Yorkshire, Northumberland and the Lake District
Small group tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers exploring Northern England. Not just the historic cities of Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester but the Viking shaped landscapes, villages and the Lake District are visited on this program.
- 1. Visit Vindolanda and read (if your Latin is good enough) letters that Roman soldiers wrote
- 2. Compare two very different Yorkshire cities: York and Leeds.
- 3. Be amazed by the magnificence of the cathedrals, castles and mansions in Yorkshire and Northumberland
- 4. Explore the ruined Abbeys of Yorkshire
|30 September 2023 |
Ends 24 October 2023 • 25 days
|25 March 2024 |
Ends 18 April 2024 • 25 days
|28 September 2024 |
Ends 22 October 2024 • 25 days
|24 March 2025 |
Ends 17 April 2025 • 25 days
|29 September 2025 |
Ends 23 October 2025 • 25 days
The North of England: Yorkshire, Northumberland and the Lake District small group tour
The North of England, particularly Yorkshire, Northumberland and the Lake District, has much to offer the senior traveller. This fully escorted small group tour is specially designed for those with an interest in fabulous scenery, great architecture and the region’s long history in the North of England. It is for those with the time and desire to explore a relatively small area in some depth. This tour is not for those who need to hurry through a large number of towns in a short period of time. We seek out, and take you to many of these regions’ treasures, less familiar to international tourists, though greatly loved by the local Brits. Everyone has heard of the beauty of the Lake District, but how many have sailed across beautiful Coniston Water on an original Victorian steam yacht?
On this tour you will be astounded by more than the the beauty of the Lake District, and the eerie grandeur of the Yorkshire Moors, the home of the Bronte sisters. Our small group tour allows the senior traveller to delve into the history of the Roman Empire in the north, and to explore what each succeeding generation has added to the region. The Lake District had an important Roman naval base, while Yorkshire and Northumberland were vitally important to Britain’s political stability during the medieval period, and powerhouses of industry during the Industrial Revolution. The Lake District has long been recognised for its beauty derived from vistas old landscapes and network of dry stone walls creating a visual patchwork linking villages, though you’ll find plenty of historic interest there too.
The Architecture of North England
The North of England is home to some of the country’s most extraordinary and beautiful buildings, and a number of outstanding art galleries. York Minster is well known as one of the world’s great churches, but Carlisle and Durham also have amazing cathedrals, as does little known Ripon, where the lovely cathedral dates back to the 7th century. Northern castles reflect the political importance of keeping the region under firm control during Norman and Tudor times, while magnificent country houses reflect the wealth of the great landowners, and later industrialists. The internationally famous Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle houses a renowned collection of decorative and fine arts, while Newcastle, Leeds and York also have excellent galleries.
Different cities explored
On this 25 day tour we explore three very different cities in Yorkshire, York and Leeds followed by Manchester. York is known for its fine medieval centre and buildings. It is surrounded by walls that were begun during the Roman period, and though little of the original Roman Walls remain, much of the extended medieval walls still circle the city. In York we find extensive Viking remains and a Minster that dates back to the 7th century. Leeds also has ancient origins and gets a mention in the Domesday Book, but was not as significant as York during the medieval period. By the 18th century Leeds was a prosperous wool manufacturing town, however, it was not until the 19th century that the city really grew. We spend time looking particularly at its industrial past and fine Victorian Civic buildings, its grandeur and its accompanying poverty. In Manchester, the industrious and the industrial revolutions dominate followed by a shift as a Music and then technology hub.
Whether you travel solo, or with a partner, you will be welcome on an Odyssey small group tour, with like minded companions and a program leader to ensure that you have company when you want it, but the chance to enjoy your own company at other times. You may be surprised by how much more you enjoy the natural beauty of this region, and its historical significance, when you have the chance to discuss what you have seen over a quiet evening drink or a hearty northern meal. This eighteen day tour circles the north of the country, starting in Manchester before heading north to the Scottish border, and then south again via Newcastle and York.
Day 1: Manchester
Meet with programme leader in the late afternoon.
If you haven’t visited Manchester before, you might like to spend a few days here, either before or after the tour. There is plenty to see in this city which boomed during the Industrial Revolution, and which has seen a recent regeneration, particularly around the Salford Docks.
Day 2: Ambleside
Leave Manchester and head towards Ambleside.
- Visit Lancaster castle and cathedral
- Visit Sizergh castle (National Trust) or Levens Hall. (Levens Hall has great gardens, laid out in 1694. It also has a display of very early English patchwork and a good café.)
Day 3: Ambleside
From our base, today we join our local guide and spend the day enjoying the following activities.
- Victorian Steam Yacht on Coniston Water to Brantwood (home of John Ruskin).
- Meet coach at Brantwood and drive to Hilltop House (home of Beatrix Potter).
- Walk Grasmere Lake Loop (about an hour) or visit Dove Cottage.
Day 4: Ambleside
Spend day in region of Ravenglass/ Eskdale:
- Roman Bath House at Eskdale
- Muncaster Castle
- Steam train to Dalegarth for Boot (Meet coach here).
- Eskdale Mill
Day 5: Ambleside
Today we explore part of the beauty of the Lake District on foot with a selection of short walks.
- Castlerigg Stone Circle
- Aira Force walk (40 minutes)
- Kendal Quaker Tapestry Museum, also Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry.
- Blackwell House
- Walk, Orrest Head track Windermere (40 minutes).
(As much of this as possible in one day…walks included if the weather is fine and the clients capable!)
Day 6: Ambleside
Today is a leisure day.
Day 7: Newcastle.
Leave Ambleside and drive to Newcastle, via Carlisle to visit:
- Carlisle Castle Museum
- Carlisle Cathedral
Continue to Newcastle, via Brampton to visit St Martin’s Church designed by Pre-Raphaelite architect Philip Webb and with stained glass windows designed by Edward Burne-Jones.
Day 8: Newcastle
- Guided walking tour of Newcastle including a tour of the castle.
- Afternoon free to explore
- Late afternoon visit to the Victorian Tunnel.
Group meal this evening.
Day 9: Newcastle
Visit Hadrians Wall
- Roman Army Museum
Day 10: Newcastle
Drive north to visit:
- Bamburgh Castle
- Cragside House
(Both have links to industrialist William Armstrong.)
Day 11: New Castle
Today we head to Durham
Our first stop today is Washington Old Hall (NT). Washington Old Hall is a historic manor house in Washington, Tyne and Wear. It lies in the centre of Washington, being surrounded by other villages. The building was the ancestral home of the family of George Washington, the first president of the United States. The group tours the property before heading south to Durham.
We pause to view Angel of the North and reach Durham. Here we meet our local guide for a walking tour of Durham including the Cathedral. WE take the train back to Newcastle from Durham.
Day 12: Ripon to York
Travel to York via Barnard Castle and Ripon.
Today we travel to York. The groups stops and spends time learning about;
- The Bowes Museum, a French style chateau, with a collection of European and decorative arts.
- Eggleston Hall Gardens, 4.5 acres of garden, if there is time and weather permitting.
We continue on to Ripon the small group tour explores and learns about :
- the Cathedral
- Town Hall
Day 13: York
We begin the day with our a guided city tour ending at the Minster. This tour is a mix of coach in the morning and then walking through the city. The group develops an appreciation of the Romans in York, the Vikings, the impact of the industrial revolution on York, think York Rowntree sweets.
This afternoon we visit the Art gallery
There is a group meal tonight.
Day 14: York
Day at your leisure.
Day 15: York
The Coach today takes across to Whitby:
We visit the Abbey and the Captain Cook Museum
Later we take the Steam train to Pickering to visit church of St Peter and St. Paul. These churches are known for there medieval frescoes.
We return to York.
Day 16: York
Visit with Programme Leader to:
- Merchant Adventurers House
Afternoon free, might like to visit:
- Barley Hall
- Richard III museum
- Fairfax House
- Castle Museum
Day 17: Harrogate
Leave York for Leeds via:
- Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal water Gardens.
We join our local guide in Harrogate.
The day is spent in the city centre. Our local guide takes us through the Theatre Royal with a deep history linked to Gilbert and Sullivan and the Doyly -Carte family. We also visit including St Wilfrid’s Church and The Pump Rooms Museum with its impressive tiling and Victorian spa.
Group meal in the evening and a walk up into the Victorian gardens.
Day 18: Leeds
We depart early for Leeds from Harrogate.
Guided city tour to include Town Hall, Holy Trinity Church, Corn Exchange and Victoria Quarter etc. arcades. Finish at the Royal Armouries Museum. Visit Armoury.
Remainder of day free to explore, might like to visit the Leeds Art Gallery or one of the museums.
Day 19: Leeds
Exploring Yorkshire with visits and entrances to;
- Ilkley Moor
- How Stean Gorge
- Nidderdale AONB
- Temple Newsom House (Tudor/Jacobean)
Day 20: Leeds
Today we explore Industrial Leeds.
Specific tours included are
- Leeds Industrial Museum
- Thwaite Mill
This afternoon is at your leisure to explore.
Day 21: Buxton
Leave York heading to Bakewell area via Hardwick Hall
- Hardwick Hall
- Haddon Hall or Chatsworth
Day 22: Manchester
Return to Manchester via NT’s Little Moreton Hall.
Day 23: Manchester
Walking tour of the city of Manchester.
In the afternoon we examine the railway line and museums – Manchester to Liverpool
Day 24: Manchester
Today we continue with a second day exploring Manchester.
Farewell dinner in local restaurant
Day 25: Manchester
Tour ends this morning after breakfast
Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking / hiking up to 8 kilometers per day on uneven ground.
Make it a private tour
Easing your journey
Crossing international borders with restrictions
The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:
For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.
Book With Confidence
If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.
See Terms and conditions for details.
Peace of Mind Travel
The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.
See Peace of Mind Travel for details.
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