|The second of our 2019 Land Cruises is based in the beautiful walled city of York, and introduces you to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and Yorkshire Moors part of England.
They are both national parks, plus there are beautiful market towns and even the seaside nearby. Plenty of things to see and do to fill your lovely one week ‘land cruise’.
This tells you more about what we will do and see each day on our 2019 Yorkshire Land Cruise, and how the main itinerary (with the green border) fits together with the optional pre and post extensions (with the blue borders), plus how it can dovetail into the immediately following 2019 Yorkshire Land Cruise.
As a quick reminder, you can join these “land cruise” tours on any day, and leave on any day. We generally recommend you should enjoy the entire one week main cruises, but it is your time, your money, and so, totally your choice. Just let us know what works for you, and we’ll make the arrangements accordingly.
|Optional Cotswolds Post-Cruise Itinerary/Yorkshire Pre-Cruise Itinerary
|Thursday 13 June : Burford to Buxton
|This morning marks the end of the main Cotswolds Cruise. If you're continuing on with us, we'll travel via Oxford (dropping some of our fellow cruisers at the train station) and then on to Coventry where we'll stop for lunch and sightseeing.
If you are just joining us, you could meet us in Oxford, Coventry or Buxton today, or come in the previous day for a night in the Cotswolds.
Coventry has already been announced as being awarded the 2021 title of UK City of Culture. It has been beautifully restored after the terrors of its Blitz bombing in WW2, and now has an interesting mix of new and old architectures.
After lunch, we head west and into the Peak District National Park, where we'll spent two nights in Buxton, a market town and once known for its thermal spas, and still famous to this day for its bottled mineral water.
Buxton is distinctive for having the highest elevation of any market town in England, but at about 1,000 ft above sea level, you're not really all that high up at all. England is a very flat country - its highest point is Scafell Pike in the Lake District, at 3209 ft above sea level.
|Friday 14 June : Experiencing the Peak District National Park
|The Peak District became Britain's first national park in 1951.
Like all British national parks, it is a "working" and "lived in" national park, with towns, transportation, tourism and industry, making it easy and convenient for us to enjoy this beautiful region.
We'll tour around the area today, including a visit to one of England's finest stately homes, Chatsworth House, home of the Cavendish family since 1549. We'll tell you about the close link to John F Kennedy, and a link to the Cotswolds close to Burford and how The Travel Insider even had an involvement, plus much more, when we visit.
We'll see some lovely small villages, and we'll take the overhead gondola ride up to The Heights of Abraham, where we can visit some caves and enjoy wonderful views over the national park.
|Saturday 15 June : The Peak District, via Leeds, to York
|We've some more of the Peak District this morning, when we travel through it again and over the Pennine Hills on our way to Leeds and then to York.
The Pennine Hills have four separate Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and sprawl from the Peak District over to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Britain's oldest long-distance footpath, the Pennine Way, meanders through the Pennines for a total of 268 miles.
Coming to the other side of the Pennines, we pass through Saltaire, a World Heritage site due to its Industrial Revolution significance.
After driving through Saltaire, we travel the short remaining distance to Leeds. This was a small manorial borough back in the 1200s, but now is Britain's fourth largest urban area, with a population of 2.6 million. It is the largest financial center outside of London, and is growing strongly. It has a large pedestrian area in the center of the city, and great shopping, including at the historic Victorian Quarter. We'll stop in Leeds for a leisurely lunch.
We then continue on the short remaining distance to York where we'll arrive at our hotel and transition now to the Yorkshire Land cruise.
If you are leaving us today, you could leave in Buxton, Leeds, or York, as it suits you. But hopefully you'll stay on and continue for the Yorkshire Land Cruise, which is detailed on its own detailed itinerary page.
|Please now continue reading the main itinerary (green border) for the Yorkshire Land Cruise, which follows directly below. Start from Saturday or Sunday.
|Itinerary for Main Yorkshire Landcruise
|Friday 14 June or sooner : Leave the US
|If you are not joining us for any of the earlier touring, you should leave the US today or earlier. It is usually an overnight flight from the US to UK, so leaving today or earlier will get you in to the UK tomorrow, in time for the start of the main tour.
Let us know if we can help you choose airlines, flights, and airports to use when flying in to the UK.
|Day 1 (Saturday 15 June) : Duelling Abbeys
|The main Yorkshire Land Cruise tour starts today when we arrive into York.
If you were on the Pre-Tour, then you'll of course simply travel by coach over from the Peak District (see the pre-tour option, immediately above).
If you're starting your touring today, then you can make your way to York any way you wish (train services are excellent to/from York), or, if you prefer, you can join us in Leeds (close to the Leeds Airport, code LBA) or even back in Buxton at the start of our touring today.
|Day 2 (Sunday 16 June) : Duelling Abbeys
|Well, actually, there'll be no duelling at all! But, today being a Sunday, we'll visit two ancient Abbeys, each amazingly different to the other, and both are set in stunningly beautiful and peaceful settings. These are the abbeys at Rievaulx and Fountains.
Both were abandoned when King Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, leaving a number of now magnificent ruins that hint at the former grandeur of the abbeys and the power of the Roman Catholic Church that owned them.
The Studley Royal Park, including Fountains Abbey, has been designated a World Heritage site.
Which is better? We struggle to have a favorite ourselves, and so, when asked to make a choice, you're welcome to reply "Both"!
|Day 3 (Monday 17 June) : Pickering & the North Yorkshire Moors
|We love Pickering; it is a charming little market town struggling to reconcile itself with the 20th century. Mondays are market days, so we'll have time to visit their markets, and then take a vintage steam train from there to Grosmont.
We recommend you leave the train at Goathland, the stop before Grosmont, made famous as the Hogwarts station in the Harry Potter movies. From there you can walk across the fields on the public path the short distance (which is also gently downhill) to Grosmont, but if you prefer, stay on the train.
From Grosmont, we return across the Yorkshire Moors to Pickering, so if you prefer, you can spend all day in Pickering. Yes, they've some antique shops and nice eating and drinking places, so either which way you'll have a great day out and about.
We return to York via what is possibly the most beautiful and most photographed house in all of England.
|Day 4 (Tuesday 18 June) : Scarborough and the Seaside
|For a change of traveling style, we'll take a regular train this morning from York's lovely railway station to the seaside town of Scarborough, a pleasant 50 minute ride, with the train station in the heart of Scarborough.
Scarborough is North Yorkshire's third largest town, situated on the North Sea coast, with a population of around 60,000.
It has the ruins of a 12th century castle on its promontory and nice bays on both sides of the promontory, with the slightly peculiar English style seaside shops and amusements on the south bay, as well as a nice historic town center, shopping, restaurants and bars. It is market day, giving you more shopping (and window shopping) choices and diversions.
You can return back to York on your choice of trains. Trains leave hourly.
|Day 5 (Wednesday 19 June) : York "at sea" Day
|Today is the equivalent of an "all day at sea" day - most cruises seem to have at least one day where they don't feature any port stops, and are just traveling from Port A to Port B.
In our case, of course, our "ship" is our lovely hotel in York, so an "at sea" day gives you a chance to sightsee in York (or out of York) as you wish. Visit the glorious Minster, walk through the medieval Shambles, see some of the museums, enjoy the daily market, explore the city walls, maybe go to the country's finest Railway museum, and of course, there's the Jorvik Viking Center with its Disney-style recreation of York in Viking and Roman times.
There's a tremendous amount to see and do in York. Or do nothing at all - sleep in, and treat yourself to an indulging day of not very much!
|Day 6 (Thursday 20 June) : Harrogate, Ripon, and a Brewery
|This morning we head over to the Victorian Spa Town of Harrogate, a town that came to life in the 16th century when its mineral springs were discovered.
After time in stately Harrogate, we'll meander through the Yorkshire Dales on our way to the beautiful cathedral city of Ripon.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park sprawls over 841 sq miles of English countryside, and over 20,000 people live and work in the park, which also attracts over 8 million visitors each year.
Ripon is the third smallest city in England, with a population of 16,700, but with a huge cathedral - it almost seems it could hold the city's entire population, and way back when it was built, in the 12th and 13th centuries, it probably could have indeed done so.
Mid afternoon we'll go slightly further north to Masham, home of two of England's finest small breweries (there's an interesting history of the relationship between them), one of which we'll visit and for sure, enjoy a tasting at.
|Day 7 (Friday 21 June) : The High and The Low
|A contrast in accommodation styles today! First, we go to the extraordinary grandeur of Castle Howard, featured in "Brideshead Revisited", for a tour of the castle and grounds, to see how the "1%" live.
After time there, we'll have lunch in the nice small market town of Malton, then go to Eden Camp on the town's outskirts. This was a WW2 prisoner of war camp, and not nearly as nice as Castle Howard.
But it is also interesting, because it has been made into an excellent museum, spanning 28 of the WW2 buildings, primarily focused on WW2, but with a touch of WW1 and other social history of the 20th century as well.
|Day 8 (Saturday 22 June) : Tour Ends, please see below for post-tour options
|If you're staying on for some or all of the optional Post Tour, please keep reading the next section with a blue border.
If you're leaving us today, you can simply say farewell to us in York, or we will happily take you north on up to Newcastle upon Tyne if you prefer. You can of course simply get off anywhere else as we meander northwards today, too.
|Please now continue reading the Post Tour itinerary (blue border) for the Yorkshire Post Tour option. This is immediately below.
|Optional Yorkshire Post-Cruise Itinerary
|Saturday 22 June : York to Newcastle upon Tyne
|This morning marks the end of the main Yorkshire Cruise.
If you're continuing on with us, we leave York this morning and head generally north, detouring somewhat for the most scenic route. This sees us traveling again through a different section of the gorgeous North York Moors National Park, and then heading to the coast to Hartlepool, dating to the 7th century and formerly the official port of the County Palatine of Durham.
In more recent times it was notable for being shelled by German warships in WW1, with a total of 1150 shells landing in the town.
Talking about Durham, after time in Hartlepool, we then travel back inland to the magnificent cathedral city of Durham, where we'll stop for lunch.
Durham's castle and cathedral, situated close to each other, has been designated a World Heritage site. These days the castle is serving a new purpose, and is part of Durham University.
After lunch, we travel the short remaining distance to Newcastle upon Tyne, our overnight stop today.
Dating back to Roman times, the city of Newcastle is located just inland from the North Sea, on the River Tyne. It has a rich history, and has had several peaks and declines in economic prominence - wool, coal, and shipbuilding. It has been nicely restored, and has some distinctive architecture and bridges over the river.
|Sunday 23 June : Newcastle to New Lanark
|Today we take a meandering route north and west. First we travel westwards, more or less along the line of Hadrian's Wall, which we'll see from the coach and include a stop for you to explore it directly.
Hadrian's Wall, while a pale shadow of its former self, is nonetheless the largest Roman artifact anywhere. It was built around 128 AD and subsequently a second wall (the Antonine Wall) was added further north (more or less running between Glasgow and Edinburgh) too. It is part of the "Frontiers of the Roman Empire" World Heritage site.
After crossing into Scotland, and in case we've had any coach-romances, we'll visit Gretna Green, the place where the English traditionally went to elope and get married at the local blacksmith's, then we'll travel through Lockerbie, best know for being the site of the Pan Am plane bombing in 1988.
Our destination today is the World Heritage Site at New Lanark - one of the most prominent and innovative of locations during the Industrial Revolution, and now beautifully restored, with one of the former mill buildings now a lovely hotel. The river Clyde runs through the valley on the way to Glasgow, making for a beautiful peaceful setting these days, quite at variance from when it was a prosperous hive of activity in the 1700s.
We spend one night in the lovely on-site mill.
|Monday 24 June : New Lanark to Edinburgh, optionally on to Glasgow, optional night in a castle
|Today we continue our zig-zagging path, heading first the short distance east towards Edinburgh.
We make a stop at mysterious Rosslyn Chapel, made famous in the book "The Da Vinci Code" and beautifully restored these days. Some of the mysteries in the chapel will be pointed out to us, but their meanings will not be revealed.
Then we head to Edinburgh for lunch and some time to enjoy Scotland's capital city. Some of you might wish to leave us at that point and end your tour here.
For those of you still with us, we then travel to Culcreuch Castle for those of you spending an extra night in this beautiful old castle, dating all the way back to the 1300s.
Lastly today, the coach goes to Glasgow where anyone wishing to end their tour in Glasgow can of course leave.
|Tuesday 25 June : From Culcreuch Castle to Stirling then Glasgow (Edinburgh) - Tour Ends
|Today we'll be taken from our night at Culcreuch, and taken to Stirling where we'll have a chance to see the magnificent castle with commanding views over the site of the Battle of Bannockburn, and the 'distinctive' (some would say 'ugly'!) National Wallace Monument.
After lunch, you could take a train to Edinburgh, or the coach to Glasgow.
This is the absolute end of our two tours. But, of course, it does not need to be the end of your travels and touring. We're here to help you consider and plan for further travels, anywhere else in Britain or Europe as you may wish.
Links to the other pages describing this tour are at the top of the page.