7-Night Northumberland Discovery Tour

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England.
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Discovery Tours
from £959pp £889pp

Northumberland has a great variety of scenic landscapes. On the coast you’ll find charming fishing villages and dramatic sandy bays. Head inland to historic battle sites and open moorland. Castles at Bamburgh and Warkworth – one of the largest, most impressive fortresses in northern England – and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall give a glimpse into the area’s history. The magnificent mansion house of Wallington and the peaceful Island of Lindisfarne offer calmer, more reflective destinations.

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore the mightly Bamburgh Castle
  • Journey to the Isle of Lindisfarne like the pilgrims of old
  • Witness the might of the Roman Empire at Hadrian's Wall
  • Discover Warkworth Castle, one of the strongest and most impressive fortresses in the North

What’s included

  • High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
  • The services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
  • Full-day excursions with all transport on touring days in a good-quality, comfortable mini-coach
  • Admission cost for Heatherslaw Railway

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


For many today will be the highlight of the trip. At low tide, we cross the narrow causeway to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne where the main attraction is the remains of the Norman Priory. The island was one of the most important centres for early Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England; it was from here that the religion spread out across the world. Following our visit, we continue on to the villages of Ford and Etal, two of the prettiest in Northumberland, before ending the day at the 16th century Flodden Battlefield. It was here that soldiers from all over England and Scotland faced each other and fought a bloody battle which cost the lives of over 14,000 men in just a few hours. Among those to die was King James IV of Scotland – the last monarch to die in battle in the British Isles. A series of information boards on the Flodden Battlefield Trail tell the story of the two armies meeting in combat which helps visitors to visualise events as they unfolded on that fateful day in 1513. Please note that the order of this day may be reversed due to Holy Island tide times. 


Explore the beautiful area of the Cheviot Hills with a walk through Ingram Valley. After passing through the traditional market town of Rothbury, our afternoon will be spent at Cragside. This magnificent estate is the former home of the inventor and industrialist Lord William Armstrong and is famous for being the first house in the world to be lit by hydraulic electricity. The house contains a wealth of gadgets which were ahead of their time including fire alarm buttons, telephones, a lift and Turkish bath suite. The house is surrounded by splendid gardens and woods and has over 30 miles of footpaths and lakeside walks. There are five lakes, a large rock garden and around seven million trees and shrubs including some made into a rhododendron maze.


A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.


Transport yourself back 2,000 years with our visit to the World Heritage site of Hadrian's Wall. After Corbridge, we travel past Housesteads fort to Cawfields where we take a short walk along a dramatic section of the wall. We visit Chesters, a former Roman Cavalry fort, before ending the day at Hexham with its magnificent abbey.


Experience the border history of the area with our visits to Preston Tower, a 14th-century tower house, and Bamburgh Castle, one of the finest in England. There are fantastic views from the battlements across to the Farne Islands. We end the day at Craster, where a walk along the seashore towards Dunstanburgh Castle should not be missed.


A short drive takes us to the attractive village of Warkworth where we can visit Warkworth Castle, with its links to the Percy family, Harry Hotspur, and William Shakespeare. In the afternoon we visit the beautiful estate of Wallington. This great house was home to many generations of the Blackett and Trevelyan families who all left their mark. 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Nether Grange

Sitting pretty in the centre of the quiet harbour village of Alnmouth, Nether Grange stands in an area rich in natural beauty and historic gravitas. There are moving views of the dramatic North Sea coastline from the house too. This one-time 18th century granary was first converted into a large family home for the High Sheriff of Northumberland in the 19th century and then reimagined as a characterful hikers’ hotel. Many of the 36 bedrooms look out across the sea, while a large lounge, conservatory and adjoining bar are there to entertain you. Easily accessible from the house are the coast path while inland lies the Northumberland National Park. North are the Farne Islands and their spectacular seabird colonies and close by is Lindisfarne and its romantic castle accessible at low-tide via an ancient pilgrim’s path. Nearby too is the medieval market town of Alnwick and its eponymous castle, as well as the atmospheric ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, perched on a grassy peninsula to the south of Embbelton Bay. Best of all though is Bamburgh Castle, built to resemble a magnificent medieval fortress but actually an impressive Victorian folly.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the house’s smartly presented rooms up an impressive sweeping staircase. Full of warm tones or coastal colours and comfy touches they’re a great base for exploring the area. With 36 bedrooms, Nether Grange has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good and Better Rooms to choose from.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, multi-purpose activity room, lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day walking on the coast, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the elevated terrace gardens with a cooling drink and a cracking sea view or challenge a fellow guest to a game of croquet or giant chess, backed by views of the beach and sea beyond. The spick and span sky-blue painted bar with its mismatched blue and stripy seats boasts all the requisite cosiness and British bonhomie, plus a selection of local beers and your favourite tipple. Settle in.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Nether Grange is hearty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the light-filled dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of local flavours.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10673_0024 - Nether Grange - Chess

Getting to Nether Grange

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.

All of our Discovery tours involve active sightseeing and you should, therefore, be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing. You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, a camera, sun protection, and drinks (at least 2 litres) during the day.

Admission costs are not included within the price of this holiday. Please bring cash to cover admissions - approximately £10 per day. Your Leader will advise you of the daily admission costs throughout the holiday.

Alan Appleton

Alan decided to pursue his interest in local history by becoming a City Guide in Newcastle upon Tyne. After a further intensive training course Alan qualified to become a Blue Badge Guide for North East England, and enjoys showing visitors around the area.

As a member of the National Trust and English Heritage he is able to pursue his interest in historic buildings, castles and stately homes. Alan enjoys travelling both home and abroad, and is an ardent supporter of Newcastle United.

He loves the North Yorkshire Moors and Scotland (in particular Glen Coe) very well, having stayed in the areas on numerous occasions.

Alan was very knowledgeable about the area and the various places we visited. An excellent leader who very much added to the enjoyment of the holiday.

Chrissie Le Marchant

Chrissie grew up in Yorkshire and spent her early years exploring the North York Moors. Having obtained a degree in Geology and Geography, she spent the next few years working for an international mining company, prospecting in the West Country and gold mining in Africa, driving home overland from Johannesburg via India.

She spent the next few years raising children and working for two National Parks, Snowdonia and Dartmoor. After training as a teacher of design technology she returned to civil engineering building roads. Eventually she became a Blue Badge Tourist Guide and has worked in the West Country and southern England and all over Europe as a guide and tour manager.

As a ‘Deviationist’ on the Ffestiniog Railway she drove trains, tipped wagons and appeared on Blue Peter and has been leading railway holidays for several years.

Chrissie was superb and made the week memorable. She was super and very knowledgeable about everything.

Walter Willcox

Walter is a retired University History lecturer, qualified as a Blue Badge guide in 2008, and has been an HF leader since 2010. He was born in Herefordshire, grew up in Kent and read Modern and Mediaeval History at St. Andrews University. He came to work in the North East of England in 1969 and has lived in the area ever since. As well as his guiding work he currently continues his association with Newcastle and Northumbria Universities as a role player, consultant, and interviewer in the Medical and Law Departments. Walter is married with one son and four grandchildren.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
21 May - 28 May
7 Discovery Tour £959 £889 Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
11 Jun - 18 Jun
7 Discovery Tour £959 £889 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
Duration:
7 nights
Interests:
Discovery Tours

7 nights from £959pp £889pp

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