The Borders Country and Alnwick Castle with hotel pick-up - 1 day tour
Alnwick Castle and Lindisfarne (Holy Island) Tour with hotel pick-up
One day tour
Hear about Scotland and England’s historic rivalry as you tour through the serene beauty of the borders country. Visit medieval Lindisfarne, a unique and special place of religious and historical importance, and explore splendid Alnwick Castle, the second largest inhabited castle in the country. Harry Potter fans will recognise it as the location of the magical Hogwarts School of Witcraft and Wizardry!
East Lothian - enjoy the rolling farmlands and fabulous clifftop views
The Hirsel - learn the history of this extensive estate and savour the delicious home baking served in the coffee shop
Lindisfarne - explore this tidal island which is crammed with history and famous for its picturesque castle
Alnwick Castle - one of the UK’s grandest houses, with a fascinating history, extraordinary gardens, and sumptuous staterooms.
Downton Abbey - visit the exhibition featuring photography, costumes and props used in the two Christmas specials
Border Country - hear tales of the historic rivalry between Scotland and England
Movie locations - Harry Potter series, Downton Abbey (TV) and The Railway Man
Full Tour Itinerary
On our way south towards England, we’ll travel through the beautiful Scottish Borders: a land of green hills, fast-flowing rivers and attractive towns.
We’ll stop for a break near Coldstream at The Hirsel, a popular arts and crafts venue that sits in a magnificent country estate. Here we can enjoy morning coffee and some freshly baked delights in the famous tearoom.
Suitably refreshed, we travel through the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria to make an extended stop to visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. Access to the island is by a causeway*, so it is only possible to cross at certain times of the day, depending on tides.
Lindisfarne is known throughout the world for its mediaeval religious associations and for the beauty of its 16th-century castle. The raid on Lindisfarne by warriors from the north in 793 AD often marks the beginning of the Viking age in Britain.
Next it’s on to the focal point of our tour, Alnwick Castle. The castle has been home to the Percy Family, the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland, for over 700 years.
It’s a magnificent stately home, the second largest inhabited castle in Britain after Windsor Castle, and it’s not surprising to learn that it has featured many times in film and television.
The castle starred in the Downton Abbey 2014 Christmas episode, and in the last ever episode of the series, as Brancaster. There’s a Downton Abbey exhibition with photographs, costumes and props used in the filming.
Most famously, though, Alnwick Castle’s interior and exterior featured in the Harry Potter series of films as Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can see where Harry had his first broomstick lesson in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and, weather permitting, it’s possible to take a broomstick lesson yourself in that very spot.
After visiting Alnwick, we set off for a relaxing and picturesque journey back home to Edinburgh.
* Please note that tour routing and availability are subject to the tidal timetable at Lindisfarne, which may result in the tour having to operate in reverse.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Signature Day Tour?
Travelling on a Signature one-day tour is a great way to discover the best of Scotland and England from your city centre base.
During your day of discovery we’ll introduce you to many aspects of our country: spectacular scenery, history, folklore, nature and much, much more.
Luxury travel is provided by air-conditioned mini or midi coaches and each tour is led by an experienced driver/guide who will provide a live commentary in English.
There are stops planned at the key sights as well as for meals and comfort breaks.
What are the optional extras on this tour and how much do they cost?
To give you maximum flexibility the cost of admission fees and other optional extras are not included in the tour price. This gives you complete freedom to choose as the mood takes you. On this tour the optional visits are:
Following the links above will give you more information on each attraction including current admission prices. At some locations a special discount is offered to tour participants, your driver/guide will give you more information if this applies. Credit/debit cards are not always accepted so you should plan to have sufficient cash with you should you wish to make any visits.
Are children allowed on your tours?
Children are welcome to travel on almost all the tours featured on this website. The minimum age for participation does vary from tour to tour so please check the relevant tour page for more information.
This tour will visit England, do I need a passport?
Scotland and England are part of the United Kingdom so there are no Border formalities and you’ll not need a passport.
How does the hotel pick-up service work?
This tour offers a complimentary pick-up service from or near most accommodation in Edinburgh City Centre.
To arrange your pick time and location you must call the local Operations Team on 0131 555 5558 at least 24 hours prior to your tour departure (the contact details are shown on your tour voucher/confirmation).
The team member will be happy to confirm your departure details and answer any questions that you may have.
Drivers have to comply with strict working hours so it's not possible to offer a drop-off service. The tour will end at a central point in Edinburgh City Centre.
- Transportation by luxury air-conditioned coach
- Live commentary in English
- Edinburgh City hotel pick-up
- Services of an experienced driver/guide
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Hotel drop-off
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
Hotel pick-up: 08:15 - 09:00 hrs
from or near to your accommodation in central Edinburgh
Check-in: from 08:00 hrs
Tour Departs: 08:15 hrs
Tour Returns: 18:30 hrs
There are no child, senior or student discounts available on this tour.
We’re really sorry, but children aged under 8 years cannot travel on this tour.
Book by paying a 20% deposit. Make date changes or get a full refund with 48 hours notice before travel. Click here for more information.
A courtesy pick-up serves most accommodation in central Edinburgh. Please call to confirm your tour pick-up point and time no later than 24 hours prior to travel. Full information will appear on your tour voucher.
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.