Day 1: You will be picked up and transported to one of England’s most attractive medieval towns, Durham, where you will visit Durham castle & cathedral. Durham Cathedral, built between 1093 and 1133, is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Europe – and the first European cathedral to be roofed with stone-ribbed vaulting, which allowed for the construction of the pointed transverse arches and hey presto! the Gothic style of architecture was born. The site is also outstanding because of its political history: The Castle and Cathedral reflect the unique status of the Prince-Bishops of Durham. The Prince-Bishops were religious leaders who also had secular powers — they governed a virtually autonomous state that formed the buffer zone between England and Scotland from the late eleventh century until 1603.
Day 2: Today you will visit your 2nd World Heritage site, Hadrian’s Wall. You will travel alongside the wall following past ‘Mile Castles’ and ‘Towers’. Hadrian’s Wall is almost 80 miles long and was the northern boundary of the mighty Roman Empire for around 3 Centuries. We continue into the remote 'Debatable Lands' of the Border Reivers heading to Lanercost Priory, with time to see and visit the church built within the priory ruins and more Burne Jones windows.
The next stop will by the Roman Army Museum, where there is time for lunch and a café inside. The Roman Army Museum lies on the site of Carvoran Roman Fort adjacent to sections of Hadrian’s Wall. The museum’s artefacts, videos and reconstructions give great insight into the life of a Roman Soldier and the building of the wall at the northerly boundary of the Roman Empire.
After lunch we the make our way to Vindolanda. Vindolanda is an amazing working archaeological dig site to the south of Hadrian’s Wall. There were 9 forts built on the site over the 400 years of Roman occupancy. Each day during the summer, treasures are uncovered by the volunteer excavators.
After our trip to Vindolanda, we continue along Hadrian’s Wall seeing the spectacular Fell End, Sunny Rigg, Great Chester and finally Steel Rigg before making our way to your overnight accommodation.
Day 3: The Lake District is renowned for being the most beautiful corner of England, and this full-day tour introduces you to just that; a magnificent scenery of mountains, valleys, and lakes from the south to the north. The tour includes a lake cruise, a visit to the 4,000-year-old Castlerigg Stone Circle, set high on the fells, and time in Keswick for lunch.
On this Lake District tour you will also travel over mountain passes, through beautiful valleys, see waterfalls, and traditional Lakeland villages. There will be plenty of stops for admiring the views and taking photographs. It provides a great introduction to the Lake District, and a taster for exploring further.
Along the way, you will pass some of the region’s most spectacular sights, such as Borrowdale Valley, Newlands Valley, Thirlmere, and Grasmere. A highlight is the Castlerigg Stone Circle, one of the most famous and most visited stone circles in the country. From within the circle, you will get picture-perfect views of some of the Lake District’s highest peaks.
Stop in either Keswick or Grasmere and try a typical pub lunch, or seek out a charming restaurant. You will also get the chance to stretch your legs at the magnificent lake of Derwentwater, where you can enjoy a cruise on the lake and see the Lake District from another perspective.
Day 4: After breakfast you will have some free time to explore the lake district village before departing for a leisurely drive back to your starting location.