Northumberland Discovery Tour
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Hills & moorland
Northumberland has a great variety of scenic landscapes. On the coast you’ll find charming fishing villages and dramatic sweeping sandy bays. Head inland to historic battle sites and open moorland. Castles at Bamburgh and Warkworth – one of the largest, strongest and 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.
- Bamburgh Castle and the nearby 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
- Optional short strolls of up to 1½ miles
- 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
Nether Grange has undeniable history and gorgeous landscapes that surrounds the Alnmouth coastline. It's a perfect mixture of sea and landscape that provides a more settled terrain for everyone who enjoys walking in all of nature's beauty.
Nether Grange has 35 bedrooms, a number of which enjoy views across the links golf course to the sea.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
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.
- 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
During your Discovery Tour you'll have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places. The following is our provisional programme, and your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times, or other events. This holiday includes active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet.
For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included, apart from the Heatherslaw Light Railway and Preston Tower; 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 £10 a day for entrances. This would be the maximum required and there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price. Please bring cash as card machines are not always available at all venues.
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.
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea.
Lindisfarne and Border Country
Available on Saturdays 13 April, 22 June and 7 September & Thursday 15 August
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.
Cheviot Hills and Cragside
Available on Sundays 14 April, 23 June, 11 August & 8 September 2019
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.
7-night holiday: Free day
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.
3-night holiday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
4-night holiday: Arrival day
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea.
Hadrian's Wall and Hexham
Available on Tuesdays 16 April, 25 June, 13 August and 10 September 2019
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.
Along the Northumberland Coast
Available on Wednesday 17 April, 26 June, 14 August and 11 September 2019
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.
Warkworth and Wallington
Available on Thursdays 18 April, 27 June and 12 September, & Saturday 10 August 2019
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.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Edinburgh is very accessible for a day trip. Catch the train from nearby Alnmouth station for the scenic 1 hour journey to the Scottish capital. You'll arrive in the heart of the city centre with numerous museums, shops and galleries, plus the famous castle all within easy walking distance.
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.
Cragside House image © National Trust/Graeme Peacock, Seaton Delaval Hall image ©National Trust Images/John Hammond
Travel to Alnmouth
Our address is: Nether Grange, Alnmouth, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 2RZ
Nether Grange sits on a headland and only has access to limited roadside parking. We advise our guests to use rail travel where possible. Nether Grange is a 5 minute taxi ride from Alnmouth train station
The nearest railway station is Alnmouth, on the main line between Newcastle and Edinburgh. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50
The 1 1/2 mile journey from Alnmouth railway station takes approximately 5 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £6 per 4 seat taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Nether Grange Manager.
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. Cross a bridge as you approach Alnmouth, turning right at the next roundabout, then almost immediatley left into The Wynd. Follow the one way system into Marine Road, passing the golf clubhouse on the left, and round into Northumberland Street. After 100yds turn right into the narrow Pease’s Lane. Nether Grange is on the left. Please note that Nether Grange does not have a car park, there is very limited on-street parking available on a first come basis. You can park in available slots on Marine Road, Pease's Lane and elsewhere in town. There is a pay and display car park at the end of Marine Road.
Travelling from overseas
The nearest airport is at Newcastle which is served by European flights, and UK regional flights from London. From here take the metro to Newcastle Central station, then on by train to Alnmouth - a straightforward journey taking just over 1 hour.
Manchester Airport has a much wider range of long-haul flights. There are trains every hour from the airport to Alnmouth with one change at Newcastle. Allow 3½ hours to Alnmouth - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow 5 hours to reach Alnmouth. From Heathrow first take the Piccadilly line Underground train to London Kings Cross station. From here take a train to Alnmouth - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Edinburgh Airport is also a possibility.
After 30 years as a Transport Planner, Graham successfully retrained as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide. He is a geographer by qualification and an explorer by instinct, and frequently has a map in his hand. Graham's travels have taken him to many parts of the country, where he enjoys discovering out-of-the-way places as well as an area's better known towns and buildings. He has a particular interest in the countryside, waterways, industrial heritage and places where history happened. Graham is also an HF Holidays' walking leader and has led at more than half of the UK's Country Houses.
Excellent leader. Did his best to make the holiday as good as possible for each one of the guests on the Discovery Tour.
Heather D Lounds
Heather Lounds has a passion for historic places and likes to find the unusual and extraordinary facts that bring a visit to life. She enjoys sharing her passion for social history and architecture, and loves the area around Brecon.
A very pleasant person who was extremely helpful and knowledgeable and really made the holiday for us
Sandy Smith is a university academic, specialising in geology and environmental sciences, and has written books on these topics. She is particularly interested in the origins of landscape, both natural and human-made. With her wealth of experience, she leads a wide range of HF Holidays’ Walking and Leisure Activities holidays in the UK, Europe and worldwide
Brilliant - made everything so interesting and her local knowledge was really appreciated.
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.
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