On the way to Edinburgh: The Castles & Coastline of Northumberland

This fantastic private day trip from York to Edinburgh is one of our most popular private tours. Rather than travelling on to Edinburgh by train (using up a whole day without really seeing the sights along the way), this private tour takes you through some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the British Isles, making the most of the fascinating places located between York and Edinburgh.

Beginning at your accommodation in York, this tour heads north on the quickest route, with an optional stop at the iconic ‘Angel of the North’ a possibility before travelling through the city of Newcastle and across the famous Tyne Bridge.

Reaching Northumberland, the next few hours of your tour will be dictated by the tide, which determines when you can make the road crossing to Holy Island and Lindisfarne Castle. The ‘island’ is connected to the mainland by a tidal causeway, which often means that Holy Island must be the first or final place we visit on our Northumberland itinerary (tide and crossing times are published many months in advance, so the day’s itinerary can be pre-planned). Once on the island, you’ll have time to walk out to Lindisfarne Castle and to take in the views of the stunning coastline.

As well as Holy Island, you’ll visit Alnwick Castle, famously used as “Hogwarts” in the Harry Potter films, as well as being a filming location for Downton Abbey. You can see the filming locations at Alnwick Castle, while younger visitors might enjoy the broomstick flying lessons! Next to Alnwick Castle are the stunning Alnwick Gardens, a fabulous place for a stroll through the gardens and a lovely spot for a light lunch.

You’ll also enjoy a scenic drive along the ‘Coastal Route’ to the village of Bamburgh, where you can take a walk along the sand dunes and across the beach on a circuit around the dramatically imposing Bamburgh Castle.

During your time in Northumberland you’ll also have the opportunity to take a boat trip to the Farne Islands, where huge colonies of seabirds, including the adorable Puffin, have taken over the uninhabited islands. You can usually also see some of the many seals which live in these waters.

Finally, this private tour ends at the Scottish Border. After pausing for photographs at the border point, you’ll be taken to the railway station in Berwick upon Tweed, where you’ll catch the train to Edinburgh, only a 40-minute journey away.

If you are returning to York, your itinerary will also include the journey back to York by car.