Tours every Wednesday, Friday & Sunday begin in April 2020
Explore the castles of the rugged ‘Viking Coast’ within Berwickshire and Northumberland as you cross the Border between Scotland and England. Step back in time at the spectacular Alnwick Castle – the real Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Enjoy the beautiful rolling hills of Sir Walter Scott’s Borders countryside and allow your Guide to immerse you in Scotland’s history with tales of Robert the Bruce, the ‘Outlaw King’.
This tour is ideal for both fans of Harry Potter and history buffs alike, looking to explore a more of Scotland and into Northern England.
THIS FAMOUS CASTLE HAS BEEN HOME TO THE PERCY FAMILY FOR 700 YEARS
THE EILDON HILLS IN THE SCOTTISH BORDERS INSPIRED MANY OF THE WORKS OF SIR WALTER SCOTT
THE FINAL RESTING PLACE OF KING ROBERT THE BRUCE’S HEART
ALNWICK CASTLE AND GARDENS ALLOW YOU TO STEP IN TO THE REAL HOGWARTS!
BAMBURGH BEACH & CASTLE
THE ANCIENT FORT WAS ONCE HOME TO CELTIC BRITONS, THEN SEAT TO THE KINGS OF NORTHUMBERLAND
Departing Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, we travel south through the leafy, affluent suburbs of the city towards the Pentland Hills. This morning we visit the rolling, beautiful hills of the Scottish Borders. Hear tales from your Guide about the infamous Border Reivers, who raided villages and settlements in this part of the country for centuries – friends to neither the Scots nor the English!
You’ll see for yourself why Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland’s greatest cultural figures, loved this landscape and you will learn why it became his home. If time permits, we will visit the breathtaking Scott’s View to admire the stunning view of the River Tweed and Eildon Hills.
We’ll make a short visit to the historic Borders town of Melrose, home of the famous Abbey which is burial place to many of Scotland’s nobility. Your Guide will tell you the inspiring story of Robert the Bruce, Scotland’s ‘Outlaw King’, whose heart is said to be interred in the Abbey.
It’s then across the English border and on to the magical Alnwick Castle. A dream come true for Harry Potter fanatics from around the world, you will have plenty of time to explore the corridors, great halls and courtyards of the real school of witchcraft and wizardry, Hogwarts! See where Harry learned to fly and to play Quidditch in the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. You might even wish to take part in their famous Broomstick Training sessions with the resident Wizarding Professor!
Alnwick Castle isn’t just for the Harry Potter fans (or Downton Abbey fans for that matter!). There is something for everyone in this historic fortress, where the first sections of the castle were constructed as far back as 1096. It has links to the Norman Conquests, Wars of Independence, War of the Roses and Oliver Cromwell. It has been home to the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland for generations and is affectionately known as “the Windsor of the North”.
Some guests may prefer to explore breathtaking Alnwick Gardens, originally developed by the Duke of Northumberland in the 18th Century and redeveloped by a charitable trust over the past 20 years. Or indeed, the charming village of Alnwick itself which is home to the largest second hand book store in the UK.
Late afternoon, we depart Alnwick and travel North along the rugged ‘Viking Coast’ towards the Scottish border. We’ll stop in the picturesque village of Bamburgh and enjoy spectacular views of the imposing Castle overlooking the bay. Take yourself back in time and imagine Viking longships attacking this strategic stronghold in the 10th Century! Or, enjoy local ice-cream in the sun as you stroll along the beautiful beach.
Our journey back to the Scottish capital takes us through the farmlands of East Lothian and we return to the city at approx. 6:00 pm.
Deacon’s House Cafe, 304 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, Postcode: EH1 2PS
Check in for your tour will begin at 8:00 am with your Driver Guide at the Bus Stop located outside the Deacon’s House Cafe, 304 Lawnmarket, and the bus will depart PROMPTLY at 8:15 am.
Seats are unreserved and allocated on a first-come, first served basis upon check-in. Therefore, we recommend that you arrive in plenty of time.
We CANNOT wait for guests who are late. It is YOUR responsibility to be at the Meeting Point by 8:15am at the latest.
The tour will return to Edinburgh at approximately 6:30pm, dropping off at the same location as the Tour Departure Point (unless otherwise specified).
Please note that throughout the Edinburgh International Festival (August), all tours will drop off at Waterloo Place near Waverley Station and NOT Lawnmarket, due to traffic restrictions.
CASH – It is rare that there is an ATM in the villages we visit! So bring enough for the day to pay for things such as food, drink and any optional extras you might want to participate in (£30-£40 per day per person is recommended).
A CAMERA – for pictures of the beautiful scenery.
WET WEATHER CLOTHING (rainproof) & COMFORTABLE SHOES
At the end of your tour, if you feel your Driver Guide has added to your experience, feel free to tip them whatever you feel their performance was worth to you. Tips/Gratuities aren’t expected, but are of course accepted!
£12.15 for >16’s (Castle)
£6.80 for <16’s (Castle)
£10.20 for >16’s (Gardens)
£4.20 for <16’s (Gardens)
£20.75 for >16’s (Combi)
£9.50 for <16’s (Combi)
£6 for Adults
£4.80 for Concessions
£3.60 for Children (5 – 15 years old)
Our ‘Easy to Cancel’ Policy means that it is no problem if your plans change. Email your cancellation request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We require AT LEAST 72 hours notice prior to the tour departure to be able to process a full refund. If you cancel your booking within 72 hours of the tour departure, a refund will not be applicable.
No refunds will be issued for any missed tour departures.
This tour has a minimum age of 7 years old. We will not accept bookings with children under the minimum age at time of departure.