August 12th 2015

The ancient kingdom of Northumbria still echoes with the thunder of history. The wild beauty of remote beaches and rugged landscapes is dotted with scarred remains of ruined castles and a sense of timelessness. 'From my first childhood visits, Northumbria has always been a magical and mystical landscape of castles, abbeys and viking raids each with its own story to tell,' says our Walk Leader Alan Pinkney. Today the people of the modern county of Northumberland are known for their warm welcomes – and unmistakeable accents reflecting the fact that the Northumbrian dialect is a direct descendant of the Anglian speech that was widely spoken throughout most of central and northern Britain in the centuries following the decline of Roman rule. Our Walk takes us over the modern border into Scotland, hugging the spectacular coastline of secluded coves and hidden harbors. The Northumbrians even have their own tartan: the dark greys, blues, greens or browns of 'Border Drab' a perfect camouflage for stalking game. being piped in holy islnd copy We hike along the 1,400-year-old Pilgrim Way to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. Northumbria during its "golden age" was the most important centre of religious learning and arts in the British Isles and the famous illustrated Gospels honoring St Cuthbert were written there. Our boat trip to the Farne Islands, a world-renowned haven for breeding and migrating birds, is a rare treat. Thousands of puffins , or 'Tommy Noddies' as the locals call them, nest there in networks of burrows and grey seals swim in the sea or bask on the beaches. puffin copy For 700 years the history of Northumbria has been bound up with the Percy family, and we delve into their fascinating history at magnificent Alnwick Castle, still the family seat. The castle is a movie star in its own right, as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves and in TV’s Downton Abbey. The Alnwick Garden is a newly restored contemporary masterpiece, flourishing from the Duchess of Northumberland’s vision. What more can we tell you? We explore the Elizabethan ramparts of the old border town of Berwick; lunch on fresh-caught seafood at a fisherman’s inn; hike the rugged Cheviot hills to a sacred mountain – and much more besides. Watch this short video and see how much fun we had, then step over to our website to see the full itinerary of our Walk in Northumbria. northumbria video

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