The Award Winning Leader in Escorted Worldwide Rail Holidays

01904 734 356

Open 7 Days A Week

Escorted Rail Tours to York

Roman and Viking heritage in this delightful city

York is a fascinating city with a long and varied history. Founded by the Romans in 71 AD, York was originally called Eboracum and was based around the Roman fort. Eboracum carried on thriving even after the Romans left, and by 866 it was a prime target for the Vikings, who captured the city and re-named it Jorvik. Although the Vikings ruled over a large part of England, Jorvik became their capital due to its strategic position.

The city continued to grow after it was acquired by the Saxons in the 950s, so it is not surprising that William the Conqueror thought it vital to build a castle in the city, to secure the land from the Northern Rebellion of the late 1060s. Once William's rule was more firmly established, York found itself at the centre of a number of important trading routes, thanks to its location on both the River Ouse and the River Foss. The Middle Ages were a time of great prosperity for the city.

Railways

The arrival of the railway in York improved the city's fortunes, with the railway industry employing nearly 6,000 local people, and tourism to the city became far more popular. Furthermore, being roughly the midpoint on the railway between London and Edinburgh, York was once again in a brilliant position for freight trade. Today York retains many signs of its early prosperity, as well as the influence of the Romans, Vikings, Saxons and Normans in its rich architecture. With so much of its beautiful Medieval centre still intact today, the city is a delight to explore. Exploring York is a hugely rewarding experience, and you will need to choose your options carefully. The city encompasses a wealth of historic treasures, surrounded by its magnificent 13th century walls, with their four gates, or 'bars' as they are known. Perhaps take a stroll along the walls for a different perspective of the beautiful city. Other options include an open-top bus tour and a cruise on the River Ouse.

York Minster
The largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe, York Minster was consecrated in 1472 AD, and towers above the city's Medieval streets. Highlights of the Minster include the stunning Great East Window, which dates back to 1408 and is the world's largest Medieval stained glass window. Another popular feature is the striking 15th century choir screen, which depicts sculptures of the Kings of England from William I to Henry VI. If you're feeling really energetic, perhaps climb the Minster's central tower for the terrific views over the city. Even today, buildings in York are not permitted to be as tall as the Minster, so the views are certainly far-reaching.

The National Railway Museum
The natural successor to the former North Eastern Railway's museum in York, the National Railway Museum first opened in 1975, and was the first national museum outside of London. The collection was housed in the former engine shed for York station, which is today known as the Great Hall. One of the former goods storage halls was redesigned to look like a railway station, and was opened as an extension in the early 1990s, now known as the Station Hall.

The Jorvik Viking Centre
Standing on the site of many Viking archaeological finds, the Jorvik Viking Centre recreates some of York's streets as they would have been when the city was called Jorvik and was the capital of the Viking Kingdom - right down to the smell! There is also a number of Viking artefacts found in the city on display.

The Shambles
The Shambles is regarded as one of the best preserved Medieval streets in Europe, although the name is also used to refer collectively to the surrounding maze of narrow, twisting lanes and alleys as well. The street is mentioned in the Domesday Book, meaning it has been in continuous existence for well over 900 years. It was originally home to a number of butchers, and many of their hooks and meat shelves are still present on the street today.

Castle Museum
Opened on the site of York Castle's former prison section, the York Castle Museum features a number of displays about life in the past. These range from a feature on life for prisoners to Kirkgate, a recreated Victorian street alive with the sights, sounds and characters from more than 100 years ago.

Clifford's Tower
The principal remains of York's Medieval castle, Clifford's Tower was built originally by William the Conqueror to subdue the Northern Rebellion. Situated on top of an artificial mound, the Tower affords great views of the city from the top of its ramparts.

There are 7 tours matching York

Grand Tour of the UK

Imbued with centuries of history and culture, the UK is one of the most rewarding nations to travel around. Explore the length and breadth of Britain on this outstanding tour of the island. Discover ancient attractions, modern cities and wild landscapes from the rugged Rannoch Moor to the inspiring Stonehenge.

… see more
2018MaySep

14 days from £2,695 pp

View tour details >

Valleys & Railways of Mid Wales

From picturesque coastline to rolling hills, explore the very heart of the renowned Welsh countryside on this exciting tour. Enjoy classic heritage railway journeys along some of the country's oldest lines and roll through the stunning scenery that Wales has become synonymous with.

… see more
2018AprJunAugSep

5 days from £455 pp

View tour details >

Yorkshire & Northumberland

Scenic rail journeys bring to life the history and wild, natural beauty of Yorkshire and Northumbria on this wonderful eight day tour. Follow in Viking and Roman footsteps, visiting historic York, Chester's Roman Fort, Bamburgh Castle, Lindisfarne and the glorious Alnwick Gardens.

… see more
2018MayAugSepOct

8 days from £895 pp

View tour details >

The Musical Heritage of Austria & Germany

Be swept away by the breathtaking musical history of Austria and Germany on this magical musical tour. From Salzburg and melodies of Mozart, to grand Vienna and a performance of Strauss, to Leipzig, with the St Thomas Boys' Choir and the legacy of Bach.

… see more
2018May

10 days from £2,175 pp

View tour details >

Yorkshire at Christmas

Enjoy all the Christmas cheer that Yorkshire has to offer based in the beautiful spa town of Harrogate. This festive holiday includes fantastic rail journeys, historic Ripley Castle, picturesque Fountains Abbey and the medieval city of York, adorned with seasonal decorations.

… see more

Yorkshire Christmas Markets

Based in the spa town of Harrogate, experience the Christmas Market in York, enjoy a vintage steam rail journey with a festive theme and visit the historic house of Castle Howard in its full Christmas glory.

… see more
What our customers think
Lastest articles from our journey blog

Parts of an Ancient Time

Parts of an Ancient Time

By
19 September 2017

Sometimes, it is absolutely incredible to think about civilisations that no longer exist today - and even more incredible to think that relics from those times actually exist and are able to be seen and visited. Here are some of our favourite examples of ancient civilisations around the world.

Read more

Top 5 Scottish Rail Journeys

Top 5 Scottish Rail Journeys

By
3 August 2017

What can be said about Scotland? For one, the scenery (providing it’s not so misty you can’t see the hand in front of your face) in this wild corner of the world can never just be ‘nice’ or ‘pretty’, it can only ever be breathtakingly dramatic, awe-inspiring, and slightly ominous, and you can see all of it in its disconcerting glory through its vast selection of rail journeys.

Read more
View Shortlist 0