One of the many ways to further educate colleagues within the tourism industry is to organise familiarisation trips showcasing the many varied attractions, exciting locations and diverse accommodation available in Yorkshire.
The itinerary below highlights one of the recent trips organised for our Visit Britain colleagues. Familiarisation visits are a great way to increase knowledge and learn about the attractions that a region has to offer.
Pick up at York station
Arrive at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden an amazing World Heritage Site. In 1132, thirteen monks came to this secluded valley to start a new religious life. Over the next 400 years the abbey they founded became one of the richest in Europe. At the other end of the valley lies Studley Royal, a spectacular water garden created in the 1700s by the Aislabie family who later bought the ruins. A visit to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal is a unique experience. No other site in Europe contains such a rich variety of monuments from past ages, together giving an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate the range of England’s heritage. Depart Fountains Abbey Picture of Fountains Abbey
Arrive at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway take the train from Pickering to Goathland (or a round trip returning to Pickering). The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is one of the earliest and most historic lines in the North of England. The 18-mile line runs through the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors National Park, between the market town of Pickering and the village of Grosmont. The railway is featured in many films and television programmes. Goathland is the setting for Aidensfield in Yorkshire Television’s Heartbeat series and more recently was transformed into ‘Hogsmeade’ station in the film ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’.
Arrive in Whitby and the first thing you’ll notice is the skyline dominated by the ruins of Saint Hilda’s Abbey, high on the East Cliff. Below the abbey you’ll find a maze of streets and tiny alleyways leading down to the Quayside. For those of you wanting the best view of Whitby why not climb the 199 steps at the foot of the Abbey and explore the East cliff properly. The steps not only lead to Whitby’s ruined abbey but also to the parish church of St. Mary, one of the finest examples of Anglo Saxon churches in the country, and whose churchyard gave Bram Stoker the inspiration to write his world famous book, Dracula.
The White Horse and Griffin Hotel can be found nestling in one of Whitby’s most charming streets – Church Street. The hotel offers high quality luxury accommodation, in one of its 10 beautifully refurbished rooms, offering single, double, twin and family rooms – all situated in a 320-year-old building. The restaurant / bistro offers exceptional cuisine, all prepared using the freshest and finest local ingredients. Their speciality is based around the fresh seafood, brought into the town daily by the local fisherman, whilst offering a wide range of meat and vegetarian dishes. Real pride in what they do has helped the hotel to gain a reputation as one of the finest restaurants, in one of the finest hotels in Yorkshire.
Dinner at the Magpie Caf, which has been located in the ancient fishing port of Whitby since 1937 in a building dating from 1750. Whitby is steeped in a wealth of tradition and seafaring history. The enchanting port and surrounding area has provided the local community with a dedicated supply of the freshest and finest fish. The Magpie Caf serves a whole host of exciting seafood dishes including the traditional fish and chip supper. All of the fish is local product and tastes fantastic!
Arrive at Castle Howard, guided tour and lunch in the Courtyard Caf. Set dramatically between two lakes, this 18th century palace designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, is one of England’s most beautiful historic houses. It has been home to the Howard family ever since it was built. In addition to the house there are magnificent gardens to explore along with several retail outlets in the Stables Courtyard. Depart Castle Howard.
Arrive at York Races, if you’re lucky enough to visit York while the races are on they’re a must see! York racecourse is one of the best tracks in Europe having recently won Flat Racecourse of the Year Award it also came out top in The Times Newspaper survey of all Britain’s racecourses. The atmosphere on race day is unbeatable. Depart York Races.
The Ghost Hunt of York offers an evening walking tour of York’s haunted locations, starting at the Shambles, England’s most famous mediaeval street. The Ghost Hunt presents classic York ghost stories in a captivating style, no tardy tales of tedium but intelligent, energetic accounts from a guide with a predilection for fun and entertainment. It is a journey that takes your emotions from horror to hilarity.
Dinner at The Dean Court Hotel. The Dean Court Hotel, located in the shadow of York Minster has, without doubt, one of the finest locations of any hotel in this wonderfully historic city. It is within easy walking distance of all the major tourist attractions and shops with almost every top retail store represented. A major refurbishment in 2004 has resulted in public rooms of stunning, contemporary design. Superb food, friendly service and high standards are in abundance throughout. Many bedrooms have been refurbished in the last eighteen months in both contemporary and traditional styles. Deluxe rooms, which boast Minster views, offer extremely high levels of comfort and amenities including DVD/CD players and bathrobes. The hotel offers valet parking to its own secure compound.
D.C.H, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant has fabulous views of the Minster from every window and has received 2 AA Rosettes and Double Dining awards from the RAC along with a Regional Tourist Board White Rose Award for its use of local food. The Court, which opened in May 2005, is the hotel’s new Caf-Bistro & Bar and has a delightfully airy Conservatory for that ‘al fresco’ feeling. The menu is true Bistro style offering a wide range of dishes – and over twenty wines ‘by the glass’
Arrive at Jorvik Centre. Between 1976 and 1981, visitors to York from all over the world watched as some of the best-preserved remains of the Viking world came to light. York Archaeological Trust discovered wooden houses which stood to over 2 meters in height, fence lines, alleyways and backyards. During the five years of excavation, tens of thousands of objects from the Viking Age were uncovered, many of them in excellent condition thanks to the wet soils of Coppergate. The Trust had discovered Jorvik – the centre of Viking power in England. Just three years later, in 1984, the Jorvik Viking Centre opened its doors in York to international acclaim, and has since welcomed over 14 million visitors. Situated on the site of the Trust’s excavations, the centre used the evidence from this dig to re-create part of Viking-Age York, including the sights, sounds and even the smells of the time!
Arrive at York Minster. From Roman times to the present day the site on which York Minster stands has been at the very centre of England’s religious and political life. York Minster is the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. It has been a place of worship for more than 1,000 years. It contains an impressive amount of medieval carvings and one of the finest collections of stained glass. Visitors are invited to tour almost every part of this amazing cathedral from the undercroft to the very top of the bell tower.
Russell’s restaurant offers a traditional British carvery set in the heart of York. Only the finest local produce is used to create Russell’s extensive menu. Choices include homemade soup, succulent roasts and fresh vegetables. Depart York
Arrive at The Royal Armouries. The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds was opened in 1996 as the new home for the national collection of arms and armour. Each of the five themed galleries covering War, Tournament, Self-Defence, Hunting and the arms and armour of the Orient offers something to captivate every visitor – Henry VIII’s tournament armour for instance, the replica Edwardian Gun Room, or a chance to shoot a crossbow. If you get chance the live performances of jousting, sword fighting and re-enactments are a must see. Picture of Royal Armouries. Depart Royal Armouries.
Arrive at the Radisson SAS Leeds, housed in a Grade II listed building, which was meticulously restored in 2002, the award-winning Radisson SAS Hotel is one of the finest hotels in Leeds. Built in the former headquarters of the Leeds Permanent Building Society, the building’s architecture reflects an Art Deco style with a modern twist. All 89 Standard rooms and 58 luxurious Business Class rooms are uniquely designed, with a choice of three room styles: Hi-Tech, Art Deco and Italian and are all fully equipped. The Lounge Restaurant and Bar offers excellent dining in a contemporary atmosphere.
Evening meal at Harvey Nichols. Harvey Nichols opened its doors to Leeds in 1996 and is now well established at the heart of the city’s retail and restaurant community. The Forth Floor Caf offers a luxury bar and both a la carte and fixed price menus. The interior defines itself with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the rooftops of the city.
Arrive at Harewood House. Harewood House was completed in 1771, with magnificent interiors by Robert Adam, state rooms lavishly furnished by Thomas Chippendale and outstanding art collections, Harewood is one of the great Treasure Houses of England. Chinese porcelain and Renaissance masterpieces are displayed in the grandeur of the Gallery, beneath extraordinary wooden pelmets carved by Chippendale. The House is still home to the Earl and Countess of Harewood. Depart Harewood.