Call to book1-877-247-2321
Tour Search

Yorkshire and Northumberland

4.0 stars(19 reviews)

Explore Yorkshire and Northumberland by rail

7 days Sold out

2020 Tour code: YNS20

About the tour

Scenic rail journeys bring to life the history and wild, natural beauty of Yorkshire and Northumbria on this wonderful 7-day tour. Follow in Viking and Roman footsteps with visits to historic York, Bamburgh Castle, Lindisfarne, and Alnwick Gardens before basking in the verdant beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.


What’s included


Day 1 - Harrogate

Our tour begins as you arrive at your hotel in Harrogate, at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. We spend four nights here at the Cedar Court hotel. 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.

  • Dinner
Betty's, Harrogate
Day 2 - Historic York

This morning, we travel by rail to York, which we discover on a guided tour, seeing the incomparable Minster, one of Europe's largest Gothic cathedrals. This stunning sandstone building is covered in wonderful examples of Gothic architecture, and has stood in its current position, as an icon of the York skyline, in one form or another for the past 2,000 years. We also visit the medieval Shambles, which has remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages. The narrow cobbled street is overlooked by a patchwork variety of houses built in the traditional style of the time.

The rest of your day is at leisure to explore more of this ancient Viking city. Perhaps visit the amazing National Railway Museum, which contains an incredible amount of locomotives from all around the world - from a hospital train used in World War I to an ultra-modern Japanese Shinkansen.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
York Minster
Day 3 - The North Yorkshire Moors Railway

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 jewellery, 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 harbour. 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 Railway for the return journey by steam* railway.

*Steam-hauled where possible.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Day 4 - Settle & Carlisle Line

Leaving Harrogate behind, today we travel on the famous Settle-Carlisle Railway. 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. 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 it's 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 - the historic White Swan Hotel in Alnwick.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Carlisle Castle
Day 5 - Alnwick Gardens

This morning we enjoy a guided tour around the beautifully landscaped Alnwick Gardens. The gardens are a vibrant haven where magnificent architecture and lovingly-tended plants and flowers are brought to life alongside a variety of water features. From large fountains that rise in tiers in an elegant display one would expect to see gracing the gardens of Versailles, to tiny little walled gardens that are intimately calm in their beauty. There is also an enormous wooden treehouse, looking to the world like a small castle from a fairy tale, and the Poison Gardens to explore which feature many 'deadly' plants. The huge iron gates bear a stern warning; 'These Plants Can Kill'.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Alnwick Gardens
Day 6 - Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne

Today we cross the wild Northumberland countryside to Bamburgh, a scenic coastal town dominated by magnificent Bamburgh Castle, which overlooks the gorgeous sandy coast. A fort of some kind has been set on this strategic location since the 5th century, and buildings have been risen and raised numerous times over the generations. The current castle was restored during the 18th and 19th centuries, much to the pleasure of thousands of visitors to the castle since then all those who've visited it.

We enjoy some free time here before continuing the famous island of Lindisfarne. Often known simply as 'Holy Island', this remote spot has been inhabited since the 6th century. As an important centre of Christianity in Celtic Britain, it was invaded and ransacked by the Vikings during the early years of their English invasions. Now the island is home to both ruins and castles and is a truly spectacular place to spend our last afternoon. 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 tour.

Please note that due to tidal variance, the time of the visit to Lindisfarne is subject to change.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Bamburgh Castle
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). From here, you can continue to Harrogate if you would prefer. You are then free to depart at leisure.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Recommended Airport

We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to and from Manchester Airport (MAN), which is approximately 70 miles from your base in Harrogate or approximately 83 miles from York if you decide to end your tour here. 

Departure times

You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.


The White Swan Hotel, Alnwick

The White Swan Hotel, Alnwick

View hotel

Cedar Court Hotel, Harrogate

Cedar Court Hotel, Harrogate

View hotel


Hadrian's Wall Line
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Settle-Carlisle Railway


4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 19 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Miss Christine Diwell

5 stars

Submitted 10 Oct 2020

Well organised, attentive tour manager, well spaced varied and interesting program and good hotels

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr Derek May

5 stars

Submitted 09 Oct 2020

It was an excellent break and, Covid-19 restrictions not withstanding, we were able to do and enjoy everything we were expecting.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs Sheila Milner

5 stars

Submitted 09 Oct 2020

the tour was well organised and our tour guide for the week was terrific given the challenging and ever changing circumstances caused by covid 19 restrictions

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs. M. Pusey

4 stars

Submitted 20 Nov 2019

Problems with rail travel on several occasions; cancelled and late trains and Great Rail did not book seats on the travel from home to Leeds

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr R Le Cornu

4 stars

Submitted 30 Jul 2019

the tour was interesting and the hotels were good with good food.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr R Cromey

4 stars

Submitted 05 Nov 2018

Enjoyable break. Could be improved by transport to station on first day and would have benefitted from guide on last day on Holy Island. Some of meals disappointing. This applied to both hotels.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Show 6 more reviews
Related inspiration from our journey blog