England/Scottish Borders 8 day drive itinerary Days 1&2

Travel Forums Europe England/Scottish Borders 8 day drive itinerary Days 1&2

Page
  • 1
  • 2
Last Post
1. Posted by PresGlad (Budding Member 7 posts) 27w Star this if you like it!

On my 7th or 8th extensive UK visit (wife's 3rd), we'll be based near Cornhill-on- Tweed in a self- catering accommodation for our first segment. Rather than post all our POTENTIAL ONLY incusions draft days in one lengthy post, I'm dividing them into four separate forum segments.

hi and thanks for any feedback

Below is the first of two. Each will be clearly excessive in ambition and seeks relief aimed at better and more realistic editing suggestions for a reasonable day.

Any and all whittling and/or potentially better alternatives are requested. Please stay within the given day geographic parameters formula as we've not shown other day itinerary options physically beyond. All vehicle days begin and end in our Cornhill on Tweed base. The first is perhaps our most excessively ambitious in need of editing despite a ten-hour day within the Edinburgh area itself. (Later dinner return than others which will normally be hopefully before 5:30 p.m).

Day 1 Potential itinerary inclusion/exclusions in and around Edinburgh -a return visit for me & fist for wife:

National Trust (have passes) Gladstone'sLand/ GeorgianHouse/taste of Edinburgh.Center/ NewhailesEst./ Nat.Trust InvereskGarden

108 miles return totals -- drive time LOW estimate 31/4 hours

Day 2 Potential Itinerary Inclusions: Etal&EH castle /Ford/ Bamburgh & Eng. Heritage (have passes) castle ruins / Beadnell/ Seahouses/ Dunstanburgh Castle ruins EH & Craster/ Kirknewton Scotland

Please note: Two obvious gems within easy drive range excluded today are Wooler and Holy Island planned in another later day's itinerary)

88 mi Drive Time Low Estimate 2 3/4 hours

Any and all red pencil exclusions, replacements, suggestions within, etc. will be carefully studied and much appreciated for the feedback. All good things----

Post 2 was removed by a moderator
3. Posted by PresGlad (Budding Member 7 posts) 27w Star this if you like it!

P.S: Updates (if anyone's out there with feedback :)

We always do a package periphery park and bus option for major city central settings. Additionally, I'd already hacked away and shortened each day above to make them more realistic in terms of time. They now read (with Cornhill on Tweed return daily) less involvedly as:

Day 1 Edinburgh revisit: (Early start day) NTGladstone'sLand/NTGeorgianHouse/CentralEdinburgh 107 miles 3 hours + drive time

Day 2 Itin Day Etal incl. Eng Heritage Castle Ruins/Ford/Holy Island(incl Lindisfarne)/Bamburgh & Eng Heritage Castle/Chillingham/Wooler for later dinner 75 miles 2 1/4hr low drive time estimate

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1507 posts) 27w Star this if you like it!

Now you've added Lindisfarne as well Day 2 is completely over-stuffed, imo.

Drivetime and distance really isn't everything. You also have to factor in the time to actually *see* the places you're visiting. Etal Castle doesn't even open until 10am. Bamburgh Castle (also 10 am) deserves at least 2 hours and Lindisfarne ditto (preferably more). Can you actually get to Chillingham in time to make it worth visiting (last entry is usually 4pm)? If you want to see the wild cattle there (recommended) you also need to add on extra time for the walk, which a) only be taken with a guide and is thus at set times and b) can be quite lengthy (you'll need decent footwear..the walk can be muddy).

But the biggest consideration of all is whether you can actually get to and from Lindisfarne on your planned date and still manage to visit all or most of the places you list? Lindisfarne is accessed by a lengthy causeway and its safe crossing times change daily. Check the safe crossing times for your date here:

https://holyislandcrossingtimes.northumberland.gov.uk/

Don't even think about ignoring the safe crossing times and don't leave it too late to make your way back to the causeway. Idiots do that far too often (10+ in 2019 and much the same in most years), resulting in people having to be rescued by our (unpaid, volunteer) lifeboat crews and their vehicles being completely written-off.

Personally I think you would do much better to use one day to visit Etal, Chillingham, Wooler, Alnwick (why have you missed it out?) and possibly Dunstanburgh/Craster and then take a separate day to visit Bamburgh , maybe Seahouses (the boat trips from there to the Farne Islands are very, very good), spend 3 hours exploring Lindisfarne (assuming the crossing times are ok) and then perhaps finish up by walking the walls of Berwick-on-Tweed before having your evening meal there. :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Mar-2020, 19:18 GMT by leics2 ]

5. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1325 posts) 27w Star this if you like it!

Yes, please do check the crossing times for Holy Island / Lindisfarne before planning any day's itinerary to include it. You may even find, unfortunately, that they just won't work for your dates. If so, an alternative is to go to Seahouses and take a boat trip there - the boat trips only operate at high tide, when the causeway is closed, so one or the other should work for you, and which you do will dictate the rest of your day.

I would suggest that if the crossing times fit, you should plan on doing only Bamburgh and Holy Island on one of your days (the order dependent on crossing times). Each can easily occupy half a day and you have the driving time to consider as well.

Devote another day to a selected few of your other proposed Northumberland sights. My own pick would be to drive down to Craster and Dunstanburgh (you need an hour to do the walk to and from the latter from the former), have lunch perhaps in Alnwick and visit the castle there and then drive back via Ford and Etal. There's less to see there but the scenery is lovely and if you have time for a ride on the Heatherslaw Light Railway it's rather fun.

I have blog pages about Ford & Etal (https://toonsarahnorthumbria.travellerspoint.com/21/), Craster and Dunstanburgh (https://toonsarahnorthumbria.travellerspoint.com/26/), Lindisfarne (https://toonsarahnorthumbria.travellerspoint.com/3/), and Bamburgh (https://toonsarahnorthumbria.travellerspoint.com/2/), as well as other places in Northumberland, which might be helpful.

6. Posted by PresGlad (Budding Member 7 posts) 27w Star this if you like it!

Whoops! I actually typed one of the two revised P.S: itineraries above incorrectly. I HAD Holy Island out originally and added both it and Wooler here in second transcription by mistake, grabbing an older draft.

The actual corrected day was supposed to read:

****Wark Chillingham Bamburgh&EHCastle/Ford/Etal EH&CastleRuins 62.9 mi 1hr 40 mn

Sorry for that confusion.

(no Wooler and no Holy Island intended on this day--as well as the others correctly removed previously)

7. Posted by PresGlad (Budding Member 7 posts) 27w Star this if you like it!

and thanks lecis and toon for much help to be factored

8. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1507 posts) 27w 1 Star this if you like it!

I'm very glad the Day 2 to which I replied was an error! :-)

>Wark Chillingham Bamburgh&EHCastle/Ford/Etal EH&CastleRuins

I assume the distance and drivetime estimates you give are either just Ford>Etal or an error? If they're intended as trip totals they are way out.

Wark to Chillingham (45+ miles) is at least 1h 20m (more if you're stuck behind a tractor or lorry)

Chillingham to Bamburgh (13 miles) is at least 25 min (ditto)

Bamburgh > Ford (70+ miles) at least 1h 35m (ditto)

Ford > Etal (70+ miles) at least 1h 45m (ditto).

That's a lot of driving.

But you need to amend this sequence simply because Chillingham doesn't open until 12 noon. Assuming that you're visiting in the summer season, Etal doesn't close until 6pm (last entry 5.30) so I suggest you visit Bamburgh in the morning and Chillingham in the afternoon.

The day's most geographically-logical routing from Cornhill-on-Tweed is given below but, either, way getting back to Etal before its closing time will mean rushing your visits to other places. Personally, I'd entirely cut out Wark and Ford on that day and just visit Bambergh, Chillingham and Etal.

Cornhill > Bamburgh (for 10am opening, 28 miles, around 40 minutes ) > Chillingham (opening at noon, 13 miles, roughly 25 mins) > Ford (around 70 miles, roughly 1h 40m) > Wark (20 miles, roughly 35m)> Etal (about 58 miles, roughly 1.5 hours)

Total distance approx 190 miles, 4h 50m driving (and it's not all straightforward major road driving).

[ Edit: Edited on 14-Mar-2020, 09:20 GMT by leics2 ]

9. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1325 posts) 27w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

>Wark Chillingham Bamburgh&EHCastle/Ford/Etal EH&CastleRuins

I assume the distance and drivetime estimates you give are either just Ford>Etal or an error? If they're intended as trip totals they are way out.

Wark to Chillingham (45+ miles) is at least 1h 20m (more if you're stuck behind a tractor or lorry)

Chillingham to Bamburgh (13 miles) is at least 25 min (ditto)

Bamburgh > Ford (70+ miles) at least 1h 35m (ditto)

Ford > Etal (70+ miles) at least 1h 45m (ditto).

That's a lot of driving.

But you need to amend this sequence simply because Chillingham doesn't open until 12 noon. Assuming that you're visiting in the summer season, Etal doesn't close until 6pm (last entry 5.30) so I suggest you visit Bamburgh in the morning and Chillingham in the afternoon.

The day's most geographically-logical routing from Cornhill-on-Tweed is given below but, either, way getting back to Etal before its closing time will mean rushing your visits to other places. Personally, I'd entirely cut out Wark and Ford on that day and just visit Bambergh, Chillingham and Etal.

Cornhill > Bamburgh (for 10am opening, 28 miles, around 40 minutes ) > Chillingham (opening at noon, 13 miles, roughly 25 mins) > Ford (around 70 miles, roughly 1h 40m) > Wark (20 miles, roughly 35m)> Etal (about 58 miles, roughly 1.5 hours)

Total distance approx 190 miles, 4h 50m driving (and it's not all straightforward major road driving).

J/leics, I wonder if you're looking at what I assume is the wrong Ford? There are two in Northumberland and your driving route and distances suggest you're looking at the one south west of Hexham? I'm not aware of anything much worth visiting there, although I may be wrong as I've never been! But there's also a Ford near Etal - they're just a couple of miles apart and connected by the Heatherslaw Light Railway I mentioned previously, or a very short drive.

Wark however is miles out of the otherwise pretty sensible route - I would drop that (the one sight worth seeing there perhaps is the Bronze-age stone circle, the Goatstones), and do:

1. Ford and Etal - with train or car between, and taking in Heatherslaw Mill too perhaps (https://www.ford-and-etal.co.uk/heatherslaw-mill). If taking the train (https://www.heatherslawlightrailway.co.uk/) it runs from Heatherslaw to Etal and back, the first train is at 11.00 and it runs hourly, allowing you time in Etal to visit the castle, but it would eat up more of your day than doing everything by car
2. Chillingham for noon opening
3. Bamburgh

Rough distances: Cornhill to Ford 7 miles
Ford to Etal and back via Heatherslaw (assumes driving not train): 5 miles
Ford to Chillingham: 15 miles
Chillingham to Bamburgh: 13 miles
Bamburgh to Cornhill: 24 miles
TOTAL: c 55 miles

You could also do the route in the opposite direction if you think this would get you to Cornhill too early. Regarding Ford & Etal, there's a useful website covering the whole area: https://www.ford-and-etal.co.uk/

[ Edit: Edited on 14-Mar-2020, 11:33 GMT by ToonSarah ]

10. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1507 posts) 27w Star this if you like it!

> J/leics, I wonder if you're looking at what I assume is the wrong Ford?

Very possibly, Sarah. I assumed it was the Ford near Hexham because of its proximity to Wark and assumed it might be a genealogical visit. The Ford near Cornhill certainly makes the original plan more logical but the day still includes a heck of a lot of driving if Wark is included.

The Ford near Etal does have a castle (which fits with the OP's apparent interests) but as far as I can see it isn't open to the public. It's a residential outdoor activity centre for children & young people so there would be safeguarding concerns.

[ Edit: Edited on 14-Mar-2020, 14:19 GMT by leics2 ]