Holy Island of Lindisfarne

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Holy Island of Lindisfarne: Our most recommended tours and activities

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.

Northumberland: Private Bamburgh and Lindisfarne Guided Tour

2. Northumberland: Private Bamburgh and Lindisfarne Guided Tour

Visit Bamburgh, a town in the heart of Northumberland. See the famous Bamburgh Castle, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, and visit St. Aiden's Church.  Start your day with a pickup from your hotel or meet your guide at the meeting point, depending on which option you choose. Listen as your guide explains the history of this fortress town and the neighboring island. Then, enjoy a guided tour around Bamburgh Castle, which has stood guard above the spectacular Northumberland coastline for over 1,400 years. Stroll through one of the largest inhabited castles in the country, known as the king of castles. The first castle in the world to fall to gunpowder in the War of the Roses.  Next, head to Lindisfarne, famous for both the Lindisfarne Gospels and being one of the first locations in the United Kingdom to be attacked by the Vikings. Known as the cradle of English Christianity, recognizing the monastery's importance in the Dark Ages.  Afterward, enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant in Bamburgh.

From Edinburg: Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle Day Tour

3. 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.

Northumberland: Full-Day Tour of Vera Filming Locations

4. Northumberland: Full-Day Tour of Vera Filming Locations

Follow in the footsteps of Ann Cleeves’ no-nonsense Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope on this full-day guided tour of “Vera” film locations in Northumberland by coach. Get an insider perspective of ITV’s best-loved detective drama. Starting and ending in the center of Newcastle, visit coastal locations in Northumberland including Amble, Warkworth, Alnmouth, Bamburgh, and Lindisfarne Island (or Holy Island), the fictional home of Vera. See more than 15 actual locations from episodes all the way through ten years of "Vera." Enjoy time to get on and off the coach and see some locations up close with plenty of opportunities to take photos.

Alnwick Castle & Holy Island Tour from Edinburgh

5. Alnwick Castle & Holy Island Tour from Edinburgh

On this full‐day tour you’ll journey south across the Scottish border into England. As you head south you’ll hear all about the historic rivalry between Scotland and England while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Borders. Your first stop will be at The Hirsel, a country house and estate where you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy some homemade treats. The tour continues with a 1-hour stop at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, a tidal island off the northeast coast of England. Lindisfarne is internationally known both for its medieval religious heritage and also its picturesque 16th-century castle. Alnwick Castle is the second-largest inhabited castle in the UK and has been home to the Percys, the Duke of Northumberland’s family, for over 700 years. In recent years it has also played starring roles in a number of film and television productions, featuring as Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey’s 2014 Christmas special and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter films. You’ll have approximately 2.5 hours at Alnwick to explore the castle and the gardens and to have lunch. You can explore a Downton Abbey exhibition, featuring photography, costumes, and props from the filming. Enjoy relaxing music on board during your enjoyable ride back to Edinburgh.

Other Sightseeing Options in Holy Island of Lindisfarne

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What people are saying about Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 318 reviews

Alex was fantastic! He had so much knowledge of the history of Scotland & England and it was wonderful to be able to ask questions. I am a huge The Last Kingdom fan so it was amazing to share information about true history versus historical fiction. Ales is a wonderful guide! Book him and you won't be disappointed! Judy Hockenbrough

The guide. A crack. At least I think it's lic. In history. A talking encyclopedia with a spark of humor. It is in English but very understandable. Very good journey. Very good music. The sites of interest visited speak for themselves. .

This was a wonderful trip and our tour guide was very knowledgeable and personable. She helped us discover some treasures on the Atlantic coast as well as the Alnwick castle. Highly recommend!

Beautiful experience !! Spectacular places and in particular Alnwich Castle !! Our guide Brian is a truly knowledgeable and kind person. No inconvenience! Clean and comfortable bus !!

Above all, the guide Eric was very good! Comfortable bus, interesting sights. If anything was negative it was the price.