Enjoy all the Christmas cheer that Yorkshire has to offer from the beautiful spa town of Harrogate. This festive holiday includes fantastic rail journeys on the Settle-Carlisle and Wensleydale Railways and visits to picturesque Fountains Abbey and the medieval city of York, each adorned with their own special seasonal decorations.
Make your way to Harrogate and meet your Tour Manager at the hotel. You're then free in the spa town of Harrogate, which boasts a scenic location in the heart of North Yorkshire's Nidd Valley. Harrogate is home to beautiful parks and an abundance of historic buildings, including the town's famous spa. If you want to relax, you could plan a visit to the Victorian-era Turkish Baths, do some shopping at one of the many independent boutiques or enjoy a stroll around the wintry Valley Gardens ahead of dinner.
Leaving Harrogate behind, we head to Settle by coach to join the famous Settle-Carlisle Line. This 72-mile route is regularly voted one of the world's top railway journeys thanks to the gorgeous scenery it travels through, which at this time of year is filled with seasonally appropriate countryside. We make our way along a narrow valley into the Yorkshire Dales National Park, enjoying views of two of the Three Peaks, Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough, before reaching the most famous landmark the route, the magnificent 24-arched Ribblehead Viaduct. Our train's ascent comes to an end as we enter Blea Moor Tunnel and continue across the Dent Head Viaduct for a glimpse of Whernside, the third of the Three Peaks. From Dent, the highest mainline station in England, we journey across the Moorcock Viaduct, leaving the Yorkshire Dales National Park behind as we travel through Cumbria and the rolling hills of the Eden Valley on our way to Carlisle where you have free time to look around and soak in the festive atmosphere before making the return trip to Harrogate.
We catch the train to York for a fascinating guided tour of its ancient sights, including the 12th-century Gothic Minster and the medieval Shambles, all decked out in festive fairy lights. The rest of your day is free and you might like to visit the city's quaint Christmas market, which offers a delightful assortment of gifts, crafts, local farm produce and continental foods. Stroll through Parliament Square, lined with charming wooden stalls, and take in the warming scent of mulled wine and bratwurst as you indulge in a spot of Christmas shopping. Alternatively, you could visit one of the city's renowned museums, such as Jorvik, which gives in-depth insight into York's Viking past, or the National Railway Museum.
Today is Christmas Eve, and we join the Wensleydale Railway, enjoying a mince pie and mulled wine before we travel through the lovely Yorkshire countryside. After our journey, we visit Bettys Tea Rooms back in Harrogate for a luxury cream tea.
Day 5 is Christmas Day, and the emphasis is on good food and relaxation. We enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings before an afternoon spent at leisure. This evening, we sit down to a festive buffet dinner together in the hotel.
It's Christmas Day and the emphasis is on good food and relaxation. We enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch, served with all the trimmings, before a free afternoon for you to take a leisurely walk or unwind in the hotel. This evening, we sit down to a festive buffet dinner followed by entertainment.
We take a Boxing Day excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Fountains Abbey. Set within a beautiful estate, these are the largest monastic ruins in the country and the abbey hosts an annual candlelit carol service within the Cellarium, which we attend. You are free to explore the atmospheric grounds afterwards, home to red deer, otters and mountain hares, before we return to the hotel.
Our festive holiday comes to an end today and you're free to depart Harrogate in your own time.
|21 December 2021||From £955|
|21 December 2021||From £895|
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
The iconic Settle-Carlisle Railway was the last mainline railway to be built in the UK and was completed in 1876 by the Midland Railway Company after six years of work. Widely accepted as being one of the best-engineered mainline tracks in England, the line is visually dramatic and offers a truly great rail journey.
The Wensleydale Railway is an old passenger line that ended its services in 1954 and was forced to haul limestone and then military vehicles to stay functioning. It reopened as a passenger line again in 2003. The railway now has its own station, a testament to its recent revival. The railway is now largely run by volunteers with a small number of paid staff.
The 4-Star Old Swan Hotel has a history going back 200 years and is where author Agatha Christie famously disappeared for 11 days in 1926. Set in pretty gardens, the hotel is a short walk from Harrogate's town centre and has two restaurants, a lounge and a bar. The elegant, well-appointed rooms have a telephone, television, radio, tea & coffee making facilities and a hairdryer.
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!
We can book UK rail tickets from your local station to and from Harrogate. Please call us to discuss your requirements.