“The Best of Yorkshire & The Lake District over 10 days”
Arrive in York – private transfer from airport if required
Overnight - York
Day 1 – Historic York
The Queen’s father famously commented “the history of York is the history of England”. So today we will explore York on a walking tour of the city with a Yorkshire Blue Badge qualified guide. We will get the chance to see Roman remains, a ruined abbey, gothic churches, a Norman castle, medieval streets as well as stunning Georgian and Victorian architecture, whilst hearing tales of York’s fascinating past.
In the afternoon, we will visit York Minster – Northern Europe’s largest gothic cathedral as well as visiting the world renowned Jorvik Viking Museum.
Day 2 – The Yorkshire Dales & Herriot Country
Today we will explore Herriot Country and visit many of the locations seen in the TV series about the famous Yorkshire vet.
The tour starts at the brewing town of Masham before stopping at Jervaulx Abbey. From here we will travel through Wensleydale stopping at Middleham Castle (the boyhood home of King Richard III), passing Aysgarth Falls, Castle Bolton, Askrigg, Bainbridge, whilst driving through stunning limestone country with its rolling fields and dry stone walls.
We will stop in Hawes which played the fictional village of Darrowby in the TV series All Creatures Great and Small and stop at the Wensleydale Creamery to sample some delicious local cheeses.
We will take lunch at Simonstone Hall, where there are stunning views down Wensleydale and peacocks roaming the garden terrace before taking a stroll to Yorkshire’s highest single drop waterfall at Hardraw. After this we will drive up and over Buttertubs Pass – a road Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear) describes as “England’s only truly iconic road”, before descending into Swaledale with its wild flower meadows and field barns.
We’ll travel past Muker and Gunnerside before stopping in Reeth for afternoon tea. Our last stop will be Richmond for a look around the Castle and the Georgian market square before returning back to York.
Day 3 Haworth & the Bronte’s
This morning we will leave York and head west over to Pennine Yorkshire, driving through wild moorland and millstone grit country.
We will pass through the now bohemian, former industrial town of Hebden Bridge and visit Heptonstall, with its tiny cloth hall and gothic ruins. From here we will drive over the Bronte Moors to Haworth home of the Bronte sisters.
Our guide will bring to life the inspiration behind the sister’s famous novels and their short lives. We will also visit Bronte Parsonage Museum, which has been perfectly preserved as it would have been when they lived there.
Later in the afternoon we will drive through Calderdale, visiting Halifax and the iconic Grade 1 listed Piece Hall, the sole survivor of the great eighteenth century northern cloth halls.
Finally, we will stop at the stunning Shibden Hall, home of Anne Lister the famous diarist, soon to be the subject of a joining BBC and HBO for a walk around the house and grounds.
Day 4 Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal UNESCO World Heritage Site
Today we will travel via Ripon to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, one of Yorkshire’s UNESCO world heritage sites. The site boasts one of the most complete Norman Abbeys with a great visitor centre and café. The site also contains one of the finest Georgian Water Gardens in the land with canals, lakes, folly’s, Roman and Greek Temples and a wonderful deer park.
We will have a private tour of Fountains Abbey with an English Heritage expert and discover about life in the Cistercian monastery from its formation in the 1100’s to when it was dissolved by Henry VIII.
After lunch in the Studley Tea Room overlooking the lake, there will still be time to visit Brimham Rocks, where millstone grit outcrops have been carved naturally into weird shapes over thousands of years by wind and rain.
On our way back to York we will stop for afternoon tea in Ripley, taking a stroll round this unique village with its French revival architecture and Hotel de Ville and 15th century castle.
Day 5 Harrogate & Harewood House
Firstly, we will visit the Victorian Spa town of Harrogate and take a short walking tour of the centre to learn about Harrogate’s unique history centred around the discovery of mineral springs. We will stop for refreshments at the Yorkshire institution known as Bettys – the famous traditional tea rooms founded in Harrogate nearly 100 years ago.
From here we will travel to Harewood House, one of England’s Treasure Houses – an 18th century stately home with stunning grounds designed by Capability Brown, interiors created by Robert Adam and an art collection to rival the finest in Britain. We will have a private tour of the State rooms and below stairs, as well as an exclusive look at some of the Thomas Chippendale furniture collection. There will be plenty of time to explore the bird garden, walk around the lake and buy souvenirs.
Day 6 - North York Moors & Coast
A day out exploring the North York Moors and Coast. We will drive from York to Thirsk before passing the famous giant White Horse of Kilburn on the hillside and the Mouseman furniture museum.
From here we will travel past Byland’s Abbey and through Ampleforth to Helmsley with its lovely market square and medieval castle. From here its over to Pickering before heading up over Fylingdales Moor – past Yorkshire’s Grand Canyon – the Hole of Horcum and into Heartbeat Country.
We will stop at Goathland and visit the railway station which played Hogsmead in the Harry Potter films before boarding a traditional steam train to ride to Goathland.
We will take a short walking tour of Whitby, where we will hear about the inspiration behind Bram Stokers Dracula, as well as Whitby’s seafaring and whaling heritage. Before stopping for a hearty Fish and Chips lunch.
We can drive up to both cliff tops to get up close to the Abbey and St.Mary’s Church and the iconic whalebone arch. From here we will drive via the picturesque coastal village of Sandsend to Danby, stopping at the National Park Visitor Centre.
We’ll then drive back down Blakey Ridge with its stunning moorland landscape and views into both Rosedale and Farndale. We’ll pass some ancient stone crosses and then climb up chimney bank in Rosedale to see the old iron stone kilns.
After this we’ll pass Hutton le Hole before travelling back to York via Sutton Bank – which James Herriot described as “the finest view in England”.
Overnight – York
Day 7 Castle Howard & Malton
A visit to Yorkshire is not complete without a visit to Castle Howard, one of Britain’s finest historic houses and gardens in England with breath taking landscapes, stunning interiors and awe- inspiring architecture. It will be an early start today as we have exclusive early access and a tour of the house before it opens to the public!
After lunch at Castle Howard we will visit the market town of Malton – now recognised as Yorkshire’s food capital where we will have some spare time for shopping and sampling some of the local produce.
After lunch, we will transfer to The Lake District
Overnight – Lake District
Day 8 - Literary lake District Tour
The Lake District is one of the country’s most celebrated literary areas.
Today, we will experience and be inspired by the stunning Lake District countryside and places associated with some of the great names in English literature.
Firstly, William Wordsworth is Britain’s most famous poet, whose thoughts and writing about man, nature and society are so current, they could have been written yesterday. We’ll discover Wordsworth’s amazing life by visiting Dove Cottage in Grasmere, and exploring the treasures of the Wordsworth Trust’s collection.
Beatrix Potter is one of the most famous children’s authors of all time and her characters include Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Mrs Tiggywinkle and Jemima Puddleduck, to name but a few. We’ll visit her home where she wrote the famous books and other locations which influenced her writing.
As well as William Wordsworth & Beatrix Potter we will also see and hear about sites which influenced other influencial authors and poets such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Ruskin and Arthur Ransome and many others.
Overnight – Lake District
Day 9 - Hadrian’s Wall
This feat of extraordinary engineering was the northwesternmost border of the Roman Empire for nearly 300 years and at 73 miles long it marches across Britain from sea to sea. Along the wall there are many ruined Roman forts to explore and museums with well preserved Roman finds.
Our tour today visits Hadrian’s Wall one of the most significant Roman sites in Europe, giving you chance to walk stretches of the wall as well as visiting The Roman Army Museum, Housesteads and Vindolanda Roman forts all located in a stunning panoramic landscape.
You will see temples and bath houses and hear tales of the Roman empire from our entertaining guides.
As well as experiencing this panoramic landscape there will also be time to explore quaint villages as well as stop at tea rooms amidst antiquities for refreshments.
Overnight – Lake District
Day 10 – Tour Ends
Private transfers to airport as required
The tour cost includes 10 nights luxury bed & breakfast accommodation at characterful hotels, comfortable private transport and personal tours with an entertaining, knowledgeable Blue Badge Driver Guide, all entrance fees, lunches and daytime refreshments.
The hotels choices are reliant upon availability, but are indicative as to the character and quality of the type of accommodation.
10 Day Tour – from £6850 per person
NB. Evening meals are not included. Guests have the opportunity to dine at the hotel at their expense or venture to one of the local restaurants in Manchester, Windermere or York. We would be happy to recommend and book restaurants on behalf of our guests.