VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION – All group tours depart from Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3BQ (opposite Howie’s Restaurant).
Please check in with your driver guide at Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place 15 minutes before departure
Prices & Booking Terms
- Free cancellation/rebooking up to 24 hours before departure
- Luggage allowance of up to 15 kg (33 lbs)
- Transport in a luxury Mercedes Wee Red Bus
- Fully guided services of a Heart of Scotland tour leader
- Entry fees to attractions
- Meals and refreshments
- Average group size of around 12
- Holy Island
- Alnwick Castle - 33% special discount
- Alnwick Garden - 33% special discount
- Lindisfarne Castle
- Northumberland coast
- Lindisfarne Priory
- Northumberland National Park
- The beautiful Scottish Borders
- Lots of time off the bus
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
According to TripAdvisor travelers as of November 2023
This exciting tour explores Holy Island, scene of the first Viking invasion of Britain, and Alnwick Castle (filming location for Harry Potter and Downton Abbey) before returning north to Edinburgh via the beautiful Borders.
Our scenic drive towards the historic border town of Berwick-on-Tweed follows the sweeping coastline of the North Sea. Soon we cross the ancient Scotland / England border into Northumberland. Lindisfarne or Holy Island is a tidal island settled around AD 635 by Irish monks who had moved to Scotland. From here the Christian message spread throughout the north of England. In 793 a fierce Viking invasion heralded the beginning of the Viking Age.
'In 793 a fierce invasion of Holy Island heralded the beginning of the Viking Age'
Located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty you will have plenty of time to enjoy a short walk to 16th century Lindisfarne Castle, visit the Priory where the famous Lindisfarne Gospels were created and to enjoy the spectacular views to Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands. * See note at bottom of page regarding tidal access to Holy Island.
After a short drive we arrive at Alnwick Castle and Garden around lunchtime. Here you can take advantage of our 33% discount (no pre-booking required) – Castle only adult £13.60, 5-16 yrs £7.60, Garden only adult £10.80, 5-16 yrs £5.60, Castle and Garden combined visit (not available to the general public) adult £22.50, 5-16 yrs £13.10. Please note this special discount is only available on the day itself and does not apply if you pre-book the Castle or Alnwick Garden independently in advance of the tour.
This magical place – the Windsor of the North – is one of Europe’s finest castles and has been at the centre of many historical events, from bloodthirsty battles between the Scots and the English to the intrigues of the Guy Fawkes plot.
Its sumptuous setting and exquisite architecture has famously been used as a filming location for ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘Harry Potter’ (Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry), ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves’, ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Blackadder’.
Visit the Downton Abbey exhibition featuring costumes, photography and props from the series and revisit some of your favourite Harry Potter filming locations. There are guided historical and film tours as well as costumed actors in the castle grounds. Check the events board on entry to make the most of your time here.
'Alnwick Castle has famously been used as a Harry Potter filming location'
There are numerous fun and interactive activities for children and we will stop here for a minimum of 2.5 hours so you can fully appreciate and enjoy this amazing castle. Next door to the castle is the world-renowned Alnwick Garden. The fabulous Grand Cascade, Walled Garden and Poison Garden are part of an expansive network of formal planting which attracts visitors from all over the world.
The tour returns north through scenic Border country following in the footsteps of feuding clans and families, known as Border Reivers, who fought a series of violent raids across the border hills until the end of the 16th century. We stop for refreshments and an opportunity to admire the beautiful rolling landscape which nestles between two historic and proud nations.
* Please note the crossing to Holy Island is dependent on tidal conditions and is always at driver discretion. Your driver will ensure that crossing times allow for a healthy safety margin. If the tour is unable to cross in the morning then we will endeavour to visit in the afternoon or stop at Bamburgh beach and the impressive castle instead.