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The Harrogate Flower Show

(Tour code: YKE6)Enjoy a blooming marvellous rail holiday

On this horticulture-themed tour, we spend a day at the fabulous Harrogate Spring or Autumn Flower Show, travel across the North York Moors to Whitby by heritage steam railway and visit RHS Garden Harlow Carr.

Tour Highlights
  • The spa town of Harrogate
  • The Harrogate Flower Show
  • Whitby
  • The North Yorkshire Moors Railway
  • RHS Garden Harlow Carr including a guided tour
What’s Included (Full details)
  • Standard Class Rail
    Heritage Rail Excursion
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Evening Meals
  • All Transfers Included
    Optional Bag Concierge

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.

Day 1

Meet in Harrogate

Our holiday begins as you arrive at the Old Swan 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. Our hotel is ideally located only a short walk from the very centre of Harrogate and is set in a quiet location within its own private grounds.

  • Dinner
Harrogate Flower Show
Day 2

Harrogate Spring or Autumn Show

Today we travel by coach to the famous Great Yorkshire Showground. Located just outside the centre of Harrogate, the showground hosts several annual shows and exhibitions, including the Great Yorkshire Show. During our spring departures, the showground hosts the Harrogate Flower Show - a brightly coloured event which has been rated as the 'Best Gardening Event in the UK' by Which? Magazine. The event is focused on flowers and floristry and celebrates the art of flower arranging. There are many special feature gardens, with flowers from across the world, incredible floral arrangements and displays, and superb exhibitions of different techniques and designs. 

Many of the UK's top plant nurseries exhibit at the show, while hundreds of other companies use the show to exhibit everything you could possibly imagine for your garden - including conservatories and greenhouses, fruit cages and hanging baskets, water features and bird feeders, garden lighting and the latest composters. You can pick up tips at some of the many fascinating demonstrations, while the show also hosts the world's biggest floral-art marquee, with some spectacular large-scale displays. There is a competitive side to the Flower Show, with prizes awarded in a variety of categories.

Our autumn departures experience the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, which is also held at the Great Yorkshire Showground. The autumn show is slightly different, placing a greater emphasis on produce, with vegetable-growing competitions. There are prizes awarded for vegetables in many different categories - in 2012 a new record was set - the world's first-ever 18lb onion!  Your time is free to make the most of the show - you can return to the hotel with the Tour Manager by coach or wander back into Harrogate on foot at your leisure.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Harrogate Flower Show
Day 3

A day at leisure

You are free to spend the day at leisure in Harrogate. You could explore the delightful Valley Gardens, or take a stroll along The Stray. Other attractions include the Turkish Baths, where you can enjoy a relaxing treatment, and the Royal Pump Room. This grand Victorian building gives an insight into how the spa shaped Harrogate. Alternatively, you could visit the beautiful medieval city of York, which is just a short journey away by train. Here you can visit the National Railway Museum (free admission), the largest museum of its kind in the world which boasts many steam locomotives and a selection of Royal carriages. You can take a walk along the city walls or enjoy the views from Clifford's Tower. Another popular option is the Jorvik Viking Centre, which faithfully recreates York when it was capital of the Viking Kingdom. If you wish to venture a little further afield, you could travel via Leeds to the alluring Brontë country, visiting the literary sisters' home village of Haworth on the heritage Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Free Day
North York Moors Railway
Day 4

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway to Whitby

This morning we transfer by coach to Pickering, where we join the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for a marvellous steam-hauled* journey to Whitby. Travelling in restored carriages, we cross the stunning North York Moors and head through the winding Esk Valley as we make our way to the coast. Your time in Whitby is free for you to explore at leisure. Boasting some of the finest fish and chip restaurants in the UK, you can perhaps enjoy lunch overlooking the pretty harbour and the sea front. You could also 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.

*Schedules are currently unconfirmed, but services will be steam-hauled wherever possible.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • North Yorkshire Moors Railway
  • Whitby
Harlow Carr
Day 5

RHS Harlow Carr

This morning we travel by coach to visit the RHS Garden Harlow Carr, one of four public gardens run by the Royal Horticultural Society. The magnificent 58 acres of gardens are located just outside the centre of Harrogate on part of what was once the Forest of Knaresborough, an ancient royal hunting ground. They include the UK's longest streamside garden, a fragrant wildflower meadow, an enticing kitchen garden and superb perennial borders. We enjoy a guided tour of the charming informal gardens, followed by time to enjoy a pleasant stroll at your leisure. Harlow Carr also has its own Betty's Café, which presents the ideal opportunity for you to treat yourself to a sumptuous lunch. Your afternoon is free to spend at leisure in Harrogate.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • RHS Harlow Carr
Betty's, Harrogate
Day 6

Homeward Bound

After breakfast this morning our tour concludes, and you are free to depart at your leisure.

  • Breakfast
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Lori Mcclaren
Phil Conde
James Eaton
Lynne Broadley



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