Follow in Viking and Roman footsteps, visiting historic York, Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne on this tour of Yorkshire and Northumberland.
About the Tour
Scenic rail journeys bring to life the history and wild, natural beauty of Yorkshire and Northumbria on this wonderful seven-day tour. Start your adventure in Harrogate as you travel toward the city of York. Here you will have a guided tour to explore the history of this town that still retains much of its look from the Middle Ages. You then have free time to discover this area on your own.
Then travel through the beautiful North York Moors National Park as you head to the seaside town of Whitby, where you can stroll the cobbled streets at your own pace. After, enjoy one of the top train trips around as you travel on the Settle & Carlisle Line toward Northumberland. You'll have a day to explore the expansive Alnwick Garden, where the architecture is as stunning as the flowers.
Then it's time for a trip to the famous Bamburgh Castle, a stunning site that rises above the sea with grounds covering nine acres. A stop at The Holy Island of Lindisfarne rounds out this trip full of beautiful scenery and amazing architecture.
- Standard Class rail and coach travel travel throughout your tour
- Scenic rail journey on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway
- Journey to Carlisle on the famous Settle & Carlisle Line
- 6 nights' hotel accommodation
- 12 Meals including 6 breakfasts and 6 dinners, including 1 farewell dinner
- Guided walking tour of York
- Excursion to Alnwick Gardens
- Visit to Bamburgh Castle
- Trip to Lindisfarne, including a taste of locally produced mead
- Services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Day 1 - Harrogate
Our tour begins as you arrive at your hotel in Harrogate, at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. One of England's most attractive towns, Harrogate retains many Georgian and Victorian features including its original spa buildings. After time to discover your new surroundings, and to perhaps visit the famous Betty's Tea Rooms, this evening we meet for dinner in the hotel. (D)
Day 2 - Historic York
This morning we travel by rail to York, a beautiful walled city steeped in centuries of history. We discover much of the city's long and fascinating story on a guided walking tour of its main attractions. These include the incomparable Minster, which is one of Europe's largest and most ornate gothic cathedrals, and the Shambles, a quaint street that has remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages.
Following the tour, you have the chance to take in the sights of this marvelous city at your own pace. The network of medieval streets offers a unique charm and is one of York's major highlights, as is the National Railroad Museum (free admission). The largest of its kind in the world, the museum boasts many steam locomotives and a selection of Royal carriages. Another popular option is the Jorvik Viking Center, which faithfully recreates York when it was the capital of the Viking Kingdom. Otherwise, perhaps stroll along the city walls or take in the views from Clifford's Tower. (B, D)
Day 3 - The North Yorkshire Moors Railroad
Today, board the coach for today's excursion to Whitby, one of the east coast's most popular seaside resorts. On the way to this iconic Yorkshire location, disembark at Goathland, better known as 'Aidensfield' in TV's Heartbeat. Your journey continues through hidden valleys and open moorland as the coach makes its way to the charming fishing port of Whitby. Crowned by its brooding Abbey, the town is famous as the inspiration behind Bram Stoker's Dracula, which incorporated local folklore to heighten the authenticity of this spooky tale. Also known for its beautiful Whitby jet jewelry, there are dozens of shops selling authentic jet accessories.
The older part of the town, located on the East Bank, is a maze of narrow medieval streets with a rich history just waiting to be explored, while the newer town is found on the opposite bank. Enjoy your time and explore the charm of the quaint cobbled streets that lead down to its handsome harbor. If you're feeling adventurous, why not climb the 199 steps up to glorious Whitby Abbey? Here, you can enjoy unimpeded panoramic views of the coastal town. And last but not the least, Whitby is home to some of the UK's finest fish and chip restaurants, which you have free time to sample before you join the nostalgic North Yorkshire Moors Railroad for the return journey by steam* railroad.
*Steam-hauled where possible. (B, D)
Day 4 - Settle & Carlisle Line
Leaving Harrogate behind, today we travel on the famous Settle & Carlisle Line. The 72-mile route is regularly voted one of the world's top railroad journeys, and once we set off it is easy to see why. Cross over the wonderful Ribblehead Viaduct that cuts through the Yorkshire Dales and is overlooked by the mighty Whernside. The line also skirts the North Pennines, designated an Area of Natural Beauty for its breathtaking examples of the glory of nature. Once in Carlisle we transfer by rail to Hexham. On arrival, we continue by coach to our hotel in Alnwick. (B, D)
Day 5 - Alnwick Gardens
This morning we enjoy a guided tour around the beautifully landscaped Alnwick Gardens. The gardens are a vibrant place; magnificent architecture and lovingly tended plants and flowers are brought to life with a variety of water features. After dinner back at the hotel, we take a drive into Kielder Forest for star gazing. Overnight Alnwick. (B, D)
Day 6 - Bamburgh Castle & Lindisfarne
Today we cross the wild Northumberland countryside to Bamburgh, a scenic coastal town dominated by the magnificent Bamburgh Castle, before visiting the famous island of Lindisfarme*. We are treated to a tasting of local mead before we return to the hotel for a farewell dinner to celebrate the last night of our vacation.
*Please note that due to tidal variance, the time of the visit to Lindisfarne is subject to change. (B, D)
Day 7 - The Journey Home
After breakfast in the hotel, we transfer to Alnmouth station where we join the LNER rail service back to York (First Class), a fitting place to end our adventure. (B)
Cedar Court Hotel, Harrogate
The 4-Star Cedar Court Hotel is housed in a grade II listed dating back to 1671, which overlooks Harrogate's famous Stray parkland. The hotel has a restaurant, a lounge bar serving drinks, light snacks and afternoon tea, a gym and a lift between the three floors. All of the en suite rooms are air-conditioned and come with a telephone, television, refreshment tray and a hairdryer.
Macdonald Linden Hall Hotel, Northumberland
Set in an 18th-century manor house on a sprawling estate, this posh hotel is 4 miles from the A1 highway, 5 miles from the Northumberland Country Zoo and 11 miles from the historic Cragside country house. The polished rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and tea and coffeemaking facilities. The property features an 18-hole golf course, an upscale restaurant and a lounge. A spa has an indoor pool, a fitness centre and a sauna.
White Swan Hotel, Alnwick
The White Swan Hotel is a 300-year-old coaching inn set in the heart of the historic town of Alnwick, close to Alnwick Castle and gardens. The hotel has a bar, a bistro, and an oak-paneled restaurant which features stained glass windows, mirrors and other fixtures and fittings from RMS Olympic, the Titanic's sister ship. The well-appointed rooms feature a telephone, television with DVD player, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer.
North Yorkshire Moors Railroad
The English county of Yorkshire is famous for its wild, open and unspoiled landscapes and guests who visit the area with us may enjoy a relaxing trip along the North Yorkshire Moors Railroad. Covering a distance of 29 kilometers (18 miles), it is one of the UK's longest heritage railroad lines runs through the beautiful North York Moors National Park, connecting the picturesque market town of Pickering and the village of Grosmont.
The railroad first opened in 1836 as the Whitby and Pickering Railroad for the transportation of both goods and passengers to and from Yorkshire's east coast. It continued to run until 1965 when it suffered the same fate as many of the UK's provincial railroads; closure under the recommendation of 1963's notorious Beeching Report. Salvation for the Whitby and Pickering Railroad arrived via an enthusiastic and dedicated preservation society that arranged open weekends and 'steam galas' to fund the re-opening of the line. Their goal was achieved in 1973 and the North Yorkshire Moors Railroad was born. Today, carefully-restored carriages are hauled by diesel and steam locomotives along the picturesque route, which reportedly features one of the oldest railroad tunnels in the world.
Settle to Carlisle Railroad
The iconic Settle to Carlisle Railroad was the last mainline railroad to be built in the UK and was completed in 1876 by the Midland Railroad Company after six years of work. Widely accepted as being one of the best-engineered mainline tracks in England, the line is visually dramatic and offers a truly great rail journey.
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