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Festive York & The Belmond Northern Belle

(Tour code: YNM17)A festive tour of England’s northern charms.

Stay in enchanting York on a festive tour of England's northern charms. Enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch on the stunning Belmond Northern Belle, take in York's delightful Christmas Market, and enjoy a special journey on the scenic North Yorkshire Moors Railway on this seasonal British break.

Tour Highlights
  • 5-course lunch on the Belmond Northern Belle with a glass of Champagne
  • Guided tour of York
  • Free time to explore York’s Christmas Market
  • Special journey on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway
  • Whitby
  • Scenic drive through Helmsley
What’s Included (Full details)
  • Standard Class Rail
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation

Itinerary & Map

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Departure Times

On many of our UK & Ireland tours, 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.

York at night
Day 1


Our tour begins today in York, a beautiful medieval city in the north of England. After checking into the 4-Star Indigo Hotel, you will be greeted by your Tour Manager, who will be on hand throughout your holiday. After settling in, we enjoy dinner together tonight in a local restaurant.

  • Dinner
Northern Belle
Day 2

York and the Belmond Northern Belle

After breakfast, we begin our day with a fascinating guided walking tour of York, discovering the history and architecture of this incredible city. Dating back to the Roman era, York is well-known for its half-timbered houses, winding cobbled streets and picturesque centre, dominated by the towering Minster, a majestic Gothic cathedral that has been a part of the city skyline for over a thousand years. Home to the National Railway Museum, York's charming alleyways and quaint buildings are even more delightful to explore during the winter season, often sporting a coat of frost and bedecked with bright lights for Christmas. Our local guide leads us around the main attractions, providing expert commentary on York's ancient heritage, from Roman legions to Viking longboats on the River Ouse. Afterwards we board the Belmond Northern Belle, for a scenic journey through the Yorkshire countryside and a indulgent Christmas lunch. A superb homage to the 'Golden Age of Travel', the Belmond Northern Belle features period details and attentive staff, invoking the decadent spirit of rail travel in the 1930s. A sister train to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the Belmond Northern Belle has been expertly restored to its original glory, and has treated passengers to luxurious journeys through the best of the British countryside ever since. Travelling in carriages trimmed with festive cheer, breathtaking winter landscapes roll past our windows, on an enchanting excursion that elegantly blends elements of vintage rail travel with a contemporary Christmas feast, lovingly prepared by Chef Richie Cunningham. To accompany our lavish meal, we are each treated to a glass of Champagne and half a bottle of wine, whilst performers move throughout the train, providing music and magic as the perfect table-side entertainment to compliment our leisurely lunch. After indulging in our traditional Christmas meal, we return to York late this afternoon. Your evening is free; perhaps visit one of the many cosy pubs York has to offer.

York Minster
Day 3

At leisure in York

After breakfast today, you are free to explore the delightful city of York at your own pace. At this time of year, York's Christmas Market is in full swing, with a wide range of seasonal stalls and temporary chalets appearing in the centre of town. From hot roast chestnuts to warming mulled wine, the smell of festive foods lingers in the air, leading you through a variety of stalls, offering hand-crafted items, jewellery, and unique gift options - the perfect opportunity for a spot of Christmas shopping. Alternatively, you could choose to visit one of York's other attractions. Perhaps return to York Minster, to explore the stained-glass windows and restored stonework interiors, or pay a visit to York's Chocolate Story, a fascinating museum on King's Square, dedicated to the confectionery-making history of the city. The York Castle Museum also offers an intriguing glimpse into the past, with exhibits ranging from the Victorian era to the 1960s. Situated close to Clifford's Tower, another point of local interest, the museum houses thousands of historical objects, with exhibitions, displays and knowledgeable staff on hand to help you explore York's more recent history. Or, for a more relaxing day, simply stroll through the picturesque streets and soak up the wealth of historical architecture York is rightly famed for.

Whitby Abbey
Day 4

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Whitby

We embark on the second of our festive-themed rail journeys today, as we transfer to Pickering to board the North Yorkshire Moors Railway through the frosty countryside. At this time of year, the railway runs a Santa Special version of their usual charming route, featuring a complimentary mince pie and a warming drink to enjoy en-route. Santa himself may even put in an appearance, with an on-board Grotto featured in one of the carriages. Enjoy the relaxing pace of our steam-hauled train, as we travel through wintry landscapes and beautiful rugged scenery. After disembarking, we transfer by coach to Whitby, a charming seaside town, known for its crumbling Abbey ruins and association with the legend of Dracula. Your time in Whitby is free. Perhaps enjoy a brisk walk along the coast to blow away the cobwebs, or treat yourself to some delicious seaside fish and chips. At this time of year, St Mary's Church, the delightful chapel close to famous Whitby Abbey, is often filled with Christmas trees, donated by the local community. Perhaps enjoy a stroll up the 199 steps to enjoy the beauty of the church, which dates back to 1100AD, and the splendid display of festive spirit inside. Back in York tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner together in a local restaurant. As we enjoy our meal, we have the opportunity to discuss our favourite moments, or highlights of our holiday.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
York City Walls
Day 5

Return home

After breakfast today, you are free to return home at your leisure. Your Tour Manager will bid you farewell, and after checking out of our hotel, you may wish to make your own way home. Otherwise, you could take this opportunity to explore more of York before you leave. Home to a wealth of attractions within walking distance of your hotel, York offers a range of fascinating museums, quaint tea-shops and wonderful pubs and restaurants to sample. One option is the newly-renovated York Art Gallery, located close to the Minster on Exhibition Square. Redeveloped in 2015, the gallery is host to a variety of paintings, drawings, prints and ceramics, the oldest of which date back to the 14th century. Featuring a brand-new Centre for Ceramic Art, a dedicated exhibition for samples of British ceramics, has received critical acclaim since its opening, whilst the on-site café provides the perfect spot for a coffee break or light lunch. Alternatively, you could pay a visit to the National Railway Museum, conveniently located beside York Railway Station. Boasting over 1 million objects relating to the history of rail travel in its collection, the National Railway Museum features nearly 300 samples of rolling stock, locomotives and heritage rail vehicles, and offers free entry.

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.


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Phil Conde
Lori Mcclaren
Julie Longfield
Kathryn Cambridge



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