Scotland Borders and North England - 5 Day Tour
5 Day
Scotland Borders and North England

5 day Tour

Scotland Borders and North England

Embark on a captivating journey as we explore the enchanting landscapes of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders

Our tour to the Scotland Borders commences with a visit to Newcastle upon Tyne, a city brimming with historical treasures, including the iconic Tyne Bridge, the Discovery Museum, and the famous 'St James Park' football stadium.

As we venture further, the tour reveals the hidden gems of Holy Island, home to the Lindisfarne Priory and Lindisfarne Castle, offering a blend of tranquillity and breath-taking beauty. Bamburgh Castle stands as a testament to centuries of history and military significance, nestled atop a rocky crag overlooking the Northumbrian coast. Alnwick Castle invites us to delve into its 950 years of illustrious history, while Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum unveil the mysteries of the Roman era.

Our journey then transitions to the picturesque landscapes of the Lake District, encompassing the ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle, Kirkstone Pass, Windermere, and Hill Top.

Finally, we cross the border to explore the Scottish Borders, discovering the romantic allure of Gretna Green, the rich history of Hawick, and the historic legacy of Abbotsford House, once the home of Sir Walter Scott. Our grand adventure culminates in the vibrant city of Edinburgh, where ancient history and modernity harmoniously coexist in a rich tapestry of architecture, culture, and heritage.

Important information: Your preferred drop off and collection point will be agreed with your driver prior to the tour start date.

Tour includes

Price from: £475.00 per day

Tour vehicle

Private chauffeur guide

Free bottled water

Day 1

Newcastle upon Tyne, Holy Island,
Bamburgh Castle, Alnwick.

Day 2

Alnwick, Vindolanda,
Roman Army Museum, Keswick.

Day 3

Castlerigg Stone Circle, Kirkstone Pass,
Windermere, National Trust – Hill Top

Day 4

Scottish Borders, Gretna Green, Hawick,
Abbotsford The Home Of Sir Walter Scott, Scotts View

Day 5

Calton Hill, Edinburgh Castle,
St Giles’ Cathedral, Princes St.

Day 1

Exploring Northumberland’s Wonders

Prepare for an extraordinary adventure with our tour to Scotland Borders, which begins in the vibrant region of Northumberland.

Embark on a captivating journey as we explore the enchanting landscapes of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.

Newcastle upon Tyne

We’ll start by discovering the captivating attractions in Newcastle upon Tyne. This dynamic city boasts a rich history and offers visitors a chance to explore iconic landmarks.  Like, the Tyne Bridge, the Discovery Museum, and ‘St James Park,’ the renowned football ground.

Linking our journey to the picturesque landscapes, Newcastle upon Tyne proudly stands as a regional capital.  In fact, located on the north bank of the River Tyne, with seven picturesque city bridges. Among these, the most distinguished is the majestic arched suspension bridge, carrying the A1. In contrast, the Robert Stephenson’s high combined road and rail bridge, constructed in 1849, adds historical significance to the scenery.

Furthermore, between these two architectural marvels, an elegant swing bridge from 1876 elegantly pivots on a central point. The remaining bridges, all modern, include one accommodating the metro and an underground railway system, which commenced operations in 1980.

Our journey leads to Holy Island

An enchanting destination with cosy pubs, inviting cafés, coastal Lindisfarne Castle, and the ancient Lindisfarne Priory. Furthermore, visitors must note the safe crossing times as the island becomes inaccessible twice a day due to tides.

Continuing, it’s impossible to capture Holy Island’s enchantment in words. Crossing the causeway is a magical experience, offering breath-taking views and the sense of entering a hidden world.

To delve deeper into history, this sacred island was the residence of St. Cuthbert. Specifically known for his power of spiritual healing. Crossing the causeway, visitors encounter the 12th-century Lindisfarne Priory. Particularly known as the heart of Christianity in the Anglo-Saxon era and the home of St. Oswald. Unfortunately, it fell victim to Viking raiders in the 8th century. Furthermore, the haunting ruins include the famous ‘rainbow bridge,’ spiralling skywards as a reminder of a vanished tower.

Adding to the intrigue, perched on a rocky plateau overlooking the island, Lindisfarne Castle tells its own tale. Indeed, marked by its military significance. Starting around 1570, it served as a garrison for soldiers, tasked with maintaining weapons and keeping a vigilant watch on the horizon for potential threats. The remarkably preserved state of the castle when it was discovered in 1901 suggests that its military history was relatively peaceful. Today, the National Trust oversees the castle, allowing visitors to appreciate its remarkable architecture and sweeping sea views.

Moving forward, our journey leads to Bamburgh Castle

A historical gem dating back to ancient times, with its oldest surviving sections from the 12th century.

Atop the Northumbrian coast, Bamburgh Castle offers commanding views of Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands. Namely, legend has it that Sir Lancelot once held the castle. In fact, fell to artillery during Edward IV’s siege in 1464, marking the end of medieval chivalry.

The castle’s historical significance dates back to ancient times, perched on a 150-foot-high basalt crag.  And, strategically occupied before Roman arrival.  It has served as a royal palace, site of coronations, and endured Viking invasions. Furthermore, Norman occupation, and subsequent reconstruction, with the oldest surviving parts from Henry II’s time.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Bamburgh Castle fell into disuse. Consequently, acquired by the Bishop of Durham, Lord Crewe, in 1704. It was used to establish a charity, and significant portions were rebuilt and restored in the 1750s. Furthermore, In 1894, it was purchased by William Armstrong, leading to renovations merging medieval fortifications with Victorian opulence. Hence, the castle, featuring the King’s Hall and various museums, has played a role in television and film.

Now, shifting our focus to Alnwick, another facet of Northumberland’s rich history emerges.

Day 2

Alnwick Vindolanda, Roman Army Museum, Keswick

Next, our adventure continues Alnwick and Beyond...

Alnwick Castle

Next, our adventure continues with Alnwick Castle. Particularly a historic treasure boasting over 950 years of captivating history, intimately linked with the illustrious Percy family.

In fact, as the second-largest inhabited castle in the UK, Alnwick Castle has adapted to various roles. Especially, a military outpost to teaching college, a refuge for evacuees, and even a film set. Explore the castle’s evolving history through its centuries of existence.

Venturing further, our journey leads to Vindolanda, a Roman auxiliary fort south of Hadrian’s Wall in northern England. Furthermore, archaeological excavations reveal Roman occupation from 85 AD to 370 AD.  Such as, guarding the Stanegate, a vital Roman road stretching from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth. It’s located near the modern village of Bardon Mill in Northumberland.

Exploring the Roman Army Museum

The Roman Army Museum’s galleries unveil the Roman soldier’s story. Particularly, offering a comprehensive perspective of the empire and daily life on the frontier. These galleries showcase objects from Vindolanda’s collection and full-scale replicas.

In the Roman Army and its Empire gallery, you’ll explore the Roman Army’s structure and the empire’s expansion through audio-visual displays.

Our journey continues: Step into the recruitment tent, where Centurion Africanus aims to persuade you to join the Roman Army. Furthermore, in gallery two, visit the Hadrian room to delve into the life and conquests of the eponymous Roman emperor. Also, featuring commissioned artwork illustrating the construction of Hadrian’s Wall.

In gallery three, ‘Daily Life on the Frontier,’ you’ll discover the lives of those at the fort of Magna. covering aspects like training, religion, leisure, and insights into the fort’s Syrian archers.

Day 3

Lake District Wonders

Now, let’s embrace the serene beauty of Keswick as we transition to Day 3.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Our journey continues with a visit to Castlerigg, one of the most atmospherically situated British stone circles. -Set against the backdrop of panoramic views and the majestic Helvellyn and High Seat mountains, this stone circle holds a place among the earliest in Britain, dating back to around 3000 BC during the Neolithic period.

Kirkstone Pass

Near the summit of Kirkstone Pass, we find Kirkstone Quarry, a site where rock extraction and architectural stone production occurred at an altitude of over 500 meters. Additional facilities, including those for crafting bespoke items like work surfaces, head offices, and trade showrooms, were situated at Skelwith Bridge near Ambleside.

Diving into geological history: The primary materials extracted were green and blue-black slate, each with unique geological origins. The former consists of a composition of volcanic material deposited some 450 million years ago, found in relatively limited deposits within the Lake District. Intense compression led to its metamorphosis into a dense, highly durable rock with exceptional lateral strength. -In contrast, the latter, blue-black slate, took shape through more common geological processes, forming from densely compressed sedimentary material in the aftermath of the volcanic era, deep within the Earth’s rifts.


Our journey leads us to Windermere, a sizable lake nestled within the Lake District National Park in northwest England. Encircled by mountain peaks and picturesque villages, including Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere offers a diverse range of attractions. Notably, The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction showcases modern displays dedicated to the celebrated children’s writer. -For those seeking breathtaking views and natural beauty, trails lead to Orrest Head, a hill offering vistas across the lake and the surrounding fells. You can also explore Holehird Gardens, featuring alpines, heathers, and shrubs.

National Trust – Hill Top

Explore Hill Top, a 17th-century house situated in Near Sawrey near Hawkshead, in the English county of Cumbria. This remarkable house embodies Lakeland vernacular architecture, characterized by its random stone walls and slate roof. -It once served as the cherished residence of the renowned children’s author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter, who bequeathed it to the National Trust.

Day 4

Tour to Scotland borders

Now, let’s set our sights on Day 4 as we head to Scotland on the final leg of the tour to Scotland Borders.

Gretna Green

Our tour to Scotland Borders adventure commences in Gretna Green, a charming village in Dumfries and Galloway renowned as one of the most romantic places in Scotland and the UK.

A Historical Tale: In 1754, the enactment of Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act in England brought forth a new law that required young individuals to be over 21 years old to marry without their parents’ or guardians’ consent. Marriages were mandated to be public ceremonies in the couples’ parishes, presided over by an official of the Church. This law was stringently enforced and carried a severe penalty for clergymen who violated it.

Scottish Marriage Traditions: The Scots, however, maintained their centuries-old marriage customs, allowing anyone over the age of 15 to enter into marriage, provided they were not closely related and were not already in a relationship. -This unique marriage contract could be established anywhere, in private or public, in the presence of witnesses or in complete privacy.

Our journey proceeds to Hawick

The largest of the Border towns, Hawick boasts a rich history dating back to the 1100s. -Today, it stands as the primary center for industry in the Borders, particularly in the textile sector, renowned for its high-quality knitwear and cashmere.

Discover Hawick’s Attractions: Hawick Museum and Scott Gallery offer captivating insights into the town’s history and host visiting exhibitions. -For nature enthusiasts, Wilton Lodge Park, with over 107 acres of tree-lined walks along the banks of the River Teviot, provides an idyllic setting.

A Historic Festival: Hawick is celebrated for hosting the oldest of the Borders Common Riding festivals, an event that takes place early in the summer to commemorate a local youth’s courageous act of seizing the English flag from invaders at Hornshole in 1514. An equestrian statue on the High Street stands as a symbol of this festival. The town also embraces other events, including the Hawick Reivers Festival.

Abbotsford - The Home Of Sir Walter Scott

Our journey concludes with a visit to Abbotsford House, a grand residence built by the renowned author Sir Walter Scott in the Scottish Borders. Situated along the banks of the River Tweed, this historic property was purchased in 1811 and then transformed to suit Sir Walter Scott’s tastes.

Exploring Literary History

The rooms you’ll explore today remain virtually unchanged since Sir Walter Scott’s time, offering an intimate insight into the personality and interests of this literary giant. Unique collections within the house include items such as Rob Roy’s weapons, Napoleon’s case book, and a bullet and a piece of oatcake from the Culloden Battlefield.

A Glimpse into Scott’s World

As you venture through the Study, Library, Drawing Room, Entrance Hall, small Armoury, and the Dining Room where Sir Walter Scott spent his final moments, you’ll encounter paintings of several generations of the Scott family. While the last of his bloodline passed away in 2004, the Abbotsford Trust now oversees the care of this historic house.

Scott’s View

Continuing our journey, we arrive at Scott’s View, a picturesque viewpoint in the Scottish Borders, offering sweeping views of the River Tweed valley. It is reputed to be one of Sir Walter Scott’s favourite vistas.

Edinburgh - The Grand Finale

Our final destination on this remarkable journey is Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, where history and modernity intertwine in an enchanting tapestry.

Edinburgh’s Charm: Edinburgh is a city renowned for its rich history, characterized by the medieval Old Town and the elegant Georgian New Town, replete with gardens and neoclassical buildings. The city’s iconic landmark, Edinburgh Castle, looms majestically, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish rulers.

Natural Wonders: In the heart of the city, Arthur’s Seat, an imposing peak within Holyrood Park, offers panoramic views. Meanwhile, Calton Hill is adorned with monuments and memorials, adding to the city’s charm.

Day 5

Continue - Tour to Scotland borders

Now, let’s set our sights on Day 5 as we continue to Scotland on the final leg of the tour to Scotland Borders.

Calton Hill

Calton Hill is a vibrant mix of bustling commercial areas and serene residential streets. At its summit, you’ll discover the Collective contemporary art gallery and the unfinished National Monument. The top of Leith Walk boasts gay bars and casual eateries, while the Edinburgh Playhouse presents musicals and comedy. Broughton Street showcases local bakeries, cafes, and gift stores.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle, a world-renowned symbol of Scotland, dominates the city’s skyline and stands as a pivotal part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. This historic fortress has a multifaceted building history, including St. Margaret’s Chapel, the Great Hall, the Half Moon Battery, and the Scottish National War Memorial. The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th-century gun Mons Meg, the One o’ Clock Gun, and the National War Museum of Scotland.

St Giles’ Cathedral

Founded in 1124 by King David I, St Giles’ Cathedral has been a working church for nearly 900 years. With its backdrop of Scotland’s turbulent religious history, it has witnessed the seeds of civil conflict and served as John Knox’s parish church during the Reformation. The cathedral remains an essential centre for civic services, including the Kirking of the Parliament and services for the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle.

Princes Street

Princes Street, synonymous with Edinburgh, is a hub of architecture and history often overlooked by city residents. The street’s buildings, now largely listed, conceal architectural treasures within the modern stores.

A Historic Avenue: Princes Street is part of the New Town plan, designed by James Craig in 1767. Interestingly, the street’s name is derived from the sons of King George III, a residential avenue in the 1770s.

Preserving History: Many of the original houses still exist, though they are often hidden behind modern facades. Notably, among them is number 95 Princes Street. Interestingly, now Hector Russell’s kilt shop, a Georgian townhouse that retains its basic design from 1781, featuring three storeys and a sunken basement.

As our grand journey through Northumberland and the tour to Scotland Borders concludes, the memories and history we’ve encountered will forever resonate with our adventurous spirits.

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