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Land of The Prince Bishops Short Break

2 nights starting from
£369

  • Durham and its magnificent Cathedral, one of England’s greatest edifices

  • Newly-restored Auckland Castle, home to the Prince Bishop

  • Norman Richmond  and Barnard Castles

  • Bowes Museum – housed in a French-style chateau

During the Saxon, Norman and Medieval periods, the Prince Bishops of Durham had ecclesiastical and political sovereignty over County Durham. Their influence touched all aspects of the county’s life and left a fascinating legacy, which can still be traced today. During its greatest period in the 7th and 8th centuries, Northumbria was a great centre for arts, learning and early Christianity and was especially noted for the great saints it produced, like Cuthbert, Wilfrid and the Venerable Bede.

Your guide for this fascinating tour is Julian Humphrys, whose passion for early and medieval history has no bounds and he will entertain you with his knowledge and skill as your host and guide.

Available Departures

From

14 - June - 2019 £ 369.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive independently at the Radisson Blu Hotel Durham from 15.00. This evening there will be a welcome reception followed by dinner and talk by Julian Humphrys.

Day 2: Durham & Bishop Auckland
First visit of a packed day is a guided tour of Durham Cathedral, one of Europe’s greatest buildings, set grandly on a rocky promontory next to the Castle with the medieval city huddled below. Begun in 1093 to house the shrine of St. Cuthbert, the castle and cathedral have dominated the Durham skyline for over 900 years and it is a World Heritage Site.  A walking tour with Julian will show you more of this beautiful city on the River Wear, including its Castle, (now a student residence). After lunch, we will head to Bishop Auckland where we will visit the newly reopened Auckland Castle, (due to reopen early 2019 after a major restoration project).  The castle has a thousand years of historic connection with England’s only Prince Bishop.  Granted exceptional powers by the Norman kings, the Bishop of Durham remained the virtual monarch in his diocese right up to the 19th century. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Day 3: Richmond Castle, Bowes Museum and Barnard Castle.
Firstly to magnificent, Norman Richmond Castle, begun in 1071 and which still dominates the market town to this day. 
The best preserved part of the castle is the 12th century Keep, which towers over 100 feet above the town; the walls are actually eleven feet thick. This afternoon a guided tour and lunch is included at the Bowes Museum, housed in a magnificent French-style chateau, purpose built in the 19th century, which has diverse collections of paintings and wonderful ceramics, furniture and a solid silver swan automaton which moves to music and appears to catch a fish. The last visit of the tour is to Barnard Castle, founded by the Normans shortly after the conquest. It enjoyed its heyday under Barnard Bailleul in the latter half of the 12th century and later passed into the hands of King Richard III who inherited it through his wife, Anne Neville. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30. 

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 48 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Two nights' bed and breakfast at the Radisson Blu Hotel Durham, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception
  • First-night three-course dinner with wine
  • Second night dinner in the hotel restaurant
  • One lunch in the Jubilee Room at Bowes Museum
  • All guided tours, visits and entrance fees
  • Coach transfers and tour manager throughout


NOT INCLUDED

  • Transport to the hotel is not included
  • Single supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Extra nights on half board basis
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTELS

Radisson Blu Hotel Durham
The Radisson Blu Hotel Durham enjoys sweeping views of the River Wear and is ideally located in the city centre with close proximity to both the A1 and Durham station. The hotel has a bar, health club and spa for guests to relax after a busy day sightseeing. Rooms are modern and all have Wi-Fi, TV, individual climate control, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe and minibar. Car parking is available at the hotel costing £9 per night, payable directly to the hotel. 

Radisson Blue Durham Website

MORE INFO - Please click here to see full details of this tour

Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.  

You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day. 

For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation. 

The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date. 

We love to receive feedback from our customers. Their views help us to keep improving the ours we offer. If you have been on this tour and would like to submit a review, please log in to our client area here and fill in the short form.

Recent Reviews

 

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Overall Impression

We enjoyed the weekend. We were pleased the boat trip substituted for Auckland Castle as we were tired after the morning in Durham and another walking event would have been too much. The 2 hour break and a relaxing boat ride was just right. Enjoyed Julian's commentaries. Pity about the rain on the Sunday.

Review by who travelled 27-July-2018


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We really enjoyed the tour. Julian was an entertaining and very knowledgeable tour guide. We would definitely book a tour with him leading again.

Review by who travelled 27-July-2018


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We travelled to the hotel by car and were charged £18 for parking at the hotel, this didn't impress me and neither did the prices for food & drink. The food provided wasn't that exciting to say the least. The actual tour was excellent, our main reason for booking the tour was that it was led by Julian Humphries who is always entertaining and informative.

Review by Wilcockson who travelled 01-September-2017


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Julian and Sarah could not be bettered.

Review by Rice who travelled 01-September-2017


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Excellent trip, good lecturer and tour manager. Dull but adequate hotel which overcharges for a glass of wine. The blurb talked about sweeping views of the river but my room looked out over an expanse of gravel and a car park. On another tour, people should be warned to book a taxi to meet them at the station. We waited for a long. long, time and it was raining.

Review by who travelled 01-September-2017


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The Humphrys duo were informative and amusing. We did not like the Radisson blu as much as others we have stayed in. The beds and food were not really to our liking, so we would avoid the Radisson Blu in future. The tour itself was very enjoyable, and the weather was kind to us as well. Over all, we commend Travel Editions to others who might be tempted to take the plunge.

Review by who travelled 01-September-2017


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A very intresting and enjoyable weekend Julian Humphrys was very helpful and gave us an excellent background to all theplacs we visited

Review by Dr Mary Forsling who travelled 02-June-2017


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The hotel was absolutely brilliant and Julian and Sarah were brilliant hosts.

Review by Ms Ruth Garland who travelled 02-June-2017


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Wonderful tour made very enjoyable due to the knowledge of Julian and the attentive assistance of Sarah. The hotel was top notch. Bit stingy with the wine on the first evening but apart from that a very good weekend.

Review by Miss Helen Blakeway who travelled 02-June-2017


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Review by Mrs Sylvia Oates who travelled 02-June-2017


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Review by who travelled 02-June-2017


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A very good enjoyable tour. Julian is an an excellent Tour Manager

Review by Ms Eva Thornton who travelled 02-June-2017


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Overall Impression

The tour was very good and both Sarah & Julian Humphreys were excellent as was the coach driver. The biggest disappointment was the hotel. On arrival I was greeted by the most miserable receptionist I have ever had the misfortune to meet - she could have doubled for Rosa Kleb in a James Bond film. There was not a glimmer of a smile and any comments were very tersely delivered and not welcoming or hrlpful in any way. All the other staff we met were very pleasant and helpful. The food could only be described as average, Friday night was acceptable but Sunday night's dinner was disorganised and very poor and gave Sarah a lot of unnecessary extra work sorting it all out. Also there was no choice for any of the courses. On leaving I paid £16 for car parking which I consider appalling ( I know you warned us of this) when we were staying in the hotel. To summarise: an excellent holiday let down by a very poor hotel. Henry Stewart ( I believe my wife has aslo completed a survey under my name!!)

Review by Mr Henry Stewart who travelled 09-September-2016


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There was no choice given at the Saturday evening meal. All tour locations were excellent and both Sarah and Julian (and local guides) provided well-considered information. More time could have been had at Auckland Castle if there was slightly less time given for lunch in Durham

Review by Miss Pamela Smith who travelled 09-September-2016


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Brochure description rather brief. Rooms at the Radisson Blu Durham were good and the staff delightful, but evening meals were very poor. These meals let down the trip. Breakfast was good. Our guide Sarah was excellent as was Julian our guide. He was informative and entertaining, never dry or boring. It was a very enjoyable itinerary.

Review by Mrs Linda Connor who travelled 09-September-2016


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This was a very carefully planned and superbly managed tour. Arriving late after a wretched train journey, we were warmly welcomed by Sarah and Julian who arranged for us to be fully refuelled. On every visit, tickets were ready for collection and - where necessary local guides were standing by. Ample time was given to enable us to get as much as we wanted out of each site. I am generally a satisfied customer on tours of this kind, but a positively delighted customer on this occasion.

Review by Mr Richard Perkins who travelled 09-September-2016


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We thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.

Review by Mr Martin Skeffington who travelled 03-June-2016


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JULIAN AND SARAH HUMPHRIES BRILLIANT

Review by Mrs Julie Carr who travelled 03-June-2016


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This was unfamiliar territory for me and I really enjoyed it. We had a few unexpected surprises like the Thomas Tallis 'Spem in Alium' installation and exhibition about the Durham miners at Bishop Auckland, brass and wind bands on the green by the cathedral and lots of students in their summer ball outfits waiting for their coaches at the same place as ourselves! It worked to end the tour in Durham.

Review by Mrs Mervion Kirwood who travelled 03-June-2016


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Overall Impression

Julian was excellent at explains the history involved in the places visited. He added a humorous element to what can be a very dry subject. The dinners at the Radisson were not very good, though the cold selection at breakfast was excellent - the hot choices suffered from being kept warm for too long.

Review by Mr Christopher Cotter who travelled 03-June-2016


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Overall Impression

Excellent organisation and our guide was outstanding. The range of places visited was good. The Bowes museum in particular was a gem. There was so much to see that it could perhaps have been spread over three days with more free time in the different places in order to have an opportunity to look around the towns or spend longer in the museums. However it was a most enjoyable weekend.

Review by Mrs Gillian Rowe who travelled 03-June-2016


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Nicely paced tour. Would have appreciated a bit smaller group, did not get round to speak to everyone.

Review by Mr David EGERTON who travelled 03-June-2016


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The young tour manager, Sarah was magnificent taking care of everyone and everything with consummate ease belying her tender years. Will

Review by Mr W Wallburton who travelled 03-June-2016


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