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The Aln Valley Venturer

Saturday 7 August 2021

We journey today to the Ancient Kingdom of Northumbria.

On our way from London we glimpse such landmarks as York Minster, Durham Castle and Cathedral and Sir Antony Gormley’s striking ‘Angel of the North’ sculpture. Crossing the Tyne at Newcastle we soon arrive at Morpeth and then, after a few more minutes, Alnmouth.


Set amidst a truly beautiful Northumbria landscape, enter the extraordinary world of Lord Armstrong, a Victorian inventor and innovator but also something of a landscaping genius. Discover the very first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, still full of ingenious gadgets. The gardens are incredible too. One of the largest rock gardens in the world leads down to the Iron Bridge and this in turn leads to a formal garden. Quite a lot of walking is involved here, not all of it level.

Coaches will meet the train at Morpeth for the 25-minute journey to Cragside where you will have around three hours to look around this most unusual property which includes a refreshment room and gift shop. There is a discount for National Trust members.

The Aln Valley Railway

The Aln Valley Railway Trust and its supporting Society were established to re-open the branch line from Alnmouth to Alnwick, primarily as a heritage railway tourist attraction. Situated around a mile from the centre of Alnwick, the railway in its current state runs from there to Greenrigg Halt (about half way to Alnmouth), and work on its extension is ongoing.

Coaches will meet our train at Alnmouth for the transfer to Alnwick. From here a vintage bus will provide a shuttle service to and from the Aln Valley Railway’s Lionheart Station. You will also have time to explore Alnwick should you wish.

Alnwick at Leisure

According to Country Life ‘Alnwick is the most picturesque market town in Northumberland, and the best place to live in Britain’. The town dates back to about AD 600 and retains much of its original character. Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, after Windsor. It is popular with film-makers; Blackadder, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Harry Potter are among films shot here.

The Alnwick Garden is a complex of formal gardens adjacent to the castle. They have a long history under the Dukes of Northumberland but fell into disrepair until revived at the turn of the 21st century.

The Garden now features various themed plantings designed around a central water cascade. It is the most ambitious new garden created in the UK post-war. The former railway station is now home to Barter Books, one of England’s largest and most
famous second hand bookshops. Some visitors spend all day here!

There will be a transfer coach from Alnmouth station to Alnwick town centre. You will have around four hours to explore.

Free time in Alnmouth or Newcastle

If you decide not to go for one of the aforementioned options then you could choose to spend the day in either picturesque Alnmouth or vibrant Newcastle.

Please be aware that for your safety and that of all staff and crew, this railtour will operate in line with government guidelines as they stand at the time of running. This could include, among other measures, the wearing of face coverings at all times (while not eating or drinking) when on board the train, at stations, on road coaches and at off train locations where applicable. Full details of required covid-safe measures will be provided with your tickets approximately two weeks before the trip runs.

First Class Dining includes the Great British Breakfast and a Four Course Dinner. A buffet car is also available. 

Class PriceAvailability
First Class Dining£198.00Fully Booked
First Class Dining Party of Four£772.00Fully Booked
Standard Adult£98.50Limited
Standard Junior£88.50Limited
Cragside (NT Members)£9.00Good
Aln Valley Railway£16.00Fully Booked

Timings are provisional and should only be used as a guide.

London King's Cross07.1021.45
Potters Bar07.3021.25

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