The Golden Age of Northumbria

Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral

The Kings of the North

In an era of warfare, raiders and ruthless kings, northern England occupied a place on an international stage that placed it alongside the great powers of the continent. The kingdom of Northumbria dominated the north and under its Kings Edwin, Oswald, Ivar the Boneless and Eric Bloodaxe, it held primacy over Anglo-Viking Britain. Royal, secular and ecclesiastical patronage produced unrivalled cultural achievements in art, architecture, writing, and learning.

  • Visit the famous monastery of Lindisfarne, raided by Vikings in AD 793
  • Explore the once bustling Roman town of Corbridge in the Tyne Valley
  • View St. Paul’s monastery at Jarrow
  • Discover medieval York and admire the Norman architecture of Durham Cathedral

Itinerary 2020

Day 1


Arrive independently in York and gather at the hotel. This afternoon will be spent exploring the heart of the medieval city. We walk to see the city walls and York Minster with its awe-inspiring stained-glass windows. Before dinner, there will be an interesting introductory lecture.

Hotel: The Grange Hotel, York
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

Jorvik centre

Today we will walk through the city to the Yorkshire Museum, with its superb collection of finds from Roman Anglian and Viking York. This afternoon we walk to Coppergate and the Jorvik centre, where, during the 1970s, ground-breaking excavations uncovered rich evidence for the early city.

Hotel: The Grange Hotel, York
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

Brompton - Auckland

We drive to Brompton. Here, in the churchyard, are the famous hogbacks – Anglo-Viking tombstones formed in the shape of an early medieval longhouse or hall being savaged by fierce bears. On to Bishop Auckland, where the bishop of Durham had both a castle and palace. We continue to Durham and enjoy a walk through the city.

Hotel: Overnight in Durham
Meals: All meals included

Day 4


We explore the Norman magnificence of Durham Cathedral, one of the best-preserved Norman buildings in Europe. Inside the building are the tombs of St. Cuthbert and St. Bede. Next, we visit Durham Castle, where the bishop, the Royal warden in the north, held power from the 11th century.

Hotel: Overnight in Durham
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Jarrow - Hexham

We drive to Jarrow to visit the remains of the Abbey of St. Peter and Paul, once Bede’s home monastery. Amazingly, some of the original buildings remain standing around the later church. After, we drive to see another great building of its time at Hexham Abbey. We end the day with a visit to Corbridge, a Roman supply base.

Hotel: Overnight in Durham
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

Bamburgh - Lindisfarne

Today we head to Bamburgh. The Norman royal castle is evocatively located right above the sands of the beach. This afternoon we make our way to Lindisfarne, where St. Cuthbert’s community produced masterpieces like the Lindisfarne gospels. We return to Durham for our onward journeys.

Meals: Breakfast & lunch included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - All local transport
  4. Meals - Water with all meals, tea or coffee with dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels

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2020 Tour Details

Mon 14th Sep - Sat 19th Sep



without flights

sgl supp: £325


Led By: John Oxley

Guide Lecturer

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