Alison Weir Tours






30th April to 9th May 2025
17th September to 26th September 2025

AWT’s latest adventure will take us to the ancient kingdom of Northumbria, comprising modern North Yorkshire and the counties of Durham and Northumberland, the northernmost county of England, which incorporates almost 2,000 square miles of breathtaking countryside, award-winning coastlines, rolling hills, magnificent castles and charming market towns.

We will begin our journey in North Yorkshire, England’s largest county, and one of the most picturesque. From the Yorkshire Dales in the west, to the city of York – one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations – and the North York Moors to the magnificent Yorkshire Coast and the town of Whitby, North Yorkshire truly has a lot to offer visitors, from historic sights to impressive natural wonders.

We will visit the magnificent cathedral city of Durham and explore the beautiful county that surrounds it. In Northumberland, we will follow in Roman footsteps along the Emperor Hadrian’s mighty frontier with Scotland and visit the world-famous Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site. We will delve into the turbulent past in one of the area’s many enchanted castles, or on the battlefield of Flodden, and catch the tide as we head over the causeway that takes us to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, the cradle of Christianity in England.

You will walk in the footsteps, or hear the stories, of saints (including St Cuthbert, St Hilda and St Margaret Clitherow), kings (among them Richard III), queens, the great northern families of Percy (covering Henry Percy and Anne Boleyn) and Neville (including Joan Beaufort and Cecily Neville, Duchess of York), Count Dracula, the Wars of the Roses, the Reformation, the Pilgrimage of Grace, the Northern Rising under Elizabeth I, the present Duchess of Kent, the screaming skull of Burton Agnes Hall and the ghosts of Chillingham Castle, heroine Grace Darling, Guy Fawkes, Margaret Beaufort and the late Mary, Princess Royal.

We will be staying in two superb five-star hotels and dining at Castle Howard, Chillingham Castle and Langley Castle, and enjoying a host of other experiences. As always, you will be guided by Alison Weir and her team of experienced historians, and there will be an array of special guest speakers.
The tour will begin and end at York.

We will be staying at The Grand Hotel, York (5 nights) and Matfen Hall, near Newcastle (4 nights).

Get the celebrity treatment with world-class service at The Grand, York, the finest luxury hotel in the city. It offers stylish rooms and a luxury vaulted spa. Set in the iconic Grade II-listed former railway headquarters, it has bedrooms that feature free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, bathrobes, slippers, Molton Brown toiletries and an evening turn down service. The Rise Restaurant, Terrace & Bar offers modern British cuisine, with locally sourced, freshly prepared dishes. The open kitchen and spacious setting at The Rise create an immersive and social dining experience for guests. The luxurious spa has a 13-metre swimming pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room. An array of health, beauty and wellness therapies and remedies can also be booked within the spa's vaulted treatment rooms. There is also a modern fitness centre, the complimentary use of which is open to guests staying in all rooms. The historic city centre, picturesque Shambles and boutique shops are just a short walk away.

Matfen Hall, in the heart of Northumberland, is a true escape to a luxurious world. Rich in heritage, atmosphere and space, it is a 5-star paradise, set in over 300 acres of parkland. The hotel boasts luxurious bedrooms, all individually designed with a modern twist on tradition and decorated with bespoke furniture provided by local craftsmen, and with magnificent views of the surroundings. With 5 dining areas, there is an option for every mood. Cloisters Restaurant and Bar serves breakfast, followed by an all-day menu with a grill and seafood theme, beneath a glass roof offering a view of the Great Hall’s stained-glass windows. The Emerald Restaurant is for fine dining, open each evening and for Sunday lunch, and affording views across the vast Northumberland parkland. The Orangery is a dedicated tea lounge, serving a beautiful Afternoon Tea prepared daily by an award-winning pastry chef. Needham is open daily for drinks and sandwiches, while Keepers is the golf clubhouse, where golfers and guests alike can enjoy a gastro-pub style meal. A sanctuary of tranquillity, The Retreat spa invites you to indulge each one of your senses in a harmonious experience that transports you to a state of total wellbeing. Indulge in treatments tailored to mind, body and spirit, or simply relax and enjoy the pool, jacuzzi and thermal suites. 27 holes of championship-level golf are available to play, with a course as beautiful as the stunning scenery surrounding it.

We will be visiting:

Beningborough Hall OR York Minster and a guided walk in York
Fountains Abbey
Ripon Cathedral
Newby Hall
Whitby Abbey
Durham and Durham Cathedral
Raby Castle
St Mary’s Church, Staindrop
Hovingham Hall
Burton Agnes Hall
Hexham Abbey
Hadrian’s Wall and Vinolanda
Aydon Castle
Flodden Battlefield
Lady Waterford Hall
Etal Castle
Holy Island (Lindisfarne)
Lindisfarne Priory
Lindisfarne Castle
Alnwick and Alnwick Castle
Bamburgh Castle
Warkworth Castle
Seaton Delaval Hall
Harewood House

Included meals (5 lunches, 5 dinners):

Welcome buffet lunch at York hotel
Welcome drinks and dinner at The Grand Hotel, York
Lunch on the North York Moors Railway (tbc)
Light lunch at Burton Agnes Hall
Dinner at Castle Howard
Drinks and dinner at Matfen Hall Hotel
Light lunch at the Black Bull, Etal
Dinner and Ghost Tour at Chillingham Castle
Drinks and farewell dinner at Langley Castle
Lunch at Harewood House
Farewell drinks and canapes at York hotel