A Flavour of Yorkshire at Christmas 2013
The festive spirit of beautiful Yorkshire
Admire the rugged Yorkshire countryside on an evocative rail journey. Stay at the charming spa town of Harrogate on your Yorkshire Christmas rail holiday and soak up the historic atmosphere that sweeps through ancient sites. Explore the majestic Ripley Castle and Bolton Abbey as you discover their intriguing history. Watch the undulating hills and winter scenery of the Yorkshire Dales unfold as you ride in warmth and comfort on the Wensleydale and Embsay and Bolton Abbey railways. Enjoy the festive season at a relaxing pace, perhaps stroll around the beautiful Valley Gardens before sitting down at the hotel to a hearty Christmas dinner.
Day 1 - Arrive at HarrogateYour Tour Manager greets you in Harrogate at the 4* Holiday Inn Hotel. After checking in to the hotel, you are free to take a walk through the pretty spa town, famed for Betty's Tea Rooms and its charming boutiques or take a stroll through Valley Gardens before dinner this evening. (D)
Day 2 - Christmas EveOn Christmas Eve, we travel by coach to Leeming Bar, where we join the heritage Wensleydale Railway. Travelling in restored carriages, we pass through the beautiful scenery of the Yorkshire Dales as we enjoy mulled wine and a mince pie at our seats. We then transfer to Ripley for a guided tour of its castle, which has been the seat of the Ingilby family for more than 700 years. (B,D)
Day 3 - Christmas Day in HarrogateChristmas Day is free for you to relax and enjoy the festivities at your own pace. Following a leisurely breakfast, perhaps wander into Harrogate and along the Stray, or visit the nearby Valley Gardens to work up an appetite for our traditional Christmas Dinner, served in the hotel with all the trimmings. After spending the rest of the day at leisure, we indulge in a buffet dinner this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Bolton Abbey by heritage railwayOn Boxing Day we travel by coach to the scenic town of Embsay, for a journey on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. The heritage train takes us through 4 miles of the dramatic scenery of the Yorkshire Dales as we make our way to Bolton Abbey station. Here we visit Bolton Priory, where we enjoy a guided tour. We see the atmospheric remains of the priory, which was founded in 1120 AD, and the priory's impressive current church. We return to Harrogate for dinner. (B,D)
Day 5 - York
On today's excursion we travel by train to nearby York, a beautiful city with Roman and medieval architecture in abundance. We discover more about this walled city and its centuries of history on a guided walking tour of the main sights, including the magnificent Gothic Minster and the quaint Shambles. Following the tour you are free to continue exploring at your own pace. The National Railway Museum (free entry), with its large collection of carriages and steam locomotives, should not be missed. Other popular options include the Jorvik Viking Centre, which features a recreated scene of York when it was capital of the Viking Kingdom, and Clifford's Tower. For alternative views of the city, walk along the city walls, or if you're feeling energetic, why not admire the panorama from the top of the Minster's central tower? (B,D)
Day 6 - Homeward boundAfter breakfast your Tour Manager bids you goodbye and you are free to leave Harrogate at your leisure. (B)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
These meals, where shown, are included in the price of your holiday.
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Explore York on a Yorkshire Christmas Rail Holiday
As well as enjoying picturesque train journeys, you will also visit the medieval, walled city of York during your festive break. Amble around the meandering and narrow cobbled streets of the famous Shambles and admire the delightful shop windows that are filled with heart-warming gifts. A definite must-see when exploring York is the incredible Jorvik Viking Centre. Walk around fascinating recreated scenes and experience the authentic smells of the Viking Age as you discover the city's history on a Yorkshire Christmas rail holiday.