Northern England: Stately Homes and Inspirational Landscapes
Brontes, James Herriot, York, 'Harry Potter' train & Castle Howard
4 days/3 nights days from Manchester
Why not travel with your book club?!
This is a suggested tour itinerary for private departures, adjustable to best suit your specific wishes. Price based on how many travelers, your chosen package inclusions and your chosen level of accommodation.
This tour begins and ends in Manchester.
We depart our Manchester meeting point at approximately 9am. A rare bit of motorway driving will speed us away from the city centre and into the countryside, our destination is the area known as Bronte Country!
The Spen Valley offers several literary points of interest. Oakwell Hall is a place visited by Charlotte Bronte, an inspiration for her novel Shirley. Oakwell is an Elizabethan manor home decorated as it would have looked in the 1690s, the furnishings provide an insight into a post English Civil War house. We will also visit Red House, which remains much as it was in the 1830s when Charlotte Bronte frequently visited. Enjoy the elegant parlor, flag stoned kitchen full of period cookery and the dining room stained glass window, as described in Charlotte's novel Shirley.
Next, the lovely village Haworth. Imagine the everyday lives of the Bronte sisters, walking around Haworth Church, their home now the Bronte Parsonage Museum and the village itself. The dramatic moorland here inspired the sisters to pen their novels that are some of the classics of English literature. We will have the worlds of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights leaping from the page!
Our overnight location is the charming town of Ripon, a place worth some time during our stay over the next few days. You can see the captivating 7th Century cathedral and the town itself is a meandering of medieval streets dotted with tea rooms and arts & crafts shops.
SUGGESTED PROPERTY: Ripon Spa Hotel or similar, http://www.riponspa.com/
Today, we head westward across the sometimes heather-covered North Yorkshire Moors. We’ve the opportunity to board a steam train (subject to schedules) at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, surely a treat to relive the nostalgia of the steam age. Harry Potter fans may find the station somewhat familiar - yes this is ‘Hogsmeade!’
Also today, visit what may just be the most spectacular stately home in Yorkshire, Castle Howard. This beautiful palace, recently used in the Brideshead Revisited film among others, is still lived in by the Howard family who built it in the 18th Century. You'll have free time here to explore the house and grounds.
NIGHT STOP: Ripon, same property as above
The charming landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales will be our focus of the day. This is the area that so inspired local vet Alf Wight, better known as 'James Herriot,' to pen the All Creatures Great and Small books. Certainly something to read prior to the tour! We can call into the old market town of Thirsk and can experience the famous view from Sutton Bank, which has been described as "England’s finest view.” This lovely scenery was also featured in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Another stop today can be Richmond, called one of the nicest towns in England and situated in the heart of the dales at Swaledale. Its castle dominates the town and the steep streets are around the pretty cobbled market square.
NIGHT STOP: Ripon, same property as above
We will make our way to the city of York, a fabulous walled city that has much to offer its visitors! We will spend much of the day here. Attractions in York include the splendid Minster, the city centre castle and the medieval shopping 'Shambles.' Seeking a literary connection, York is the home town of poet WH Auden and Behind the Scenes at the Museum author Kate Atkinson plus has been the inspiration for many including Dickens and Dafoe.
We will return to Manchester by early evening.
Please note: All attraction opening times are correct at time of printing this website. While we will do our utmost to include all of the properties mentioned as central visits, we reserve the right to change an attraction should it become impossible to deliver a planned visit due to changes in opening days or times beyond our control.
Please note that your final day to day itinerary may fluctuate to accommodate variable opening times/days for listed attractions, special events and places of interest. Please discuss your needs with us for an individual itinerary with rate quote.
Oft imitated, never duplicated! This is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.
This is a suggested tour itinerary and can be modified to best you your individual wishes.
Suggested tour package includes: # of touring days with vehicle & exclusive services of your driver/guide/companion, your accommodation for # nights while on the tour including full breakfasts, all taxes and tips other than those you may wish to give your guide. Your price also can include dinners and/or entrance fees to attractions or these items can be left out of the up front package/to be paid directly for maximum flexibility. Airport transfers, accommodation pre and post tour, scheduled city day tours/attraction passes/transport passes or theatre/event tickets can be added to your package as you wish, subject to availability.
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The Special Group Tours Advantage is our unique and intimate understanding of what you expect traveling in the UK and Europe. We have not only visited but have spent many years living in and loving the cultures you will experience down the ‘B’ Roads and off the beaten track. We have worked with local suppliers and our guide/companion team for over a decade, creating unique special interest itineraries. Special Group Tours offers our “insider” knowledge to you.
The SGT Small Group Touring Concept is traveling with just 4 - 14 guests per departure. It is our aim to introduce you to the 'real' country and its people, not just ticking the boxes of a standardized route and treating you as an individual and not a number. Our concept allows for a leisurely touring pace and flexibility to get off the beaten track to discover hidden gems. Of course you'll see the major sites but so much more too!
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