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Noble Bastions in the Rugged North: Edinburgh & Northumberland
September 6-13, 2014
Operated by National Trust Tours, the Noble Bastions in the Rugged North: Edinburgh & Northumberland experience uncovers the vibrant history of the England-Scotland relations, focusing on the struggles that beset Scottish royalty and also crosses to Northumberland, which played a pivotal part in the relationship between the two nations.
Built in 1840, the Norton House Hotel is a fine country house hotel set in 55 acres of leafy grounds to the west of Edinburgh, originally a traditional country retreat. This luxury hotel offers boutique rooms and a health club and spa with a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, and hydrotherapy pool, plus a fully-equipped gym.
Set in ten acres of manicured grounds and surrounded by magnificent Northumbrian countryside, Doxford Hall Hotel is a beautifully-restored country house dating back to 1818. Period features such as an impressive grand staircase, beautiful woodwork, and local paintings adorn the interior and individually-designed luxurious bedrooms. Hotel facilities include a bar and restaurant, lounge areas, and extensive spa and leisure facilities with a pool, spa baths, fitness room, sauna, and steam room.
September 6 - Saturday
On arrival at Edinburgh airport, a private transfer will take you to Norton House Hotel. In the evening, join the group for a welcome drink, followed by dinner.
September 7 - Sunday
Explore the vibrant Scottish capital city of Edinburgh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Take a guided walk through the historic Palace gardens, followed by refreshments and a visit of the State Apartments with audio guides. Enjoy the Royal Exhibition, ‘Poetry for the Palace; Poets Laureate from Dryden to Duffy’ in the Queen’s Gallery before discovering the rest of Edinburgh's finest attractions with a guided tour. Most of the city’s sights can be found within the medieval Old Town and the elegant Georgian buildings of the New Town, all overlooked by the iconic castle perched high above the city.
September 8 - Monday
Enjoy a private tour of Newhailes, a 300-year-old Neo-Palladian villa with some of the finest Rococo interiors in Scotland. Much of the original decorative scheme remains, including exquisite Chinese hand-painted wallpaper. Then, explore The Georgian House, an atmospheric 18th-century townhouse situated in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic New Town. The house is part of Charlotte Square, a vision of architectural symmetry designed by Robert Adam.
September 9 - Tuesday
The first stop is Scone Palace, crowning place of Scottish kings including Robert the Bruce, Macbeth, and Charles II and family home of the Earls of Mansfield. Take a guided tour of the palace with its fine collections of furniture, porcelain, ivories, clocks, paintings, and other objets d’art. Originally built in the 12th century, with additions and renovations undertaken over the years, Stirling Castle has played a key role in Scottish history. As well as being an important outpost during the Wars of Scottish Independence, the castle was once home to the doomed Mary Queen of Scots, who is said to haunt the castle to this day.
September 10 - Wednesday
After breakfast, travel south to Floors Castle, lying on the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders, to admire the collections of fine art, furniture, porcelain, and tapestries. Scotland’s largest inhabited castle has been home to the Dukes of Roxburghe since it was built in 1721 to designs by William Adam. Still home to the Duke of Northumberland and his family, Alnwick Castle is a Grade I listed building and the second largest inhabited castle in England. Here, tour the impressive State Rooms and explore the history of the Percy family through the eclectic array of furniture and art they collected. In the evening, enjoy accommodations at Doxford Hall Hotel.
September 11 - Thursday
The Romans built Hadrian’s Wall as a fortification across Britain some two thousand years ago. Explore part of this fascinating archaeological site with a local guide before visiting Housesteads Roman Fort, Britain’s most complete Roman fort. Wander through the ruins of this ancient hilltop fortress and visit the fascinating museum, which gives an insight into the life of a Roman soldier. Spend the afternoon at Cragside, the National Trust’s most popular place to visit. Once the home of Victorian inventor Lord Armstrong, this imposing house is packed to the rafters with fascinating gadgets from the era. It was also the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. As the name implies, the house is built high into the rock, above the clear waters of Debdon Burn.
September 12 - Friday
Travel back up to Scotland with a stop at Abbotsford, the home of great romanticist and honored literary figure Sir Walter Scott. Created by the writer himself in the Scottish Baronial style and set in beautiful formal gardens, the house contains an impressive collection of historic relics and an extensive library, all of which will be discovered on the guided tour. The tour will be followed by a light lunch before stopping at Traquair House where the 21st Lady of Traquair will kindly show us around the house. This 12th century former hunting lodge which hosted 27 Scottish monarchs, including Mary Queens of Scots, has a fascinating history spanning nearly a thousand years. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at the Norton House Hotel.
September 13 - Saturday
A private transfer will take you back to Edinburgh airport for the return flight home.
Per person - $3,995
Mention Historic Hotels of America when booking your tour and receive three $100 gift certificates, each good toward a $100 refund when you book through HistoricHotels.org and stay for at least two-nights at a Historic Hotels of America hotel.**
To book a tour please contact our tour VIP desk at +1 202 772 8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*No Single Supplement. Deposit of $500 required. Balance is due 8 weeks before departure.
Included in tour cost: Airport transfers from and to Edinburgh airport; 5 nights at Norton House Hotel, Edinburgh; 2 nights at Doxford Hall Hotel, Northumberland; Full English breakfast & 3-course table d’hôte dinner each day; Evening lecture from an eminent speaker; All excursion costs; Services of a tour director throughout your stay; Travel by comfortable motor coach; Porterage; and Welcome drink on your first evening.
Not included in tour cost: Airfare; Passport and visa fees; Baggage in excess of one suitcase; Airport transfers for those not flying in to named airports (either Heathrow or Edinburgh); Lunches (unless specified on tour pages); Beverages throughout (except welcome drink); Personal items and expenses; Trip insurance (available to purchase); Gratuities; Any other items not specifically mentioned as included.
**Maximum of one $100 certificate may be claimed for a refund with a minimum two night stay booked through HistoricHotels.org following the return of your tour and completion of your hotel stay. The refund will be issued within 45 days of the completion of your stay upon submitting a Great Experiences & Tours $100 refund application. Refund application must be submitted with a copy of your hotel folio receipt, the original confirmation number from your booking on HistoricHotels.org, and the Certificate number issued to you for booking your tour through Historic Hotels of America. Certificates issued are a promotion only valid toward future reservations made through HistoricHotels.org and do not have any cash value. One certificate may be used per room per two night or longer stay at the same hotel. Eligible rates include rates publicly available at time of booking. Reduced rates, rooms included in another travel or tour package, employee rates, advance purchase rates, and certain last minute sale rates are not eligible for this promotion.