England: Castles and Houses of Northumberland2nd Jun 2024
A visit to the low lying coast and wide open spaces of Northumberland is always a treat but when it includes a host of historic houses and castles the pleasure is magnified greatly. Perhaps the most impressive of these is Bamburgh Castle, which sprawls over a rocky plateau on the coast, close to the Farne Islands. Late in its long life it was bought by the visionary inventor and philanthropist Lord Armstrong, whose innovative house at Cragside we will also visit.
Further highlights include a trip to the holy island of Lindisfarne and visits to both the castle and priory; a visit to Belsay Hall, built in 19th century Greek revival style from stone carved from its own quarry which was later transformed into a unique garden; and Wallington House, which dates back to 1688 and also boasts a fine garden. Then there is Alnwick Castle, which has been described as the ‘Windsor of the North’ and is the second largest inhabited castle in England. For once we will spend more time in the castle than in the neighbouring garden, but it would be remiss not to visit this most inspiring of projects.
departures:Select Your Departure Date
What to Expect
- Unique experience at Belsay Hall – visit the house then the garden built in the quarry that provided the stone for the house
- Bamburgh Castle, one of the most impressive fortresses in the land
- In the footsteps of Harry Potter at Alnwick Castle
- Remarkable innovations at Cragside
- The magnificent grounds of Wallington House
|London Kings Cross Station PLEASE NOTE THIS TIME IS A GUIDE ONLY.
|Newcastle Station PLEASE NOTE THIS TIME IS A GUIDE ONLY
** Please note that all timings are approximate and subject to change. Final timings and pick-up points will be confirmed with your joining instructions approximately 10 days prior to departure. **
Day by Day Itinerary
We depart by train on a morning service from London Kings Cross to Newcastle (please note connecting rail travel to Newcastle is available on request and there is a discount of £100pp for those making their own way to Newcastle).
On arrival at Newcastle Station we join our coach and depart for our first visit, the house and gardens of Belsay Hall, a classical brown stone mansion, built in the 19th Century in Greek revival style to the design of its owner, Sir Charles Monck. Inspired by a honeymoon trip to Athens, the unfurnished Pillar Hall is at the centre of the house, with closely spaced Ionic columns and a beautifully light atrium. Enjoying spectacular views of the magnolia terrace, the family bedrooms retain their original fireplace grates and floral wallpaper from the 1800s.
The hall was built from rock carved from Belsay’s very own quarry, which was later transformed into an exciting and dramatic garden – creepers twist up sheer rockfaces while rare trees grow in the meadows in the ravines.
We continue by coach to our comfortable hotel in Newcastle.