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The Festive Markets of Yorkshire

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(Tour code: 20YHM)

Harrogate, York and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Soak up the festive atmosphere in 'God's own county' on this superb pre-Christmas break. In addition to the Christmas Markets in historic York, you will enjoy a vintage steam journey and a festive rural village festival.

  • Fully escorted by a UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • A guided walking tour of York
  • York's Christmas Market
  • Grassington and the Dickensian Festival
  • Journey on the Settle-Carlisle Railway
  • Harrogate
What’s Included
  • Heritage Rail Excursions
    Journey on the Settle-Carlisle Railway
  • 3* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Evening Meals
  • Optional Bag Concierge

The Festive Markets of Yorkshire 2019Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Day 1 Betty's, Harrogate
Betty's, Harrogate

Arrive in Harrogate

Meet your Tour Manager at the Crown Hotel in Harrogate, enjoying some mulled wine on arrival ahead of some time at leisure before dinner. This gives you the perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself with Harrogate, your base for this holiday.

Harrogate is an elegant spa town nestled in the glorious countryside of the Yorkshire Dales, and boasts a rich cultural, historical and architectural heritage. The town is famous for its natural and mineral rich spa waters, which were fashionable with the affluent classes during the Georgian and Victorian eras. The royal baths and Turkish baths here were originally opened in 1897, and have been beautifully restored.

Harrogate is also famous for Bettys Tea Room, a Harrogate institution since its establishment in 1919 and a must-try for visitors to the town. Sample delicious fare which includes over 300 breads, cakes and chocolates, as well as 50 different teas and coffees, all in the delightful surroundings of a charming, historic tea room.

  • Dinner
Day 2 York Christmas Markets
York Christmas Markets

City tour of York

Today, take the train to nearby York, where you embark on a fascinating guided walking tour.

York is a magnificent medieval city which offers history and beauty in abundance. Enclosed by the most complete medieval defensive wall in England, York's ancient streets nearly all lead to the cherished centrepiece of the city: York Minster. The largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, the Minster was built in the 13th century but occupies a spot that's been dominated by religious orders since 627AD.

Your tour also visits the fascinating Shambles. One of the world's best-preserved medieval streets, the Shambles were originally home to a number of butchers and many of their hooks and meats shelves are still present today. Walking down the Shambles is a truly remarkable experience, as you take in the overhanging timber-framed buildings, some of which date back to the 14th century, narrow paths and quaint cobblestones.

Following the tour, you have time at leisure. Perhaps visit one of city's museums or galleries, such as the fascinating National Railway Museum. Or, take the opportunity to browse York's pretty Christmas market, which offers an interesting assortment of gifts, crafts, local farm produce, and continental foods. With its medieval charms and old-world atmosphere, York is an idyllic city in which to truly get into the festive atmosphere. Stroll through the 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.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 Ribblehead Viaduct
Ribblehead Viaduct

The Settle-Carlisle Railway

Today's excursion takes you on the Settle- Carlisle Railway. Widely regarded as one of the best-engineered tracks in England, this was the last mainline railway to be built in the UK and offers a truly spectacular journey through some of the country's most fantastic scenery.

You travel first by coach to Settle, where you join the iconic train to begin your panoramic rail journey to Carlisle. Sit back and relax as you journey through miles of Yorkshire and Cumbrian countryside, seeing pretty meadows and dramatic peaks in all their winter finery.

On arrival, you have some time at leisure to explore. Carlisle is beautiful at Christmas, boasting some delightfully festive Christmas markets, which sell a range of different goods from local producers. After some free time, return to Settle, where you continue by coach to Harrogate.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 Grassington Festival
Grassington Festival

Grassington Festival

Enjoy an excursion to picture-postcard Grassington today. At this time of year, Grassington comes alive, as the scenic rural setting forms the backdrop to the annual Dickensian Festival.

The attractively decorated central square is transformed into a traditional marketplace harking back to the time of Dickens, where shopkeepers and villagers - all dressed up in traditional Victorian costume - display their wares.

You have some time at leisure to explore this truly unique Christmas market before making the return journey to Harrogate.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 Harrogate


After breakfast the tour concludes and you are free to depart Harrogate at your leisure.

  • Breakfast

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

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.

What’s included
  • Fully escorted by a UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Rail and coach travel throughout your tour
  • 4 nights' hotel accommodation with breakfast and dinner
  • Walking tour of York
  • Christmas Market in York
  • Excursion to Grassington's Dickensian Festival
  • Journey on the Settle-Carlisle Railway

Not Included

  • Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged.

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Luke Simpson
Helen Laverack
The Festive Markets of Yorkshire

Harrogate, York and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway


Winter & Spring Escorted Rail Holidays 2020

View our range of festive holidays, winter adventures, and seasonal tours in the UK and Europe.

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