Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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clock-o5 days (Approx.)
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Overview

Explore the dramatic beauty and history of northern England on a 5-day tour from Edinburgh. With a small group and a private guide, enjoy coastal views on the way to York, England’s most medieval city. Wind through the North York Moors National Park and marvel at the pastoral perfection of the Yorkshire Dales. Then cozy up in the town of Keswick, and spend two days relaxing and visiting idyllic lakes and ancient landmarks like Hadrian’s Wall.
  • 5-day tour of York, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District from Edinburgh with an expert driver-guide
  • Visit must-see sights such as Hadrian’s Wall, York Minster, Alnwick Castle and Lake Windermere
  • Be transported back in time to Roman Britain as you travel along the Great North Road and visit Hadrian’s Wall
  • Marvel at the breathtaking natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District
  • Make the most of ample free time to explore at your own pace
  • Enjoy two nights in York and two nights in the Lake District, staying in 3-star accommodation with breakfast included
  • Small-group tour limited to 16 people to ensure a personalized experience

Your 5-day tour of England’s majestic north departs Edinburgh in the morning. Set off with your private guide along the East Lothian coastline to York, where you’ll spend two nights. Throughout you journey, you’ll hit all the regional highlights, enjoying spectacular natural vistas in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, and visiting remarkable ancient and medieval landmarks like Hadrian’s Wall, York Minster, Alnwick Castle. The charming town of Keswick will be your second major destination, located within close proximity of gorgeous lakes like Lake Windermere, Grasmere and Ullswater.

Your tour includes round-trip transport, four nights accommodation in a 3-star hotel or guesthouse and daily breakfasts.

Itinerary

Day 1: Edinburgh — York
Meet your professional driver-guide in central Edinburgh to begin your 5-day excursion. Sit back, relax and enjoy a scenic journey along the magnificent East Lothian coastline as you travel toward the walled border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Stop to admire the fortifications before continuing to Alnwick Castle. Home to the earls and dukes of Northumberland since the early 14th century, this magnificent stronghold featured as Hogwarts in two of the Harry Potter films. Pose for photos outside its grand exterior before hopping back in your minivan to the city of York.

Traveling along the Great North Road, a route used by countless Roman legions between the remote Northern outposts and the settlements of Roman Britain, arrive in York in the late afternoon. Check in at your guesthouse or hotel before enjoying the rest of the day at your leisure.

Overnight: 3-star accommodation in York

Day 2: York — Whitby — York (B)
Savor breakfast in your guesthouse, then spend time exploring the medieval city of York at your leisure. Perhaps discover York’s rich history at Yorkshire Museum (own expense) or enjoy a relaxing stroll along the ancient city walls.

In the late morning, meet your group and guide at the prearranged time and head for the magnificent North York Moors National Park. Breathe in the aromatic, fresh air and spend a few minutes capturing postcard-perfect photos of the stunning natural vistas — one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the United Kingdom.

After working up an appetite, travel to the bustling fishing port of Whitby for lunch (own expense). After lunch, enjoy free time to stroll around the port that served as inspiration for author Bram Stoker, who stayed on the western side of Whitby while writing his famous novel Dracula.

Then, travel to Robin Hood’s Bay. Hop out of your minivan atop brooding cliffs that tower over the cluster of old red-roofed cottages that make up this charming old fishing village, and marvel at the breathtaking scenery. Walk down the steep hill and spend some time wandering around the winding lanes of the village center before returning to your minivan and making your way back to York.

Overnight: 3-star accommodation in York


Day 3: York — Yorkshire Dales — Lake District (B)
After enjoying breakfast in your guesthouse or hotel and checking out, greet your guide and minivan and head west out of the city and into the heart of Yorkshire Dales National Park. Admire the sweeping natural vistas and verdant landscape that is a haven for wildlife and a peaceful sanctuary for those seeking solitude.

Head through the Northern Dales, the center of the region’s cattle trade, before visiting the town of Masham, home to two of Yorkshire’s most popular breweries, and the historical town of Hawes, which is popular for its cheese.

After exploring the Yorkshire Dales, continue to the quaint market town of Keswick. Nestled between Derwentwater Lake and the Skiddaw Mountains, Keswick is situated in one of the most idyllic locations in Lake District National Park. Here, check in to your accommodation and then spend the evening at your leisure.

Overnight: 3-star accommodation in Keswick

Day 4: Lake District (B)
Wake up to a relaxing breakfast and then travel a short distance to the mysterious Castlerigg Stone Circle. Thought to have been constructed around 3200 BC, in the late Neolithic period and early Bronze Age, the Castlerigg Stone Circle — also referred to as the Castlerigg Standing Stones — is one of Britain’s oldest stone circles. Wander around the stones with your small group and see if you can prove wrong the folklore that suggests it is impossible to count the stones without getting a different answer every time.

Next, travel on the shores of Ullswater, arguably one of England’s most beautiful lakes, and enjoy a forest walk to see the meandering Aira Force waterfall. Then, continue south over the winding Kirkstone Pass and stop at Lake Windermere. Here, enjoy a leisurely cruise across the lake or take in the incredible mountain and lake views at a restaurant for lunch — both are at your own expense.

After your time at Lake Windermere, push on toward Coniston Water before arriving at Hawkeshead village where the poet William Wordsworth attended school. Enjoy free time to explore the village, perhaps visiting Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage (own expense) or strolling the narrow country lanes north toward Grasmere, an area that Wordsworth described as “the loveliest spot that man hath found.”

Return to Keswick in the late afternoon, spending the evening at your leisure.

Overnight: 3-star accommodation in Keswick

Day 5: Lake District — Hadrian’s Wall — Edinburgh (B)
Relish a delicious breakfast at your accommodation before checking out and bidding the Lake District a fond farewell. Follow the route of the old sheep drovers’ road between England and Scotland, before making your first stop of the day at Hadrian’s Wall. Built by the Roman Empire to keep the Scottish tribes at bay, follow in the footsteps of the Roman centurions as you explore the remains with your guide.

Then, following the ancient Roman Dere Street, cross over the border into Scotland and continue on to the border town of Jedburgh, recharging with some refreshments (own expense) by the majestic Jedburgh Abbey ruins.

Your final stop of the trip is at Scott’s view, a viewpoint in the Scottish Borders that boasts sweeping vistas of Tweed Valley and the Cheviot hills. Your 5-day experience then finishes with a drop-off at the original start point in central Edinburgh.

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

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r
, Oct 2016

Well organised with comfortable transport and a knowledgeable, witty tour guide/driver. Accommodation option of 3 star hotels was as expected - dated but comfortable and congenially hosted. A much better option than self-driving!!

D
, May 2016

My wife and I enjoyed this tour immensely. We visited Scotland specifically to learn about the culture and the history of the area, and both the basic tour and the tour guide, James, exceeded our expectations and hopes.

Both of the B and B's selected were top quality and much enjoyed. We had sufficient time to visit Alnwick Castle - important to us as castles were a major reason for being there. The free time allowed in each stop was, in fact, almost perfect. I might have been nice had the B and B's in York been closer together as the small number in the group promoted friendships and such things as meals taken together when possible.

Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay were both interesting and we enjoyed simply walking around in both areas. Well worth the stop and time we took there. The drive to Keswick was enjoyable the van was nearly new and very comfortable with several short stops and beautiful scenery. The accommodations at Keswick were again top quality and we certainly had no complaints there!

As with all our stops, the one for Aira Force waterfall was great. While not a tremendous waterfall, the walk to get there was beautiful and most pleasant after a long coach ride. The planning that included this walk was much appreciated. The timing on the trip to the stone circle was changed somewhat as rain was predicted, but we still got to visit - again very important to us as a part of the ancient history of the island. Awe inspiring to walk among those stones, erected so many thousand years ago.

With approval from the group, James included a stop at an excavation of an ancient Roman fort near Hadrians wall why this wasn't included anyway I don't know as it was most fascinating and was a part of the history we were there to see. Nice that the tour guide could modify the itinerary. The stop at Hadrians wall was again awe inspiring to put a hand on that ancient fortification.

A wonderful tour that convinced me to use Rabby's again when possible.


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