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Sunday 9 to Thursday 13 May 2021

This tour that was due to take place in May 2020 has now moved to the above dates.  Details below may be subject to change.

The northernmost county in England, this wild and rugged region has a proud heritage.  Crowned with captivating castles, sweeping moorland and friendly market to7wns, it's an unmissable destination.  This unique area has an ancient past reflected in its fascinating historic sites and beautiful landscaped gardens, complemented by its remote scenery and windswept coast

DAY 1 - We depart from Corsham and Melksham by coach for the journey to Northumberland.  En route we stop at Nostell Priory (NT), a masterpiece of 18th century architecture with Robert Adam interiors.  After time for lunch (not included), we continue on to the hotel for check in.  Dinner is included at the hotel each evening.

DAY 2 - Today we are accompanied by a local guide during our visit to Durham, a grandiose city packed with fascinating history and architecture.  The centre is overlooked by a majestic cathedral and ancient castle: set on a rocky promontory above the city, these icons form one of the first World Heritage Sites and present an imposing profile.  Following a tour of the stunning 11th century cathedral. we embark upon a river cruise that offers spectacular views of this historic city.

DAY 3 - This morning we visit Cragside (NT).  This astounding house and grounds was a wonder of the Victorian age.  Once home to innovator, Lord Armstrong, his ingenious gadgets can be found throughout the property.  Outside, the gardens are extraordinary within atmospheric woodland, an enormous rock garden tumbles towards formal gardens, and an excess of seven million plants surround the lakes.  This afternoon, we move on to Wallington (NT).  We enjoy a buffet lunch on arrival before having an introductory talk, followed by a viewing of this grand house and impressive 13,000 acre estate.  Packed with pre-Raphaelite paintings, fine furniture and unusual curiosities on the inside, outside of the house informal landscaping abounds, with hidden gardens, stone staircases and floral borders.

DAY 4 - Today is spent at Alnwick Castle & Gardens - an illustrious 14th century fortress and the Duke of Northumberland's ancestral home. As impressive inside as out, it has lavish state rooms and a splendid display of Italian artworks, which we see on an extended in-depth tour of the property and its grounds.  We also visit The Alnwick Garden, a series of ornamental contemporary gardens adjacent to the castle, which we explore on a tour with the head gardener.  A two-course lunch at the Treehouse Restaurant is included between the tours.  Following our visit, we spend some time at leisure in the town of Alnwick - home to the historic White Swan Hotel, which has panelling and glasswork from the Titanic's sister ship, and Barter Books, a charming shop situated in a magnificent Victorian railway station.

DAY 5 - We check out of the hotel and embark on our journey home.  En route, we visit The Bowes Museum.  Home to internationally significant collections of fine and decorative arts, the Bowes Museum dates back to the 19th century.  The diverse collections span three floors of a magnificent French-style chateau.  We also make a stop at lunch time where we can buy lunch (not included).

The exact order of excursions is subject to change.


The modern & comfortable 3-star Holiday Inn Gosforth Park occupies a rural setting surrounded by 16 acres of countryside, well located for our itinerary.  Bedrooms are spacious and equipped with a TV, free WiFi, a hairdryer, air conditioning and an en-suite bathroom.  The hotel has a heated indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, a relaxing lounge, a bar and a restaurant.


What's included

  • Executive coach travel throughout
  • Half board accommodation
  • Two lunches included
  • Durham city tour & river cruise
  • Nostell (NT}, Cragside (NT) and Wallington (NT)
  • Alnwick Castle & Gardens
  • The Bowes Museum


For information please contact Ann Burgess at email: