Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
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Approximately 8 Hours
Your destination is Bamburgh Castle, seen first from the white strand of Budle Bay. This stunning view of Bamburgh's ramparts has awed visitors (both welcome and unwelcome) for centuries. The castle has witnessed relentless assaults and waves of cultural upheaval, from Anglo-Saxons to Normans to 18th-century Jacobites. Bamburgh is perched on a basalt outcropping on the very edge of the North Sea. It commands stunning views of the Farne Islands, Holy Island and the Cheviot Hills. Explore the dashing history of this great and stoic link in old England's impregnable chain of defense. The castle has been extensively restored, first by Lord Crewe in the 1750s and more recently by the first Lord Armstrong at the end of the 19th century. It continues to be the home of the Armstrong family.
Turning south again, this time along the coastal route that passes the pretty seaside towns of Seahouses and Beadnell, you will arrive at the pretty town of Alnwick. Its cobblestone marketplace, main street, and warren of narrow alleyways and streets date back to medieval times.
After lunch in Alnwick, discover The Alnwick Garden, the serene beauty of the stunning landscape, complete with dancing fountains and enchanting mazes and displays. Today's gardens are located on the site of the gardens originally built in the 1750s by Capability Brown for the Duke of Northumberland. Your guided tour will take in most of the major garden areas -- the Rose Garden, the Ornamental Garden, the Bamboo Labyrinth, the Poison Garden, and the Serpent Garden. You will also see the magnificent Grand Cascade, the largest water feature in the UK, and the fabulous Tree House -- one of the largest in the world.
You'll have free time to explore the garden some more before returning to the ship.