A private guided tour to the old kingdom of Northumbria far away from the bustle of London. Explore the most beautiful wild countryside in Britain and see such world famous sights as the Roman Hadrians Wall, the old city of York, and Holy Island.
What to Expect
This private tour takes you to many places far away from London to a region even richer in history with some of the most fearsome castles, magnificent cathedrals and picturesque ruins in this, the most beautiful, romantic and fought over part of the British Isles which has inspired Game of Thrones.
The first day will be spent travelling up from either your London hotel or Heathrow Airport by private car to northeast England, perhaps stopping at historic Sherwood Forest on the way north or the famous Betty’s tea rooms in the picturesque Yorkshire town of Harrogate.
York or Jorvik as it was known to the Vikings over a thousand years ago. Explore the narrow Medieval streets of the Shambles, see the Clifford Tower and perhaps visit the Jorvik Centre or York Dungeons before going to York Minster, one of the finest cathedrals in the world. York of course has plenty of other history from the Romans to highwayman Dick Turpin and the legendary Guy Fawkes who came so close to blowing up the King and Parliament.
Will consist of driving through the wild but beautiful Yorkshire Moors to the small coastal town of Whitby. Whitby is a maze of beautiful narrow alleys and shops that criss-cross the streets around the old harbor where Captain Cook once spent his time. The town is dominated by the ruins of Whitby Abbey which overshadow everything from its location on the top of the cliffs by the north sea. Whitby is also the place to visit for all fans of the undead as Count Dracula famously came to Whitby in Bram Stoker's classic novel.
Following some Fish and Chips continue northwards to the picturesque city of Durham. Situated on the steep banks of the River Wear, it has overseen many invasions from the Romans to the Vikings to the Normans and Scots. These days things are more peaceful and you can enjoy the grounds of the famous university, castle, and world heritage site of Durham Cathedral.
Cross the River Tyne and head into Northumbria, the ancient country that once ruled much of Britain from Edinburgh down to the English midlands. Northumbria’s coastal district isn’t just a haven for wild-life but also for people who like to get away from it all whilst enjoying all the history this ancient kingdom has to offer. The opportunities here are countless but some places not to be missed include the magnificent Bamburgh Castle with surely the most picturesque setting in the world and rumoured to once be the home of Sir Lancelot, of King Arthur fame.
Nearby we will drive across the seabed to visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne to see the magical isle that was once home to the pioneering Christian monks of Northumbria before one morning in 793 when the world was changed forever with the first ever Viking attack. The Abbey remains ruined to this day but Lindisfarne is also home to a quaint town, a beautiful old church, and a iconic castle.
Head to one of the most impressive castles still in private hands, Alnwick Castle. Famously used as the location for Harry Potters’ Hogwarts, the frequent destination for the family from Downton Abbey and the cult 80’s TV show, Robin of Sherwood, Alnwick Castle is still owned by the aristocratic Percy family and their wondrous home and treasures are on show for us all to see.
In the afternoon head through the Kielder Forest, the largest manmade forest and associated lake in Europe until we reach Hadrians Wall. Established by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the wall crosses northern England from the Irish Sea in the west, across Cumbria, Northumbria and all the way to the imaginatively named Wallsend in the east. It separated the barbarians for Scotland and much of Northumbria to the north from the Roman Empire in England and mainland Europe. Visit Housesteads, one of the best preserved sections of the Roman wall and see what life was like for the soldiers posted here and the locals under their rule. See the sycamore tree in which Kevin Costner spent the night sleeping under in Robin Hood- Prince of Thieves.
Return to London driving through the edge of the Lake District and stopping off en-route to either Eyam Plague village, Chatsworth House, or Hardwick Hall before returning to London at the end of the day.
An optional day is available before returning to London to spend in the Lake District where you can visit the beautiful towns of Keswick and Cockermouth, home of the writer and poet William Wordsworth as well as having the chance to explore this uniquely beautiful landscape of this corner of northwest England.
- Private local guide accompanying your tour
- Transport in private car
- 10 of lunch snacks each day
- Personalized tour with a relaxed time-table
- Collection and drop off to and from your flights
- Your guide is a published historian with 2 degrees in history and 5 star reviews
- Full assistance in planning hotels, flights etc.
What's Not Included
- Entry tickets to attractions
- Hotel accommodation - this can be advised upon depending on your requirements
I will make my best attempt to collect you at your hotel, cruise terminal or UK airport.
Know Before You Go
Please bring suitable clothing for the UK. Waterproof jackets advisable even in the summer!
Comfortable shoes also advised.