The Great North Tour

7 Day Themed Tour

The Industrial Revolution, hailed a period of unparalleled change for all in the western world from 1760 to 1840, particularly, those in the north of England, where thousands were employed in the new textile industries. Many of the towns and cities we visit on this journey together, owe their very existence to this extraordinary period of English history. The creation of a railway system was the catalyst and driving force, allowing progress to flourish. We will see this at first hand, experiencing, a short steam rail journey and visiting the National Rail Museum. The north, has attracted many since the beginning of history who each in their way have shaped the culture of this wonderful land. We will see this in the great city of York. Our journey together will take us through some of the most picturesque landscapes in England, The Peak District, The North York Moors, The Yorkshire Dales and the incomparable Lake District.
We will meet authors, poets and adventurers whose works and discoveries have shaped our culture, language and understanding of the greater world.
We will sample local and regional delicacies which will tantalize your taste buds but not your waistline!
Our journey will be one of wonderful and astonishing contrasts as we cross the North of England from west to east and east to west.
No time to wait, shall we start?

Day 1

Manchester, Kirklees Light Railway, National Coal Mining Museum & Leeds

The tour begins from the centre of one of England’s most iconic cities, Manchester, heading north east into the heartland of the “Industrial Revolution”, visiting Kirklees famous steam light railway, The National Coal Mining Museum and the historic city of Wakefield, site of the great and pivotal battle of 1460, at the height of The War of The Roses.
Discover the historic city of Leeds which has become the largest legal and financial centre outside London and is, without doubt, the cultural, financial and commercial heart of West Yorkshire.
Continue to The Royal Armouries Museum, opened in 1996 at a cost of 42.5 million pounds. So much of England’s history determined by warfare over the centuries has its story told here, helping us understand how England has become what it is today.

We are happy to send you a program which is adapted to your flight schedule. Please get in touch with us if you would like this.

Overnight in one of the many excellent hotels Leeds has to offer and maybe sample its famous night life.

Day 2

Harrogate, Harewood House, Knaresborough, York & York Minster

After a hearty Yorkshire breakfast, continue north towards the fashionable spa town of Harrogate, stopping first at the magnificent Harewood House, arguably, one of the finest stately homes in England.
Enjoy a brief stop in the beautiful town of Harrogate, long enough to stop at Bettys Café Tea Rooms, world famous for a hundred years as the ultimate tea room experience.
On the way to the“Viking” city of York we pass the market and spa town of Knaresborough, home to “Old Mother Shipton” and “The Petrifying Well” one of the most magical places in Yorkshire!
Visit York Minster, one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals and “The Shambles”a wonderful example of medieval, overhanging timber framed buildings, dating back to the 14th century.

Overnight in a York hotel.

Day 3

National Railway Museum, Whitby, Great Ayton, Scarborough, Captain Cook Memorial Museum & Captain Cook Monument

We cannot leave York without first visiting The Jorvick Viking Centre, to learn a little more about the fearsome invaders who so shaped York and England’s history. If time permits The National Railway Museum is a spectacle not to be missed.
We depart for the east coast traveling through the southern North York Moors National Park, arriving at England’s premier North Sea resort, famed for its stunning scenery, glorious beaches, and vibrant centre.
After exploring Scarborough Castle, a fortress with over 2500 years of turbulent history behind it, we will depart for Whitby another historic sea side town. Whitby Abbey was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for “Dracula”. We will visit The Dracula Experience, before visiting the Captain Cook Memorial Museum to learn something of his discoveries from Newfoundland, Botany Bay to Hawaii.
Later we depart travelling inland through the northern sector of The North York Moors National Park, to our final visit of the day, Great Ayton.

One overnight in a hotel nearby Great Ayton.

Day 4

Middlesbrough, Aysgarth Falls, Kendal, Richmond & Wensleydale Creamery

A last sumptuous Yorkshire breakfast (at least on this journey) before we head west to Middlesbrough crossing the River Tees on the unique “Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge” or aerial transfer bridge as it should be known. Built in 1911, it is a truly remarkable structure.
Pass through the beautiful town of Richmond, before venturing into the picturesque and famous Yorkshire Dales National Park, stopping first at Aysgarth Falls on the stunning River Ure. The Dales are famous for many things, none more so than Wensleydale and its cheese. Visit the incomparable Wensleydale Creamery to see and sample this wonderful cheese, followed by a visit to the nearby National Park Centre.
Onward journey to Kendal, which nestles in a natural gap between the two National Parks of The Yorkshire Dales and The Lake District. Kendal is the perfect stepping stone on to The Lake District where we will venture to tomorrow.

Three Overnights in Kendal.

Day 5

Lake Windermere, Coniston Water, Wordsworth Museum & Kendal

Our day starts with a brief but picturesque journey to Lake Windermere and the waterside town of Bowness-on-Windermere, where we will take a lake cruise, navigating its complete 11.23 miles (18.08 km).
Visit Dove Cottage and The Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere, here Wordsworth produced the most famous and best loved of his poems, and his sister Dorothy kept her famous Grasmere journals.
Explore nearby lakes including Coniston Water, Esthwaite Water, Rydal Water and many more, stopping frequently to enjoy and capture the views with our cameras.
We return to Kendal, with a healthy appetite to enjoy a sumptuous dinner of local produce at one of the many very fine restaurants in the town.

Day 6

Beatrix Potter, Derwentwater, Cockermouth, Ullswater, Bassenthwaite Lake & Kehdal

Visit Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Cottage, where so much of her work was written and the stories of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle- Duck and their friends came alive.
There you can see “a time capsule of her life” with literally thousands of exhibits magnificently presented by The National Trust. Now we head to the northern lakes of Ullswater, Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Lake and Crummock Water, together with many other smaller lakes within the area.
We stop next in the ancient market town of Cockermouth, so called because it is at the confluence of the River Cocker and Derwent. We will stop here for lunch.
This afternoon we will travel south on the western edge of The Lake District National Park, looking out over The Irish Sea, passing through the coastal towns of WorkingtonWhitehaven and Ravenglass. We turn back into the centre of The Lakes, travelling through Eskdale and the dramatic Hardknott Pass, taking every photo opportunity we can, before passing Windermere and arriving at Kendal for our last night together and perhaps a farewell meal and the last chance to taste the delights of Cumbria.

Day 7

Gaydon, Burton-on-Trent, Derby & Manchester

Our last day together takes us north to Gaydon, home of The British Motor Museum, the largest collection of British historic cars in the world.
Continue north to Burton-on-Trent, home of English beer brewing. No visit would be complete without a guided tour of The National Brewery Centre. The tour explores British brewing, with shire horses, vintage vehicles and of course some beer samples.
Last but not least we will visit the town of Derby the historic home of Rolls Royce, where we will visit the Roll-Royce Heritage Trust Museum. Here we will learn how Rolls-Royce have since building their first car in 1904 become, pre-eminent in world auto and aero engineering.
Sadly we must now depart for our final destination, Manchester. Our route will take us through Stoke-on-Trent, passing The Peak District National Park to our right, finally to arrive in Central Manchester, where we must say goodbye to our many new found friends.

Interested in organising a tour with us?

Call us on: +44 (0) 20 8861 9300

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6 overnight stays including half-board in traditional middle class hotels:

  • 1 x overnight stay in a Leeds hotel.
  • 1 x overnight stay in a York hotel.
  • 1 x overnight stay in a hotel nearby Great Ayton.
  • 3 x overnight stays in Kendal.

Arrival by air

  • Local coach transport
  • Flight booking optional at a supplement

Would you like more information?

Call us on: +44 (0) 20 8861 9300

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