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 center of religious learning in the British Isles. 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 that 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 center 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 the 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.

Alnwick Castle & Holy Island Tour from Edinburgh

2. 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.

Northumberland: Private Bamburgh and Lindisfarne Guided Tour

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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.

English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

6. English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

Get a range of benefits with a 9-day or 16-day single or family English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass, offering free entry to more than 100 stately homes, castles, prehistoric remains and gardens the length and breadth of England. Only available to non-UK residents, the great value pass will save you money even if you only visit 2 or 3 attractions, making a 9-day pass suitable for a weekend break. You can visit as many English Heritage attractions as you like, and come back as many times as you want to. But the more places you visit, the more money you save! Plan your vacation with the help of our overseas visitor Guidebook. The English Heritage website will also help you plan your visit before you travel. Once you have decided which attractions to explore, there is no need to get your money out at every attraction, and no need to keep track of your spending. The monuments bring the story of England to life, and have all been selected for their historic significance. Located in some of the most beautiful settings in England, they include mighty castles, tranquil monastic ruins, pleasant gardens and grand stately homes. Many host special events throughout the year, and your pass also gives you free or reduced price entry. You might even come face-to-face with a knight in shining armor. All sites have reduced opening times during the winter months (October to March). Detailed information available after booking. The full list of places you can access with your pass is as follows: In London: Apsley HouseChiswick HouseEltham Palace and GardensJewel TowerMarble Hill HouseRanger’s House - The Wernher CollectionWellington ArchIn the South East: 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey & BattlefieldBayham Old AbbeyCarisbrooke CastleDeal CastleDover CastleFort Brockhurst (as part of a pre-booked group)Home of Charles Darwin (Down House)Lullingstone Roman VillaMedieval Merchant’s HouseOsborne HousePevensey CastlePortchester CastleRichborough Roman FortRochester CastleSt Augustine’s AbbeyWalmer Castle & GardensYarmouth CastleIn the South West: Berry Pomeroy CastleChysauster Ancient VillageCleeve AbbeyDartmouth CastleFarleigh Hungerford CastleHailes AbbeyLaunceston CastleMuchelney AbbeyOkehampton CastleOld SarumOld Wardour CastlePendennis CastlePortland CastleRestormel CastleSt Mawes CastleSherborne Old CastleStonehengeTintagel CastleTotnes Castle In the East of England: Audley End House & GardensBerney Arms Windmill (as part of a pre-booked group)Castle Acre PrioryDenny Abbey and the Farmland MuseumGreat Yarmouth Row Houses and Greyfriars’ CloisterGrime’s GravesFramlingham CastleOrford CastleSaxtead Green Post MillTilbury FortWrest Park In the East Midlands: Ashby de la Zouch CastleBolsover CastleHardwick Old HallKirby HallKirby Muxloe CastleLyddington Bede HousePeveril CastleSibsey Trader WindmillLincoln Medieval Bishops’ PalaceRushton Triangular LodgeIn the West Midlands: Boscobel House and the Royal OakBuildwas AbbeyGoodrich CastleHaughmond AbbeyKenilworth Castle and Elizabethan GardenStokesay CastleWenlock PrioryWitley Court and GardensWroxeter Roman CityIn Yorkshire: Aldborough Roman SiteBrodsworth Hall and GardensByland AbbeyClifford's TowerHelmsley CastleKirkham PrioryMiddleham CastleMount Grace PrioryPickering CastleRichmond CastleRievaulx AbbeyRoche AbbeySt Peter's ChurchScarborough CastleThornton Abbey and GatehouseWhitby AbbeyYork Cold War Bunker (pre-booked visits only)In the North West: Beeston Castle and Woodland ParkBrougham CastleCarlisle CastleFurness AbbeyLanercost PrioryStott Park Bobbin MillAt Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman FortChesters Roman FortCorbridge Roman TownHousesteads Roman FortIn the North East: Aydon CastleBarnard CastleBerwick-Upon-Tweed-BarracksBelsay Hall, Castle and GardensBrinkburn PrioryDunstanburgh CastleEtal CastleLindisfarne PrioryPrudhoe CastleTynemouth Priory and CastleWarkworth Castle

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What people are saying about Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 367 reviews

Great drive, great destinations. Pace was just right -- not too rushed. Learned lots of new stuff about "The Borders". Thoroughly enjoyed touring Alnwick Castle and Gardens. The staff there were friendly, happy to answer questions. The Holy Island was also beautiful in much more wild and rugged way. Only thing we didn't enjoy about the trip was being a bit crunched in the back of the smaller bus.

Nestor has been hands down one of the best guides I’ve come across. So knowledgeable, full of little stories and anecdotes, with little jokes. Loved the trip. The experience added on to my love for Scotland. Thank you so much. :)

Everyone should take this tour....but will depend on weather...we had a great weather that's why we enjoyed it ...but if it is not good then there will be bit problem

Super pleasant day !! Nestor our guide was really friendly, calm, posed with great anecdotes. He also introduced great music throughout the day.

Very nice guide Nestor, with a lot of knowledge about the history of the places and with a great mood!!