Yorkshire's battle-scarred castles, Gothic abbeys, and great country-manor houses are unrivaled anywhere in Britain.
Side Trip to Holy Island (Lindisfarne) -- This island is the cradle of Christianity in northern England, lying 6 miles east of the A1, north of Bamburgh, and 8 miles southeast of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
In 635, St. Aidan established a monastery here, which reached the zenith of its power under St. Cuthbert, who turned it into the foremost center of learning in Christendom. But in 875 Vikings destroyed the community, and only a few monks escaped. However, they did manage to remove Cuthbert's bones in time, reburying them at the cathedral at Durham.
Lindisfarne is a tidal island, and vehicles can only cross when the tide allows. Opening times vary significantly every day, so check locally before going over.
As you cross the causeway, you'll see Lindisfarne Castle, Lindisfarne (tel. 01289/389244; www.nationaltrust.org.uk), which was built about 1550 as a fort to protect the harbor. In 1903, it was converted by Sir Edwin Lutyens into a comfortable home for Edward Huson, the founder of Country Life. Many of the original architectural features are intact, and there is also a walled garden, the work of Gertrude Jekyll, which lies nearby. Admission is £6 adults, £3 children, or £15 for a family, and visits are possible from late March to October Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 3pm (subject to change).
In the village stands Lindisfarne Priory (tel. 01289/389200; www.english-heritage.org.uk), which dates from the 11th century, when it was partially restored by monks from Durham. A museum displays ancient artifacts, including Anglo-Saxon carvings. Hours are April to September daily 9:30am to 5pm; February, March, and October daily 10am to 4pm, and November to January Saturday and Sunday 10am to 2pm. Admission is £3.90 adults, £2 children, and £3.10 for seniors.
For your base, check into the Manor House Hotel, Holy Island (tel. 01289/389207; fax 01289/389310; www.manorhouselindisfarne.co.uk), which sits beside the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory. The manor house stands in the market place in the heart of the village and opens onto panoramic views. Open February to December, the manor rents 10 comfortable and well-furnished bedrooms that open onto sea views. The rate is £68 per person, including breakfast and dinner. For sea-view rooms, this half-board rate rises to £80 per person, going up to £95 per person for the master bedroom.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.