Alnwick
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Alnwick Day Trips

From Edinburgh: Holy Island, Alnwick Castle & Northumbria

1. From Edinburgh: Holy Island, Alnwick Castle & Northumbria

Take the scenic coastal route south into the Medieval Kingdom of Northumbria in North-East England; visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, once the most important centre of religious learning in the British Isles, and explore the medieval market town of Alnwick and its stunning castle - where scenes from ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Downton Abbey’ were filmed. Our first stop is Holy Island, connected to the mainland by a causeway which leads into the quaint island village of Lindisfarne, where there are stunning views of Lindisfarne Castle* (dating back to 1550). Spend time wandering through the ruins of its Priory* where the magnificent Lindisfarne Gospels were produced, sample some of the world-famous Lindisfarne ‘Mead’ brewed by Monks on the island and enjoy the tranquility for which the island is renowned. We continue south passing Bamburgh, ‘Ancient Capital of Northumbria,’ then on to the bustling market town of Alnwick, whose greatest building is the medieval Alnwick Castle*. Enjoy time in the town centre or visit the castle complex where there is something for everyone. Home of the Percy Family for over 700 years, Alnwick Castle is considered one of the finest castles in England and is proudly known as “The Windsor of the North”. Visitors can step into the unexpected in the spectacular Alnwick Garden* with its Grand Cascade fountain and Poison Gardens. The castle grounds were also used in TV series Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter films. In the mid-afternoon we begin the drive north to cross the River Tweed and back into Scotland at the historic border town of Coldstream. If time permits during this journey there may be a stop at Flodden Field, one of the best preserved battlefields in Northern Europe and scene of the infamous battle of 1513, which ended in victory for the English and the death of James IV, King of Scots.

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From Edinburg: Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle Day Tour

2. From Edinburg: Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle Day Tour

Follow the sweeping coastline of the North Sea on a scenic drive towards the historic border town of Berwick-on-Tweed. Cross the ancient Scotland/England border into Northumberland and visit Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, a tidal island settled by Irish monks from Scotland circa AD 635. From here the Christian message spread throughout the north of England. In 793 a fierce Viking invasion heralded the beginning of the Viking Age. Take a short walk through an area of outstanding natural beauty to 16th century Lindisfarne Castle, and visit the Priory where the Lindisfarne Gospels were created and enjoy the spectacular views of Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands. You may also wish to buy some delicious souvenir Lindisfarne Mead from St Aidan’s Winery. Arrive back at Alnwick Castle at lunchtime after a short drive. This magical place (the 'Windsor of the North') is one of Europe’s finest castles and has been at the center of key historical events – from bloodthirsty battles between the Scots and the English to the intrigues of the Guy Fawkes plot. Alnwick Castle's sumptuous setting and exquisite architecture has famously been used as a film location for ‘Downton Abbey’, 'Harry Potter' (Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry), 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves', 'Elizabeth' and 'Blackadder'. Enjoy ‘Harry Spotter Tours’ and revisit some of your favorite scenes. Go with costumed guides on a historical and magical tour. Be sure to check the events board on entry to make the most of your time. With fun and interactive activities for children, you'll have 2.5 hours to fully appreciate and enjoy the castle. The tour returns north via the beautiful Border country and, subject to timing, may also visit the East Lothian coast to the south of Edinburgh.

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Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

3. Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

Explore the borderlands of Scotland and England during this full-day tour from Edinburgh. Stop at the charming town of Kelso, where you can explore this handsome town and what is thought to be Scotland’s largest market square. You also see the ruins of Kelso Abbey, a reminder of the many ancient conflicts between Scotland and England. Follow the ancient Roman Dere Street that connected Scottish Caledonia with Roman Britannia through the Scottish Borders. Stop at the charming town of Melrose, home to the remains of the Cistercian Abbey and the burial place of the heart of Scottish king Robert the Bruce. Cross the border and travel to thousand-year-old Alnwick Castle, one of the great castles of Northumberland. Originally built to protect the north of England from Scottish Border Reivers and invaders, more recently Alnwick Castle and its perfectly manicured gardens have found fame as one of the settings for the fictional Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter movie series. After around 3 hours at Alnwick, travel north along the stunning Northumberland Coast. You stop on your way back to Edinburgh at one of the beautiful historic villages or castles that pepper the rolling landscapes of Southern Scotland.

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From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Day Tour

4. From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Day Tour

Your full-day tour begins in Edinburgh and continues further south through the Scottish Borders, where you’ll stop at Melrose Abbey. This is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful ruins in Europe. The heart of Robert the Bruce is said to be buried at the Abbey, which is also the final resting place of a number of other Scottish Kings. From here it's on to England, where you'll have lots of time to explore the tour’s main attraction, Alnwick Castle. Alnwick is the 2nd-largest inhabited castle in England, having been lived in for over 700 years. It’s filled with fascinating things to see and mysteries to uncover. You may recognize it as a location from some of the Harry Potter films.

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Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

5. Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

On this 9.5-hour excursion from Edinburgh you’ll visit the picturesque town of Coldsream and the inspiring Bamburgh Castle. But it’s Alnwick Castle that’s the main destination of the day. It’s been a key filming location for Harry Potter and Downton Abbey and is a historic location in its own right. You’ll leave Edinburgh at 08:15 in the morning and head east to the Scottish Borders. Along the way, you’ll have views of gently rolling hills and dramatic coastlines. The first stop is the beautiful coastal town Bamburgh. Take a stroll to the stunning beach and view the dramatic 5th-century Bamburgh Castle sitting on a natural throne of volcanic dolerite. In the afternoon you’ll visit Alnwick Castle. Admire the large stately rooms and the stunning architecture or learn a little about all the popular films and TV shows that have been filmed at the site, including Harry Potter. After spending time in Alnwick, you will make your way back over the border and in to Scotland. The final stop is the border town of Coldstream that lies on the north side of the River Tweed. Hear about the turbulent past of this charming town before your journey ends in Edinburgh in the early evening.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Alnwick

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What people are saying about Alnwick

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 173 reviews

Enjoyed the trip, i went by myself for a day out on holiday. Andrew T was a great guide with a good mix of interesting commentary, music, but not talking too much so we could just enjoy the view. I went to the attractions (tickets are extra so you choose which to go to) though next time id probably just go to Alnwick Gardens if a nice day and skip the other two as whilst the stops were at least an hour for each it’s still a rush to see everything you want to.

The weather was really nice when we went, so we had a really good time just wandering the castles and the priory taking pictures and exploring. Also the guide, Andrew T, is very informative, from the history and stories of the places we’re visiting to the things we see on the way to the attractions to the most random facts about Scotland.

We were just a very few people, and Keith guided us. He did a really good job although the weather became very dark. At first we were all a bit uncertain where is the meeting point, and they should send a list before the trip where should we buy the online tickets, just to make us calm.

Interesting information given. Options available as to things to do. Scottish music.

We had a great day. Andrew J was a fantastic guide.