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Northumberland Coast and Castles

United Kingdom - Trip code NTH Discovery
Days 6
Deposit From £77
Price from £770
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

Discover stunning countryside, unspoilt beaches, hidden gardens and fascinating cultural heritage in the welcoming county of Northumberland. Centre-based in the port town of Amble we explore some of the highlights of this friendly region from imposing castles guarding the dramatic coastline, ancient religious sites and Roman sites along Hadrian's Wall.

  • Ancient Castles - Bamburgh, Alnwick and the ruins of Dunstanburgh
  • Hadrian's Wall - Housesteads Fort, Vindolanda Settlement and walk along the wall
  • Holy Island - Lindisfarne Castle and Priory
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 5

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader / Driver

    Driver(s)

  • Transport

    Bus

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    Accommodation

    5 nights comfortable hotel

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    Trip pace:

    Moderate

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    Group Size:

    10 - 16

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in Amble

Arrive in friendly Amble, a waterfront port town that hugs the River Coquet estuary at the southern entrance to the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Check in is possible from 3pm. There is a car park for hotel guests. If arriving by train, Alnmouth Station is about 5 miles away by taxi.

The Tour Leader plans to meet you in reception at 6pm for the introductory briefing, followed by the option to enjoy a group meal (not included) to get acquainted with your fellow guests.

NB - Please note that during covid restrictions it is advisable to pre-book entrance tickets for most suggested site visits on this trip. Go to the optional activities listed in the trip information section for more details on pre-booking the visit (with timings and prices).

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Bamburgh Castle, RNLI Grace Darling Museum, Craster and Dunstanburgh Castle

We start the day with a drive (45min) to visit Bamburgh Castle (included). The castle's impressive ramparts are best appreciated from the beach so we plan a short walk up the coast and along the vast sandy beach. This vast Norman stronghold has stood guard over the spectacular Northumberland coastline for over 1,400 years. A short walk and we visit the RNLI Museum of Grace Darling, the Victorian Heroine who risked her life to rescue survivors of a wrecked ship in a storm back in 1838.

In the afternoon, we drive back down the coast with a stop at the beautiful fishing village of Craster - famed for its Kippers that are still smoked in the village today. A scenic walk along the coast for about a mile leads us to the magnificent ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle (English Heritage, entrance not included) standing proudly on a remote headland.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Alnwick Castle, Alnwick Gardens and Hulne Park

Today we drive a short distance to the market and castled town of Alnwick - a cultural highlight that is pretty hard to beat! The town is surrounded by a wall dating back to the 14th century and is overlooked by the imposing Alnwick Castle, home of the current Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. The castle and its remarkable gardens have been featured in many film and TV productions. You will have time to explore the Castle and the adjacent Walled Gardens and famous Treehouse. If time allows there is a lovely walk into Hulne Park, a former hunting park for the Duke of Northumberland, now open to the public. Entrance into Alnwick Castle and Gardens is included.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - The UNESCO Site of Hadrians Wall, Housesteads and Vindolanda

We drive (1.5hrs) inland today to Hadrian's Wall at The Sill Visitor Centre. This is one of the best preserved sections of the wall that is great to see up close on a 4-mile walk alongside the Wall passing Sycamore Gap to Housesteads Roman Hill Fort (National Trust, entrance not included). The wide-open spaces and stunning views looking north will give you an insight into how it would have been for a Roman Centurion to be posted here nearly two millennia ago. Alternatively, there is the option to travel in our bus. After time for an optional visit to Housesteads Fort, we drive the short distance to the ruins of the Roman archaeological site of Vindolanda, a Roman auxiliary fort just south of the Wall that originally pre-dated it. Around 25% of Vindolanda has been excavated and archaeologists are still hard at work here and it may be possible to learn about that process and any recent finds. Entrance into Vindolanda is included.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Holy Island of Lindisfarne & Berwick Ramparts

On our final excursion, we drive to the historic and religious Island of Lindisfarne. We plan to drive across the causeway but for those who are feeling energetic and if the tides allow, you can walk over the sands from the mainland following the route of St Aiden who walked this route to found the Priory in 635AD. Once on the island you have the option to visit the Priory (English Heritage, entrance not included), Lindisfarne Castle (National Trust, entrance not included) and you can visit the Lindisfarne Mead Shop to sample the local meads. Later in the day we will head further north to the once feudal town of Berwick upon Tweed which has changed hands from English to Scottish ownership no less than 11 times. We plan to take a walk along the tops of the walled Ramparts and, time permitting, you have the option to visit the Barracks before driving (1hr) back to our hotel.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 6 - Trip ends in Amble

The tour ends this morning after breakfast. You may choose to explore more of the local area under your own steam. We can suggest a self-guided short walk to Warkworth Castle and The Hermitage or a boat trip to Coquet Island - an RSPB seabird sanctuary a mile off the coast - home to 90% of the UK's rare roseate tern population. Puffins arrive in their thousands to breed each spring, staying until mid to late July.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information

United Kingdom

Climate

The UK has a temperate but very variable climate. In general the summers are warm with July and August being the warmest. The winters are cool and the lowest temperatures are recorded during January and February. Whatever the season it is advisable to be prepared for rain!

Time difference to GMT

0

Plugs

3 Pin Flat

Religion

Christian

Language

English

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


We recommend visits to the following sites. It is worth considering becoming a member of English Heritage and the National Trust. During Covid restrictions, both members and non-members are required to pre-book a visit to English Heritage and National Trust sites. We advise that you visit the website for each attraction for the latest visitor information related to Covid restrictions and your visit. Estimated costs are provided below and the recommended time slot that you should book for those sites where applicable.

Dunstanburgh Castle - 2pm - (English Heritage) - £5.90
Housesteads Roman Hill Fort - 11am - (National Trust) - £9
Lindisfarne Castle - 11am - (National Trust) - £9
Lindisfarne Priory - 12noon - (English Heritage) - £7.90
Berwick Barracks - ask Tour Leader on tour - (English Heritage) - £5.90

Clothing

A warm jacket or fleece and long trousers are advisable, especially in early and late season when the weather tends to be cooler. Come prepared for all weather - rain jacket, fleece, warm layers, hat, gloves as well T-shirts, sunhat, good sun cream and sunglasses. Northumberland enjoys more sunshine and less rain than the UK average.

Footwear

Comfortable footwear for walking around the sites, castles and gardens and for relaxing in the evening. The walk along Hadrian's Wall is around 4 miles and can be on some uneven terrain so you should have appropriate footwear for that walk (possible to opt out).

Luggage

20Kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a daypack for personal items.

Equipment

Bring a day pack and a water bottle. Tap water is fine to drink. We encourage our clients not to buy mineral water because of the negative environmental impact with plastic bottles.

Tipping

Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Explore Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in tourism. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a tip for the driver if applicable.

United Kingdom

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£10
Dinner price
£18
Beer price
£4
Water price
£0.8
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Pounds Sterling.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Carry a combination of UK Sterling cash, ATM and credit cards.
Where To Exchange
Your tour leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
ATM's are widely available in main towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Widely accepted.
Travellers Cheques
Can be exchanged at most banks and post offices.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus

Accommodation notes

The Amble Inn is located about half a mile from the centre of Amble. It has comfortable en-suite rooms, a bar/lounge and free parking and Wi-Fi for guests.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

UK: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Ability to swim

No

United Kingdom

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.

Additional Information

Dates, prices and booking

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
Sun 11 Apr 2021 - Fri 16 Apr 2021
NTH_2021
£770
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+£220

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sun 9 May 2021 - Fri 14 May 2021
NTH_2021
£770
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+£220

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sun 6 Jun 2021 - Fri 11 Jun 2021
NTH_2021 5 spaces available
£770
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+£220
NTH_2021 5 spaces available

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sun 19 Sep 2021 - Fri 24 Sep 2021
NTH_2021
£770
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+£220

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sun 3 Oct 2021 - Fri 8 Oct 2021
NTH_2021
£770
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+£220

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sun 24 Oct 2021 - Fri 29 Oct 2021
NTH_2021
£770
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+£220

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 

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