Highlights

  • Cross the border into Scotland
  • Take the Pilgrim Route to Holy Island
  • View the puffins and seals of Farne Island archipelago
  • Visit Alnwick Castle 'Hogwarts' in Harry Potter
  • Enjoy fine dining in a treehouse

England's far north is a place of wild beauty where the warmth of the people contrasts with the sweeping and sometimes harsh splendour of the landscape.

Our journey in this rugged land takes us along spectacular coasts and over the sea to island nature sanctuaries thronging with seabirds. We walk over the border for a foray into Scotland and walk the 1,400-year-old Pilgrim Way to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, where the famous illustrated Gospels honouring St Cuthbert were written.

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, star of many films and still home to the Percys today.

Sunday Overnight: Marshall Meadows Hotel

We rendezvous at Berwick Railway Station for a short transfer to Marshall Meadows, an impressive Georgian country house and England's most northerly hotel. We learn to play croquet or try archery on the lawns before our Welcome Talk and Dinner.

Monday Overnight: Marshall Meadows Hotel

We walk from our hotel along the Berwickshire Coastal Path to cross the border into Scotland. Our route hugs the spectacular coastline with secluded coves and hidden harbours lined with stacks of lobster pots. We lunch at the famous Eyemouth Golf Club with its panoramic views. After lunch we pass the surfer's paradise at Coldingham Bay and end our day's walk at the picturesque fishing village of St Abbs.

Tuesday Overnight: Waren House Hotel

We begin our walk on the Elizabethan ramparts of the border town of Berwick. A short transfer takes us over the Pilgrim Way (subject to tides) to arrive on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and walk in the footsteps of St Aidan and St Cuthbert honoured by the famous Lindisfarne Gospels. We explore the island, visit the remains of the Abbey and sip the famous mead.

Wednesday Overnight: Doxford Hall Hotel

Our morning walk is along one of Britain's best beaches followed by lunch in the charming village of Bamburgh Castle. In the afternoon, we take a boat trip to the Farne Islands, an archipelago of international significance for breeding and migrating birds. We land at Inner Farne to meet the National Trust Warden for a talk and short walk on the island. Puffins or 'Tommy Noddies' as they are known locally are abundant as well as grey seals.

Thursday Overnight: The White Swan Hotel Alnwick

This morning we join St Oswald's Way, passing the desolate, romantic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. We lunch on fresh seafood at a fishermen's inn before heading inland to the magnificent Alnwick Castle, one of Europe's largest inhabited castles and stronghold of the powerful Percy family since 1309. We view the spectacular new gardens, including the infamous Poison Garden of deadly plants. Once home to Shakespeare's hero Harry Hotspur, the castle featured as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films and in the 2014 Downton Abbey Christmas Special.

Friday Overnight: The White Swan Hotel Alnwick

A short transfer takes us to the market town of Rothbury, the capital of Coquetdale, where we hike the rugged Cheviot Hills to the Sacred Mountain of Simonside. (The easier option is to spend longer in Rothbury and Cragside House for those who wish.) We head down for lunch and walk on the estate of Cragside House, the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. We return to Alnwick for our farewell dinner in the unique Tree House Restaurant in the grounds of Alnwick Castle.

Saturday

The Wayfarers will transfer you to Alnmouth Railway Station for departure and onward connections.
Easy-Moderate
From my first childhood visits, the Ancient Kingdom of Northumbria has always been a magical and mystical landscape of castles, abbeys and viking raids each with its own story to tell. Alan Pinkney, Walk Leader
Terrain: Gentle coastal paths, beaches, woodlands, well-defined moorland paths, modest hills. 5-10 miles walking per day

TRIP DETAILS

6 nights, 7 days from
$4,395.00
per person, double occupancy
(Single Supplement $565.00)
Our Wayfarers friends Price is $4,175.00

Dates

From Jun 26 to Jul 2 (more dates)
Request booking
Arrival: Berwick Rail Station
Departure: Alnmouth Rail Station

Activities

Walk Classic
Northumbria June 2016 Map

Hotels - Where we stay

Marshall Meadows Hotel

Marshall Meadows Hotel

Set amid 15 acres of grounds sloping gently towards rugged sandstone cliffs, the Marshall Meadows Hotel was originally built in 1780 as a rich merchants country retreat. The house became a hotel in 1969 and ever since then it has been providing warm hospitality on the English/Scottish border. All rooms have their own private shower, bath, toilet, television and tea and coffee making facilities. Wi-Fi is available in every bedroom. Meals are served in the oak-panelled Borders Restaurant and the Residents Lounge with its 12-feet high ceiling has a collection of local books for guests to peruse. The hotel bar with its log fire has a fine collection of Scottish malt whiskies and is an ideal place to swap travellers tales after a day spent hiking the moors.

Waren House Hotel

Waren House Hotel

Set in landscaped grounds, this elegant Georgian house, once owned by the third Lord Derwentwater, has been extended to provide a variety of comfortable accommodations. The romantic Grays Restaurant has won awards for its cuisine, using locally sourced ingredients, most of which are obtained from local suppliers within a forty-mile radius as well as from the hotels own garden. There are thirteen guest bedrooms at Waren House Hotel - decorated in a variety of individual styles. All are en-suite, some with walk-in showers and some with baths. All rooms have a flat-screen television with Freeview, a hairdryer, adjustable heating and tea and coffee-making facilities. Some rooms have Wi-Fi, which is available in all the hotels communal areas.

Doxford Hall Hotel

Doxford Hall Hotel

Doxford Hall was converted into a hotel in 2008 and, today, an impressive grand staircase, hand-picked pieces of furniture, beautiful woodwork and local paintings adorn the interior, while guests experience fine dining in the elegant George Runciman restaurant. Set in a manicured private estate complete with a yew tree maze and surrounded by magnificent Northumbrian countryside, each luxurious and fully equipped bedroom in this beautiful 200-year-old country house hotel is named after a Northumbrian castle or notable local character from history. Bedrooms are beautifully furnished with ensuite facilities and including hairdryer and internet access. Guests are welcome to use the extensive leisure facilities including a swimming pool, two spa baths, sauna, steam room and fitness suite.

The White Swan Hotel Alnwick

The White Swan Hotel Alnwick

The White Swan is a charming 300-year-old coaching inn providing superb accommodation in the heart of historic Alnwick. The sumptuous Olympic Dining Suite features the magnificent panelling, mirrors, and stained glass windows from the Titanics sister ship where the head chef and his team put together seasonally changing menus using fresh local produce. All bedrooms have television with satellite channels, phone, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer, work desk with WiFi internet connection, iron and ironing board.

Start planning your trip

What Is Included in the Price of My Vacation

  • Full-time services of two staff - a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
  • A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
  • Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
  • Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, culture, peoples, flora and fauna
  • Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
  • All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
  • Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
  • First-class accommodations with cultural and historical interest
  • All meals - with choices - (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
  • Wine with dinner
  • On-trail snacks and refreshments
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants