Scottish Borders, English Lakes and York Small Group Tour
3 day/2 night tour
Explore the fells and lakes of the Lake District that have inspired poets and authors for centuries. Tour through the Yorkshire Dales National Park to visit York, where there is a completely free day so can explore this historic city on your own. On the way back to Edinburgh there’s a stop so you can visit grand Alnwick Castle. There’s just so much to discover on this magical tour through England’s North Country.
Price range: £270 - £440
Small Group Tour - travel in an intimate group of just 16 passengers
Hadrian’s Wall - discover the northern frontier of the mighty Roman empire
Ullswater - take a leisurely cruise on England’s most beautiful lake
York - enjoy exploring this Viking city on your own
Alnwick - be amazed at this historic castle which starred in the Harry Potter movies
Movie locations - Blackadder, Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves and Harry Potter
Guest house accommodation included - hotel upgrade option available
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Edinburgh - Melrose - Keswick
Our adventure starts as we leave Edinburgh behind and make our way into the beautiful Scottish Border Country. Our first stop is in the attractive town of Melrose where you can relax in the pleasant surroundings. Why not take time out to visit Melrose Abbey founded in 1136 by King David I. It has had a colourful history and it’s said that the heart of Scotland’s great freedom fighter, Robert the Bruce, is buried here.
Soon we’ll cross into England for our next visit to Hadrian’s Wall. This World Heritage Site stretches for 73 miles from Coast to Coast. It was built by Emperor Hadrian to mark the northern boundary of the Roman Empire. We’ll stop at Horsesteads to explore some of the best vantage points and to learn more about life as a Centurion.
Our home for tonight is in delightful Keswick which nestles between the Skiddaw Mountains and Derwentwater in the heart of the Lake District National Park.
Day 2 - Keswick - Skipton - York
Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District and it sits in the shadow of some very impressive fells making it the ideal place to enjoy a scenic cruise all the way to Glenridding.
Next enjoy the views as our coach makes its way over the Kirkstone Pass, the highest in the Lake District, to reach Bowness on Windermere which makes a delightful setting for lunch. Here we can watch the comings and goings of the historic steamers that have sailed the lake for generations.
From Bowness we bid farewell to the Lake District as we make our way into the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park. Scenic Aysgarth is famed for the stunning Aysgarth Waterfalls so we’ll stop to view these three impressive waterfalls surrounded by peaceful woodland.
Our last visit of the day is to the bustling market town of Skipton which oozes old-world charm. It sits on the Liverpool and Leeds canal so if time permits don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a stroll along the toepath to see the attractively painted narrowboats.
We continue our journey through the Pennines to reach the Viking City of York.
Day 3 - York - Alnwick Castle - Edinburgh
This morning we make our way to the pretty market town of Richmond. Explore the cobbled market square with its amazing Georgian buildings or make the short walk to discover Richmond Castle which sits overlooking the River Swale. There are wonderful panoramic views to enjoy from the tower of this 11th century castle considered by many to be one of England’s finest!
We then head to Alnwick, where you can opt to visit the beautiful Alnwick Castle (you may recognise it from the Harry Potter flying scenes!) or explore the town of Alnwick itself. It’s home to the incredible Barter Books, a magical second hand book shop in a converted Victorian railway station.
We travel through Berwick-upon-Tweed, England’s most northerly town, then all of a sudden we’re back into Scotland once more. Enjoy the panoramic coastal views as we make our way towards our last stop in Dunbar. This attractive little town is the birthplace of John Muir, the “father” of the US National Parks System. Down at the harbour which is home to a small fishing fleet you’ll find the ruins of the ancient castle that once stood guard over the town.
It’s back on the road for the final part of our journey
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Small Group Tour?
With an average of just 16 passengers (and never more than 20) a Small Group Tour will provide a more intimate and flexible travelling experience. These tours are carefully planned to travel off the highways so you’ll discover quaint villages and picturesque vistas that other tours just can’t access. All the small group tours that we feature are operated by purpose built luxury minicoaches that feature air-conditioning, panoramic windows, wifi, usb charging points and comfortable seating. Each group is led by an experienced driver/guide who will entertain and inform you with stories of our history, nature and folklore. Comfortable guest house accommodation with en-suite bathrooms, tv and other amenities is included in the price of all tours. You can choose to upgrade to hotel accommodation, at extra cost, if you wish. A delicious Scottish breakfast is included each morning of your stay. If you’ve got more time to spare a series of extraordinary itineraries has been created by combining one or more shorter tours. Seamless in operation these unique holidays allow you to discover even more of Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. A feature of these tours is that you will travel with a different driver/guide and fellow travellers for each portion of the itinerary.
What are the optional extras on this tour and how much do they cost?
The tour fare includes transportation by luxury mini or midicoach and the services of a professional driver/guide. Admission to the attractions featured on this tour is optional so you can choose to visit or not depending on your interests. The tour itinerary will allow time for you to enjoy visits to:
The links above will give you more information on these attractions as well as current admission prices. On some tours discounted prices are available to tour passengers - your driver/guide will provide more information if this applies. Not all attractions accept payment by credit or debit card so you should carry sufficient cash should you be planning a visit.
What type of room should I choose?
There are different bedrooms types to choose from, here is what you can expect: Single room - one person sleeping in a single bed. Twin room - two people sleeping in two separate beds. Double room - two people sharing one large bed. Family room - three people sharing a room sleeping in one large bed (2 people) and one single bed (1 person). Please note that a family room can be a standard double room with either a sofa bed or a rollaway bed.
What meals are included ?
A full English breakfast is included from day 2 onwards. This hearty meal consists of fruit juice; a choice of cereal; bakery basket; cooked items such as eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomato and black pudding plus tea or coffee. Vegetarian and lighter Continental options are always available. Lunch and dinner are not included in the price. During the touring day there will be a stop where you can enjoy lunch in a local pub or restaurant. Your driver/guide will be happy to suggest a conveniently located restaurant where you can enjoy good food for dinner.
How many people will be on the tour?
The average number of travellers on a Small Group Tour is 16.
- 3 nights guest house or hotel accommodation
- Location: Keswick (1) and York (1)
- Cooked/Continental breakfast (2)
- Transportation by luxury air-conditioned minicoach with wifi and usb charging points
- Live commentary in English
- Services of an experienced driver/guide
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
From 1 Parliament Square
Royal Mile/High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1RE
Check-in: 08:15 hrs
Tour Departs: 08:30 hrs
Tour Returns: 19:00 hrs
Concession discount applies to adults aged 60 years and above; students and children aged 3 to 15 years inclusive.
We’re really sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
The price of this tour includes guest house accommodation with en-suite bathroom. You can up-grade to hotel accommodation at extra cost during the booking process.
One medium sized suitcase/bag per person (maximum weight: 15 kilos)
In order to give you maximum flexibility admission fees are not included in the cost of this tour.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.