Enjoy all the Christmas cheer that Yorkshire has to offer based
in the beautiful spa town of Harrogate. This festive tour
includes fantastic rail journeys, historic Ripley Castle,
picturesque Fountains Abbey and the medieval city of York, adorned
with seasonal decorations.
Free time in Harrogate
York including a walking tour
Opportunity to visit the National Railway Museum
Journey on the Settle-Carlisle Railway
Time to explore Carlisle
Christmas Eve excursion on the Wensleydale Railway
Make your way to the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, where your
group and Tour Manager will be waiting to greet you before dinner
together this evening.
Day 2 - York
Today we travel the short distance to nearby York. Steeped in
history we discover more about this walled city as we meet our
local guide for a fascinating walking tour around the major sights.
Our guide shares their passion for the city as we pass the Minster
- York's majestic Gothic cathedral - explore the charming cobbled
streets of the Shambles and discover the city's incredible history.
Following the tour the rest of your afternoon is free to continue
exploring this fascinating city. Why not visit the wonderful
National Railway Museum (free entry) where you can see exhibits
such as a Japanese Bullet Train and a number of Royal carriages?
Take in the view from Clifford's Tower or return to York Minster,
the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. Alternatively
enjoy a stroll along the Shambles, regarded as one of the best
preserved medieval streets in Europe.
Day 3 - Settle-Carlisle Railway
Leaving Harrogate behind, today we head to Settle to join 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. We climb quickly and travel through the
dramatic Yorkshire Dales, past the backdrop of the mighty Three
Peaks; Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Here we cross the
spectacular Ribblehead Viaduct, a true testament to Victorian
engineering that 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 rolling hills of the
Eden Valley before arriving in Carlisle. Here you have time to
explore and enjoy lunch in the charming border town, before
returning along the beautiful railway.
Day 4 - Christmas Eve & the Wensleydale Railway
Today it is Christmas Eve, and we join the Wensleydale Railway,
enjoying a mince pie and mulled wine at our seats as we travel
through the lovely Yorkshire Dales. After our journey, we visit
Bettys Tea Rooms, for a delicious luxury cream tea.
Day 5 - Christmas Day at leisure
On Christmas Day the emphasis is on food and relaxation. After a
leisurely breakfast you are free to wander into Harrogate and along
The Stray or visit Valley Gardens. Harrogate has beautiful parks
and an abundance of historic buildings, that date back to the time
when the town first rose to prominence thanks to its spa waters. We
enjoy a full traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings.
Relax this afternoon before enjoying the rest of the day at
leisure. This evening we enjoy a buffet together in the hotel.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Fountains Abbey
Today we take a coach excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage
site of Fountains Abbey. Set within a beautiful estate, the largest
abbey ruins in the country host an annual candlelit carol service
within the Cellarium. This spectacular vaulted room is the only
part of the abbey with any ceiling remaining, and is adorned with
candles for a beautiful, atmospheric carol service. Fountains
Abbey, an area of outstanding natural beauty, boasts ten historic
buildings, a water garden and visitor centre all within the
grounds. You are free to explore these independently before we
return to the hotel.
Day 7 - Homeward bound
After breakfast our tour concludes and you are free to make your
way to the airport for flight back home.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature
the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown
For this tour, we recommend arriving into Manchester airport,
which is approximately 70 miles from your first hotel. Our
recommended departure airport is Manchester airport, which is
approximately 70 miles from your final hotel.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport,
visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your
itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot
travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with
any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses
which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any
passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
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.
Good value, very comfortable hotel with helpful staff. The trips were varied & much enjoyed. One member of the group was repeating the same trip having done it the year before.
Our leader was very attentive and we formed into a friendly cohesive group.
Mrs J Sneary
Submitted Jan 19, 2018
Great Rail take great care to look after their customers and provide excellent customer service . Our tour guide was friendly and considerate without being overbearing and she mad sure our tour went as well as it could do . This was my second Tour with great rail and I hope to o many more !
Mrs J Green
Submitted Jan 13, 2018
Excellent, just a bit let down over hotel and the weather ... fog obscured the view from the viaduct
Mr B Shaw
Submitted Jan 12, 2018
everything smoothly from start to finish and was accurate as stated in the brochure
Mr M Todman
Submitted Jan 12, 2018
The replacement visit to Betty's Tearooms (in place of Ripley Castle) was disappointing.