Northumberland Discovery Tour

Northumberland & Hadrian’s Wall

Code: ALHCR

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Hills & moorland
  • History
From £355.00 - 3 to 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the  countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.

Northumberland has a great variety of scenic landscapes. On the coast you'll find charming fishing villages and dramatic sweeping sandy bays, while head inland to historic battle sites and open moorland with superb views.

Holiday highlights:

  • Bamburgh Castle with its fascinating Grace Darling Museum
  • The Isle of Lindisfarne, cut off from the mainland twice a day by the tide
  • The World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall, including the fort at Chesters
  • Warkworth Castle, one of the largest, strongest and most impressive fortresses in northern England
  • The magnificent mansion house of Wallington with its fine interiors and collections, and extensive gardens

Great reasons to join us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus five full-day mini-coach tours, with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 1½ miles
  • Knowledgeable leader: learn more about the history and landscapes of Northumberland from your knowlegeable leader
  • Accommodation: excellent coastal location with magnificent sea views, and an emphasis on local food
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - explore together, eat together and relax together

Accommodation

4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodation

Nether Grange occupies a wonderful seaside location in the historic village of Alnmouth. With both historic character and modern facilities, it is a wonderful base for a relaxing holiday.

 

Bedrooms

Nether Grange has 35 bedrooms, a number of which enjoy views across the golf links to the sea.

Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.

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Facilities

All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

Nether Grange makes good use of its excellent seaside location, with a large lounge and attractive dining room with sea views. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms.  There is also a range of board games and books.

Outdoors is an attractive elevated terrace and croquet lawn which enjoys superb views over the golf links to the sea.

The conservatory is adjacent to the bar and houses the Dandelion Café during the day. There is also a ballroom on the lower floor. This flexible space can be used for dancing, evening talks or as a light and airy painting studio. 

The Dandelion Café serves a range of coffee and speciality leaf teas, plus snacks and sandwiches. It is also licensed, serving beer, spirits, and a variety of wines from around the world. It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am – 5pm. Everyone welcome.

 

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Food

All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Evening

Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on Northumberland's rich wildlife from a local speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.

Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

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Accessibility

Due to the age and the layout of the house, Nether Grange is not recommended for wheelchair users or guests with restricted mobility.

Although one bedroom has wheelchair access, the access to the main house has some steps and the public rooms in the main building are over 2 floors with no lift available.

Arrival & car parking facilities

  • Parking is available in the streets surrounding Nether Grange
  • A paved footpath from the main gate to the front door has 4 steps (3.6ft high in total)
  • Steel handrail to the left
  • Assistance with luggage can be provided 

Main entrance & reception

  • The front door has 2 steps (1ft 4'' high in total) and leads to the entrance hall, which is 2 metres x 6.2m
  • The door is 73cm wide 

Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc

  • The main building has 4 floors
  • On the lower ground floor, there is a conservatory (laminated floor), a bar (carpet), a ballroom (laminated floor), a library (carpet) and public toilets (safety flooring)
  • On the ground floor, there is another lounge, an internet room, an entrance hall, a dining room and a lobby, all carpeted
  • 20 steps from the lower ground floor to ground floor, with further 24 steps to the first floor
  • The width of the main staircase is 4ft 6”, the step height is 6” and depth 12”
  • Wooden stair rail on both sides of the staircase
  • An alternative staircase from ground to first floor has 22 steps in total, with 3 rest landings (3 flights of stairs)
  • From first to the second floor, there are 2 flights of stairs, 7 and 11 steps with one rest landing. The width of the staircase is 3ft 7”, the step height is 6 inches and the depth 11”
  • Short pile carpet throughout the stairs, landings and corridors 

Public areas – lounges, bar and ballroom

  • The lounge is 6.6m x 10.6m. Level access. Furniture consists of coffee tables, sofas, chairs (both with or without arms)
  • The door width is 93cm.
  • The bar is 3.30m x 8.55m sofas, coffee tables, stools and chairs with arms.
  • Conservatory is 5.1m x 13.6m with, movable wicker furniture. A small water feature
  • The ballroom is 5.1m x 13.6m. Accessed from the bar via 4 steps (60cm high in total)
  • Movable chairs along the walls
  • The library and games room is 4.7m x 6.8m 

Public WCs

  • The toilets are available on the lower ground floor
  • Toilet height 40cm, door width 75cm
  • The flooring is non-slip and there is good colour contrast 

Dining room & bar

  • The dining room is on the ground floor and has level access.
  • Table height is 72cm, underspace of 65cm high x 150cm wide
  • Tables have legs in each corner. Furniture is easily movable
  • Breakfast service is self service cold buffet with assistance available, if required. Table service for hot meals & drinks
  • Dinner service is waitress service 

Bedrooms

Room 4

  • This is the room best suited for anyone requiring wheelchair access. The en-suite room is located on the ground floor of The Towers
  • The room size is 3.4m x 4.96m. Door width 87cm. Twin beds, 51cm high
  • The en-suite bathroom is 1.3m x 2.4m. Bathroom door is 96cm wide
  • Toilet height is 42cm, the wash basin 79cm high. There is a pullcord light which can be reached from any height. Support rails by the toilet
  • The shower tray is 2.4m long and there is a shower chair attached to the wall. One step of 12cm in height to enter the shower. Safety flooring 

Other Bedrooms

  • There is another twin room (5) on the ground floor of The Towers, but the bathroom is not as suitable for anyone with restricted mobility as in room 4
  • The rest of the bedrooms are on the first and second floor of the main House.
  • All bedrooms are carpeted
  • The rooms are a mixture of single and twin rooms, the majority of the rooms are en-suite, some are with wash basin only with public facilities available nearby
  • Most of the rooms have en-suite bathrooms. These are a mixture of showers and baths
  • Most bathrooms have safety floor, a few have vinyl flooring, carpet or tiled floor 

Additional information

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
  • Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
  • Information can be provided in large print
  • Staff have received disability awareness training
  • Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
  • Fridge for medication can be supplied

Itinerary

Friday: Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.

Saturday: Along the Northumberland Coast

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. 

Sunday: Cheviot Hills and Cragside

Explore the beautiful area of the Cheviot Hills with a walk in Ingram Valley. After Rothbury our afternoon will be spent at Cragside (NT). This magnificent estate is the former home of Lord William Armstrong, and is famous for being the first house in the world to be lit by hydraulic power.

Monday: Free day

A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. The magnificent castle and gardens at Alnwick Castle would make a spectacular day out.

Tuesday: Hadrian's Wall and Hexham

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 (EH), a former Roman Cavalry fort, before ending the day at Hexham with its magnificent abbey.

Wednesday: Lindisfarne and Border Country

For many today will be the highlight of the week. We cross the causeway to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne where the main attraction is the remains of the Norman Priory (EH). From there we visit Ford and Etal, two of the prettiest villages in Northumberland, before ending the day at the historic Flodden Battlefield.

Thursday: Warkworth and Wallington

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

Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast

For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; please remember to bring your National Trust or English Heritage cards if you have them. If you visited every attraction and don't have any membership/discount cards you may need to bring up to £80 for entrances. This would be the maximum required and there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price.

Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

Local area

Nether Grange sits right at the heart of the historic coastal village of Alnmouth. Located right on the North Sea coast there is a sweeping sandy beach and a small tidal harbour. Facilities include a handful of small shops, pubs and cafés.

A wider range of facilities, including shops, supermarkets, banks and chemists can be found in Alnwick, the nearest town. Alnwick is about four miles inland and is connected to Alnmouth by regular buses.

During your visit to the Nether Grange you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:

Alnwick Castle & gardens
The huge Alnwick Castle is a big attraction in its own right and has gained a younger audience since being used as ‘Hogwarts Castle’ in the Harry Potter films. The gardens have undergone extensive rebuilding and are now the main draw for many visitors. Alnwick is just 10 to 15 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the hourly X18 bus. www.alnwickcastle.com or www.alnwickgarden.com

Farne Islands
Take a boat trip (weather permitting) from Seahouses to the Farne Islands; one of the best places in Britain to view seals and puffins. Seahouses is around 45 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 501 bus. www.farne-islands.com

Bamburgh Castle
Owned by the Armstrong family since the 1750s, Bamburgh Castle occupies a splendid position above the sweeping sands of the North Sea coast. Bamburgh is 35 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 501 local bus which runs every other hour. www.bamburghcastle.com

Warkworth Castle
Warkworth Castle, a few miles to the south of Alnmouth, towers over a bend in the River Coquet and the picturesque town of Warkworth. Warkworth is just 10 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 518 bus. www.english-heritage.org.uk/warkworth-castle

Lindisfarne
English Christianity was born in 7th century  Northumberland and Lindisfarne Priory, is its oldest major site, dating from 635AD.  It is located on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, cut off by the tides twice a day (make sure that you check the tide times before you visit). The Heritage Centre tells the stories of St Aidan, St Cuthbert and St Bede and displays the 8th century Lindisfarne Gospels in electronic form. Linisfarne is just under an hour's drive from Alnmouth. www.english-heritage.org.uk/lindisfarne-priory

Cragside House
Built by Victorian industrial magnate William Armstrong, Cragside House was hugely innovative and was the first house in Britain to be lit by electric light. Now managed by the National Trust, the house and gardens are a fascinating visit. Cragside is around 40 minutes' drive from Alnmouth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside

Newcastle-upon-Tyne
The vibrant city of Newcastle is always bustling with activity and is famed for its shopping and lively nightlife. The new Baltic arts centre and Sage Gallery are well worth a visit. Newcastle is just under an hour's drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached by hourly local bus.

Seaton Delaval Hall
Seaton Delaval Hall is a fine stately home, designed by John Vambrugh and completed in 1728. Following an extensive fundraising appeal it has recently been purchased by the National Trust. The hall is around 40 minutes' drive from Alnmouth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/seaton-delaval-hall

Hadrian’s Wall
Around 1½ hours drive from Nether Grange, Hadrian’s Wall remains a powerful symbol of the Roman Empire. The most dramatic section is from Once Brewed to Housteads Roman Fort and a walk here enables you to see some of the best preserved sections at close quarters. Two museums of note are the Roman Army Museum near Walltown you can gain an insight into the daily lives of Roman soldiers, and Vindolanda Roman Fort with its collection of rare Roman artefacts. www.visithadrianswall.co.uk

Alnmouth Village Golf Club
This links course if located right in front of Nether Grange. www.alnmouthvillagegolfclub.co.uk

Barter Books has been dubbed the British Library of secondhand bookshops and is located in a handsome old Victorian railway station in Alnwick.

Travel

Nether Grange, Alnmouth, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 2RZ

By train: The nearest railway station is Alnmouth. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

By taxi: The 1 mile journey from Alnmouth railway station takes approximately 5 minutes. Taxis cost approx £4 per 4 seat taxi. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Nether Grange Manager.

By car: Take the A1 to Alnwick. Exit on the A1068 heading towards Alnwick. At the roundabout turn right (not well signed) and follow the A1068 towards Alnmouth. After 2¾ miles go straight ahead at the first roundabout then left at the second roundabout onto the B1338. As you approach Alnmouth cross the bridge, then turn right at the roundabout into the centre of the village. Turn left into Pease’s Lane. Nether Grange is on the left, look out for our sign.  Please note that Nether Grange does not have a car park. There is free parking available on the streets around Nether Grange.

To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info

Leaders

Kate Walton

Kate Walton has been a professional Blue Badge guide since 2003. She delights in sharing her knowledge of this wonderful region with visitors from this country and abroad. Given the rich heritage of North East England there are many special places to share, but of particular interest to her are Hadrian's Wall, Durham city and cathedral, Christian heritage and Holy Island, and the many castles and stately homes which abound in the region. When Kate is not guiding she volunteers as a steward and guide at Durham Cathedral and enjoys gardening.

Walter Willcox

Walter Willcox is a Blue Badge Guide, based in the North of England. He qualified after retiring as a university lecturer in history.  He also taught general arts courses with the Open University, from its beginnings in 1971 until 2010. He has a tremendous enthusiasm for the rich cultural heritage in the North of England, and a great love of the beautiful remote countryside of the region.  Over the past forty years he has lived in several parts of Northumberland and Cumbria, including the Lake District, Hadrian’s Wall and the North Pennines. Walter takes great pleasure in sharing his knowledge of the area with visitors.

 

Alan Appleton

Alan decided to follow up 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.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
18 Jul 2016, 7:17 p.m.

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Generally telephone service is good and friendly - but not always.

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Nether Grange was excellent and so was the programme, especially our leader.
18 Jul 2016, 9:55 a.m.

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Good holiday

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Good holiday
10 May 2016, 9:16 a.m.

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No review provided

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I thought the holiday we chose was too rushed and the leader gave us too much information about the sites we visited and the minibus was very cramped and old.
2 May 2016, 4:35 p.m.

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See below.

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They are always good. I will leave a few comments on the holiday survey.
2 May 2016, 10:40 a.m.

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No review provided

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There was a problem with presentation and service of food due to the distance of the dining room from the kitchen. It was not possible to wait for all at the table to be served before eating otherwise those served first would have had cold food. There would have been less food wastage if guests were able to help themselves to vegetables rather than have food served already plated. To finish an evening meal just before 9pm was too late. It would have been nice to know that there were actually alternatives to the menu provided - to provide a starter of pumpkin soup/Greek salad/ or feta cheese salad is not really a choice.
2 May 2016, 8:11 a.m.

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Thank you

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Thank you
2 May 2016, 7:04 a.m.

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Request for special room was arranged, I keep coming back, because I love (the setting of) Nether Grange

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There was a lot to see. But I thought the itinary was to tight. Places you were rushed in (and would have gladly stayed longer) and out to go to things of less interest.
There is a lot of extra costs (entry)
20 Sep 2015, 8:13 p.m.

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Food very good, management of the house goo. Had. A very many happy holidays with H.F

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Very good holiday in Northumberland with excellent leader. Room very good also on suit very good and clean but fault was that I had to go down 9 steps to get to it which was not good in the middle of the night .
10 Sep 2015, 6:39 a.m.

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Friday-to-Friday holidays is causing problems - for younger leaders who work - for younger guests taking time off from work - and for many of us travelling long distances. The new evening programming is uninspiring - the fun seems to have vanished!
2 Sep 2015, 12:24 p.m.

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Staff always helpful

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Excellent friendly staff who did there best for guests
Thank you for your feedback following your holiday in Alnmouth, Northumberland. It really is a beautiful place. We're glad you enjoyed your HF Holidays experience, until next time.

HF Holidays Ltd.

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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
1 Jul 2017 ALHCR - Discovery Tour - Alnmouth 7 £855.00 £830.00 Special Early Booking offer - £25.00 off pp Book Now
1 Jul 2017 ALHCR - Discovery Tour - Alnmouth 4 £505.00 £505.00 Book Now
5 Jul 2017 ALHCR - Discovery Tour - Alnmouth 3 £365.00 £365.00 Book Now
5 Aug 2017 ALHCR - Discovery Tour - Alnmouth 7 £855.00 £830.00 Special Early Booking offer - £25.00 off pp Book Now
5 Aug 2017 ALHCR - Discovery Tour - Alnmouth 4 £505.00 £505.00 Book Now
9 Aug 2017 ALHCR - Discovery Tour - Alnmouth 3 £365.00 £365.00 Book Now
30 Sep 2017 ALHCR - Discovery Tour - Alnmouth 4 £465.00 £465.00 Book Now
30 Sep 2017 ALHCR - Discovery Tour - Alnmouth 7 £805.00 £780.00 Special Early Booking offer - £25.00 off pp Book Now
4 Oct 2017 ALHCR - Discovery Tour - Alnmouth 3 £355.00 £355.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person