Three-day tour of Northumbria

Two-night break to Durham & Northumbria

30 August – 1 September 2012


Northumbria, England’s Border Country and thought by many to be England’s best kept secret, is a region of outstanding natural beauty and includes many castles and gardens which is the theme of this tour of the North East.

Day 1
We meet at pre-arranged pick up points for our journey to Raby Castle.  On arrival at Raby light refreshments will be provided, followed by a guided tour.  Raby was home to Lord Barnard’s family since 1626, and is one of the finest medieval castles in England.  Built by the mighty Nevill family in the 14th Century, Raby remained in the ownership of the same family until 1569 when after the failure of the Rising of the North, the Castle and its lands were forfeited to the Crown. In 1626, Sir Henry Vane the Elder purchased Raby and the Castle has remained in the Vane family ever since.

After our tour of Raby, we continue our journey to the 4* Radisson Blu Hotel, in the heart of historic Durham, on a bed and breakfast basis, for a two night stay.  The rest of the day is at leisure for you to visit the Cathedral, the Castle or just get to know the city!

Day 2
This morning we have a guided tour of Alnwick Castle, one of the largest inhabited castles in England, and proudly known as ‘The Windsor of the North’, home to the Percy family for 700 years.  There are many state rooms packed with a stunning array of art and furniture collected over the years by the Percy family.   Alnwick Garden – step into the unexpected.  Alnwick is the only place to see a public garden on this scale from internationally celebrated garden designer Jacques Wirtz.  See the classic touches from his style in the strong green architecture and contrasting spaces and atmospheres.  There is so much to explore and water brings the landscape to life – it tumbles down the Grand Cascade, erupting, splashing and jetting high into the air.  The garden is beautiful all year around.

We will also visit Wallington House, a National Trust property.  Wallington was home to many generations of the Blackett and Trevelyan families, who all left their marks. The result is an impressive, yet friendly house with a magnificent  interior and fine collections. The remarkable Pre-Raphaelite central hall was decorated to look like an Italian courtyard and features a series of paintings of Northumbrian history by William Bell Scott. The formality of the house is offset by the tranquil beauty of the surrounding landscape- a miscellany of lawns, lakes, parkland and woodland. The delightful walled garden, with its varied plant collection and charming conservatory, is an enchanting must-see.

Day 3
Tullie House is our destination today before our journey home.  It has an extensive and important art collection including Fine Art, Decorative Art and Textiles. This collection consists of around 2000 items including ceramics, textiles, metalwork, musical instruments and furniture dating from around 1564 to the present day. The new Roman Gallery must not be missed!

The cost per person is £205 sharing a double room – single room supplement £30 per person. For non-National Trust Members there is an additional cost of £10.80. At present Tullie House is free to NADFAS Members, but there could be a charge of £3.60 from April 2012.