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Tour highlights

  • The spa town of Harrogate
  • Historic York
  • The North Yorkshire Moors Railway
  • The Settle & Carlisle Line
  • Hadrian's Wall Line
  • Chesters Roman Fort
  • Alnwick Gardens
  • Bamburgh Castle
  • The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
  • Day 1 - Harrogate

    Betty's, Harrogate

    Our holiday 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.


  • Day 2 - Historic York

    York Minster

    This morning we travel by train to York (Standard Class), 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 marvellous 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 Railway 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 Centre, which faithfully recreates York when it was capital of the Viking Kingdom. Otherwise perhaps stroll along the city walls or take in the views from Clifford's Tower.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 3 - The North Yorkshire Moors Railway

    The North Yorkshire Moors Railway

    Today we take a nostalgic journey on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to the popular seaside town of Whitby. We board our heritage steam-hauled* train in Pickering and make the wonderful journey through the stunning North York Moors National Park. Our route takes us through Goathland, a charming place perhaps best known as 'Aidensfield' in TV's Heartbeat. We pass over undulating moorland and through the winding Esk Valley as we make our way to the coast in restored carriages. Your time in Whitby is free for you to perhaps visit the brooding abbey, explore the town's Dracula connections or simply wander through the maze of narrow cobbled lanes in this authentic fishing port's old town before our return journey on the preserved railway.

    Breakfast, dinner

    *Wherever possible the rail excursion will be steam-hauled.

  • Day 4 - The Settle & Carlisle Line


    Leaving Harrogate behind, today we travel to Carlisle on the famous Settle & Carlisle Line (Standard Class). The 72-mile route is regularly voted one of the world's top railway journeys, and once we set off it is easy to see why. We climb quickly and travel through the dramatic Yorkshire Dales, past the backdrop of the mighty Three Peaks; Peny-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Here we cross the spectacular Ribblehead Viaduct, a true testament to Victorian engineering which carries us 104ft above the sweeping valley floor. After crossing the exposed Blea Moor, we head into Cumbria, passing through Dent station, which at 1150 ft is the highest mainline station in England. We continue through the lush, rolling hills of the Eden Valley before arriving in Carlisle. In Carlisle we stay at either the Crown & Mitre Hotel, located in the centre of Carlisle beside the Cathedral or the Hallmark Hotel, located close to the railway station in the heart of Carlisle.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 5 - Hadrian’s Wall Line and Chesters Roman Fort

    Chesters Roman Fort

    This morning we join the Hadrian's Wall Line (Standard Class), travelling eastwards across the country between Wetheral and Hexham, roughly following the line of Hadrian's Wall. On our arrival in Northumberland we visit Chesters Roman Fort, built to guard the Roman bridge which carried Hadrian's Wall over the River North Tyne. The site has the best-preserved remains of a cavalry fort in Britain and a wonderfully preserved Roman Bath which demonstrates the ingenuity used by the Romans to survive and prosper in Northern England's cold winters. We then continue by coach to the historic town of Alnwick where we stay at the White Swan Hotel for three nights. The White Swan Hotel is perfectly located in the heart of the town, and is famous for its atmospheric Olympic Restaurant which features magnificent panelling, mirrors and stained glass windows from the Titanic's sister ship. On selected dates we stay in the 4-star Linden Hall Hotel, located close to the village of Longhorsley, eleven miles from Alnwick.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 6 - Alnwick Gardens

    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. The Ornamental Garden houses the country's largest collection of European flora, whilst the Poison Garden houses a collection of more unusual plants. This afternoon you have the opportunity to further explore the gardens, or perhaps visit the impressive Alnwick Castle. The imposing structure's beauty has made it a favourite location for film-makers - it was used most famously as Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter films. Alternatively, perhaps take the chance to discover Alnwick itself - it is generally referred to as 'Northumberland's most picturesque market town'.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 7 - Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne

    Bamburgh Castle

    Today we cross the wild Northumberland countryside to Bamburgh, a scenic coastal town dominated by the magnificent Bamburgh Castle. The huge fortress has been surveying the North Sea since the 12th century, and today we visit the castle and discover its fascinating armoury and dungeons. At low tide we leave the mainland and cross the causeway to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. Once on the beautiful island we take a journey into Britain's spiritual heritage with a visit to the island's famous priory. Founded in the 7th century, this is the site from where Christianity spread through Northern England. It has been a centre of pilgrimage for 1,300 years and is a pleasure to explore.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 8 - The journey home

    York station

    After breakfast in the hotel, we transfer to Alnmouth station where we join the East Coast Mainline route back to York (First Class), a fitting place to end our adventure. Here your Tour Manager bids you farewell and a safe onward journey.

    These meals, where shown, are included in the price of your holiday

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