Venture to the heart of Northern England on this comprehensive tour of the North’s scenic and cultural splendour.
Alnwick Castle* - A major shooting location for the Harry Potter franchise and Downton Abbey, this superb 1000-year-old site offers the archetypal English castle experience.
York Minster - Majestic Gothic spires reach up into the York sky on one of Europe’s largest cathedrals, a focal point for dramatic events throughout English history.
Robin Hood’s Bay - This beautifully preserved fishing village offers a stunning contrast between its pretty cottages and rugged cliffside setting.
Yorkshire Dales - The fiercely rugged and verdant expanse is a haven for plant species and hosts some of the UK’s most diverse wildlife, with the beautiful Gothic-influenced city of York at its centre.
Wordsworth’s Cottage - Famed abode of the poet William Wordsworth and the refuge where he produced some of his greatest works, this cottage is full of the great man’s secrets and truths.
Lake Windermere - Spiritual home to Beatrix Potter’s fabulous stories, the largest natural lake in England provides historical and natural fascination.
Scottish Borders - Explore from the ancient boundary of Hadrian’s Wall to the great city of Edinburgh.
Explore the cultural highlights and scenic peaks of Northern England on this five-day tour.
Roam from the dramatic Yorkshire Dales to the North’s powerful castles and halls. Ascend to the tip of a gothic cathedral’s spires before delving into the nooks and crannies of valley villages. And relive the scenes of fierce conflicts as you wander Hadrian’s Wall.
Picturesque bays, broad lakes, and stunning buildings are guaranteed on this comprehensive tour of the English landscape.
Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)
You depart the cosmopolitan city of Edinburgh and follow the magnificent East Lothian coastline towards the walled border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
After stopping to admire the fortifications, you continue to Alnwick Castle. This immense stronghold has been home of the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland since 1309 and has stood strong for nearly a millennium.
It was originally built to assert Norman rule over newly conquered lands. But more recently Alnwick Castle has found fame as one of the settings for the fictional Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter movie series and Downton Abbey.
Leaving Alnwick behind, you travel towards the city of York on the Great North Road, a route that has carried countless Roman legions between the remote Northern outposts and the more populous settlements of Roman Britannia. In the late afternoon, you arrive in York; your base for the next two nights.
*Please note if your tour starts after 1st April 2023, you'll visit Bamburgh Castle instead.
Today you can decide what you want to do.
You can choose to spend the day exploring the medieval heart of York; an ancient city with a colourful history dating back to the times of the Romans, Vikings, and Normans. There's much to see and do: you can visit a chocolate museum, find out about the Vikings, or even just stroll around the ancient walls.
Alternatively, you can journey out with your guide on a half-day excursion to the magnificent North York Moors National Park. Your next stop is Whitby, a bustling fishing port and inspiration for the imagination of Bram Stoker, who stayed here in a hotel while writing his famous novel Dracula.
After lunch and free time in Whitby, you travel to the fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay*; They doubt if the real Robin Hood ever came here, but there are still plenty of smugglers tales dotted around this remarkable harbour village. You then return to York in the early evening.
Whichever option you choose, you spend your evening enjoying the sights and sounds of York.
*Robin Hood's Bay - The mini-coach cannot access the main village because of local restrictions. The coach will drop you off at the top of the village and you must walk down (and back up!) a steep hill to reach the old village centre.
You're picked up from your accommodation and head west into the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Established in 1954, the Yorkshire Dales National Park has outstanding scenery, a range of wildlife habitats and rich cultural heritage. It’s a special place – a fantastic outdoor arena for recreation and relaxation and a haven for wildlife.
Continuing west, the route takes you through the Northern Dales - the centre of the Dales cattle trade.
The final leg of today’s journey takes you high up into the remote hills of the Yorkshire Dales before descending into the lively market town of Keswick* where you're dropped off at your accommodation and have free time to explore this charming town.
After breakfast, you head a short distance out of town to the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones. Many people think these were placed here over 5,000 years ago and were once a lively hub of ancient pagan rituals.
You then travel on to the shores of Ullswater, known as England’s most beautiful lake. Here, you can take a forest walk to see the mighty Aira Force waterfall. Continuing south over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass, you stop at Lake Windermere where you have the option to take a leisurely cruise on the lake or simply eat lunch while enjoying views of the mountains and lakes.
After lunch, you travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards the picturesque conservation village of Hawkshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School.
After free time to explore the village, you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, which Wordsworth described as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”. There's free time to visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, taste the legendary gingerbread, or enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy.
In the late afternoon, you return to Keswick.*
Leaving the lakes behind, you start the climb towards Hartside Pass, at over 1,900ft. On a clear day, the hills and mountains of Scotland and the English Lake District are clearly visible. You follow the route of the old sheep drovers between England and Scotland.
Stopping at Hadrian's Wall, there’s an opportunity to explore some of the Roman remains and walk in the footsteps of the Roman Centurions who patrolled this desolate frontier of the Empire. You then travel along the ancient Roman Dere Street, cross the border into Scotland, and head to the border town of Jedburgh for refreshments by the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey.
Your final stop is at the world-famous Scott’s View with stunning views over the River Tweed and the Cheviot Hills before continuing north to Edinburgh.
You stay two nights in the historic city of York and two nights in Keswick in the heart of the Lake District.
Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.
Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts.
We'll reserve your room(s) with one of our preferred accommodation suppliers and you'll pay them directly when you check-in. Most accommodation hosts don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.
You won't be able to choose which Hotel/B&B you stay in, but we will confirm the named property and exact prices on your first day of tour. If it's important for you to know where you're going to be staying in advance, or if you want to stay in a specific Hotel/B&B, we recommend that you select the option to book your own accommodation.
Plans can change, so we let you alter your accommodation choices for free within the first 48 hours of booking. After this time, amendments aren't guaranteed and carry a surcharge. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.
You may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation for each separate accommodation booked. If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.
We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard.
The prices below are for guidance only and are based on 2022 rates. We’re working with suppliers to bring you the most up to date pricing for tours departing in 2023.
B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard
The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is £35 - £50 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single standard room is £40 - £70 per night.
B&B En suite
The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £45 - £65 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single en suite is £75 - £90 per night.
Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £75 - £90 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single is £90 - £150 per night.
Please note, we're unable to book hostels for this tour at the moment. You may still be able to book hostel accommodation yourself if you choose to the option to book your own accommodation for your tour.
A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost based on dorm beds is £19 - £30 per person per night.
Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together).
The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.
We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.
Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.
If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.
We have a cancellation period of 48 hours for our one day tours, 15 days for two to nine day tours, and 21 days for 10+ day tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.
Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. While there are ongoing coronavirus restrictions throughout the UK and Ireland, itineraries are more likely to change than usual as opening hours and capacities at many visitor attractions are reduced and subject to change. Your driver-guide will keep you up to up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.
Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.
Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.
We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.
We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.
You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.
We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.
We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.
You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.
Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.
We advise you take out travel insurance.
You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.
Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer
You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back
Guaranteed departures: We’ll never cancel your tour because of minimum numbers
Our eco-friendly tours support local communities