022 £455.00 Loading
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