Self-Drive Holidays
7 Nights
  • Fully customisable itinerary
  • Prices from: £975 per person
  • Best time to go: April - October
  • Transport: Rental car included (optional)


Scottish Borders
Read more

Explore the sweeping valleys and historic abbeys of the Scottish Borders, which inspired literary legends such as John Buchan and Sir Walter Scott.

Discover the majestic ruins of Melrose Abbey, the resting place of the heart of Robert the Bruce, and the Gothic mansion of Abbotsford House – once home to author Sir Walter Scott. 

Hadrian's Wall
Read more

Discover the rich Roman history and dramatic rolling landscapes of Hadrian’s Wall.

Beyond the border, Northumberland features more castles than any other county in England highlighting the turbulent history between Scotland and England.

Read more

Experience the unspoilt beauty and seclusion of the largest expanse of Dark Sky in Europe and gaze at the Milky Way, shooting stars and comets. 

Holy Island of Lindisfarne
Read more

Explore the wild and peaceful Lindisfarne, including the ruins of an expansive medieval monastery with ornately sculpted Celtic carvings – as well as the 16th century Lindisfarne Castle. Cut off from the mainland twice daily by racing tides, the island offers a place for tranquillity.

Northumberland coastline
Read more

Experience the dazzling scenery of the Northumberland coast, charming seaside towns and beaches. Travel by boat to the Farne Islands – the most famous bird sanctuary in the British Isles, or visit the secluded medieval chapel at Warkworth Hermitage.  

A long-exposure of Linhope Spout
Cheviot Hills
Read more

The remote Cheviot Hills are bursting at the seams with thrilling and evocative history from Bronze Age standing stones, to the bloody Flodden Battlefield. Encounter the untamed and unforgettable Wild Chillingham cattle before visiting Chillingham Castle itself.

A Stunning Self-Drive Tour in Scotland & England

This self-drive tour will lead you on a spectacular journey through the Scottish Borders and Northumberland. Journeying through these charming regions you can expect magnificent castles and abbeys, unspoilt coastline and an abundance of diverse wildlife and nature.

Read more

Begin your journey in the ancient town of Melrose in the Scottish Borders where you will encounter a scenic area with a fascinating history. The Borders was a battleground between Scotland and England for centuries, and you can learn about its tumultuous past by visiting magnificent ruined abbeys and castles.

From Melrose, drive south to Kielder Forest and Water Park and enjoy abundant wildlife and nature, an ever-evolving network of forest paths and the darkest, clearest skies in the country.

Your next stop is the ancient market town of Hexham, the perfect base for exploring Hadrian’s Wall. Stretching 84 miles from coast to coast, Hadrian’s Wall is the largest ancient monument in northern Europe. Step back in time and visit forts and museums to bring the past to life.

Continue your journey to the glittering Northumbrian coastline and enjoy the luxurious interiors and elegant, horticultural gardens of the quirky Alnwick Castle. The Northumberland coast is famous for its wild, unspoilt beauty. Discover cobbled coastal villages hardly changed by time and the romantic ruins of Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh castles. There is the option to visit Holy Island, which is accessible at low tide across the causeway and where the monastery became a centre for Christianity.

Finally, head inland to the heart of the Cheviot Hills to learn about the unique white cattle which are rarer than Giant Pandas, and experience the living history and culture that hides in every inch of the buffer area between England and Scotland.

Suggested Itinerary

The holiday ideas on our website are just examples of the amazing trips we offer. Think of this itinerary as a starting point which can be tailored into something completely unique to you by our award-winning specialists.

We love the opportunity to use our first-hand knowledge and experience to design and deliver the perfect, bespoke holiday experience for you.

Day 1: Edinburgh to the Scottish Borders
Read more

Depart Edinburgh and uncover the secrets of the mysterious Rosslyn Chapel (featured in The Da Vinci Code) before making your way south to the spectacular Scottish Borders.

You can enjoy the panoramic vista from Scott’s view – Sir Walter Scott’s favourite view in Scotland – before visiting the first statue built of Scottish hero Sir William Wallace.
Overnight – Melrose

Day 2: Scottish Borders Sightseeing
Read more

Spend a full day today exploring the formidable ruins of the four great medieval abbeys – Melrose, Jedburgh, Kelso and Dryburgh.

The abbeys were founded in the 12th century but their proximity to England meant that they were subject to frequent attacks by the English. Their dynamic ruins now paint a fascinating picture of a turbulent time in Scottish history. Melrose Abbey is where the heart of Scotland’s great warrior king – Robert the Bruce – is buried.
Overnight – Melrose

Day 3: Scottish Borders to Hadrian's Wall Country
Read more

Travel south through the remote Kielder Water and Forest Park where you can enjoy breathtaking scenery, meander through charming woods to secluded picnic spots, follow the outdoor Sculpture Trail and learn about diverse wildlife.

Continue through picturesque Northumberland countryside to historic Hadrian’s Wall Country which will be your base for the next two nights.
Overnight – Hadrian’s Wall Country

Day 4: Hadrian’s Wall Sightseeing
Read more

A full day to discover an array of Roman history and explore countless historic sites along the 73 mile stone wall.

Visit Housesteads Roman Fort at Bardon Mill, watch live excavations at the Vindolanda archaeology site, and revive battles and warriors at the Roman Army Museum.
Overnight – Hadrian’s Wall Country

Day 5: Hadrian's Wall Country to the Northumberland Coast
Read more

Travel from Hadrian’s Wall to the golden beaches of the Northumberland Coast. En route, you could visit the ancient village and Hermitage of Warkworth and Alnwick Castle and Gardens.
Overnight – Northumberland Coast

Day 6: Northumberland Coast Sightseeing
Read more

A full day of adventure on the unspoiled Northumberland Coast featuring a visit to the striking Bamburgh Castle, a boat trip to visit the wildlife of the Farne Islands, or skimming over the sand causeway to the evocative Lindisfarne Island.
Overnight – Northumberland Coast

Day 7: Explore the Cheviot Hills
Read more

Venture into unexplored territory in the secluded Cheviot Hills and take the opportunity to learn about Northumberland’s haunting history.

Walk through hidden hillforts to wild waterfalls, encounter the untamed Wild Chillingham cattle, and visit medieval Chillingham Castle known as ‘England’s most haunted castle’.
Overnight – Northumberland Coast

Day 8: Depart the Northumberland Coast
Read more

After breakfast, it’s time to end your journey and it’s less than a two hour drive to Edinburgh. 

What's Included?

Your holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected en-suite accommodation for 7 nights including traditional Scottish or English breakfast
  • Comprehensive information pack
  • Personalised itinerary with our recommendations for the best places to eat and drink and sightseeing suggestions
  • Map with our recommended driving route
  • 8 days rental of an Economy car (other vehicle categories available) including comprehensive insurance
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Lunches and evening meals

Accommodation & Prices

Special Places to Stay Special Places to Stay
Special Places to Stay Special Places to Stay
Premium Premium
Premium Premium
Standard Standard

We know that after a busy day of sightseeing an exceptional place to stay makes all the difference. That’s why all of the accommodation we select is hand-picked using our first-hand knowledge of the best places to stay.

Our discerning team has a wealth of experience, and we extensively research and regularly review all of the accommodation we select for our clients.

Please choose from one of our accommodation categories below. If you wish to combine these categories or perhaps upgrade for a special occasion let us know in your enquiry.

Accommodation type
Price per person
4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels
From £975

A collection of quality 4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels often located in beautiful locations which provide an excellent standard of accommodation.

Tastefully decorated and furnished, these properties are generally owned and operated by locals who have a genuine passion for their region which they are keen to share with you. Their warm hospitality is sure to be a highlight of your experience.

Boutique Guest Houses and 4* Hotels
From £1480

Our Premium category includes a unique collection of luxurious and stylish boutique Guest Houses and small 4* Hotels. These are wonderfully charming and intimate and run with great flair by their owners.

It also comprises larger 4* Hotels selected for their high standard of accommodation, exceptional service, and great location. These range from traditional luxury to contemporary Hotels.

Special Places to Stay
Exceptional Hotels and luxury Resorts
Please enquire

From award-winning luxury Hotels to unique country retreats, all of which offer exceptional accommodation with superb facilities and outstanding service.

These are truly magical places and amongst the best Britain has to offer. The perfect choice when you would like somewhere really special which can be a treat for the night or for your entire holiday.

Car Hire

Our packages include car rental and comprehensive insurance for the duration of your holiday. Absolute Escapes has an excellent relationship with a number of car hire operators and we are able to offer quality vehicles and great value for money.

If you plan to bring your own vehicle, we are also able to offer this itinerary without a rental car.

All our packages include:

  • Collision Damage Waiver
  • Super Damage Excess Waiver
  • Third Party Insurance
  • Theft Waiver
  • Tax
Vauxhall Corsa or similar
  • Good for 2 people
  • Maximum of 4 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Ford Focus or similar
  • Good for 2 – 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Volkswagen Passat or similar
  • Good for up to 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 3 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
VW Sharan or similar
  • Good for 5 people
  • Maximum of 7 passengers
  • 3 – 4 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission

Make an enquiry

Historic Borders of Scotland & England

Need something more tailored?
Contact us via email:

Back to top