All in a day: Yorkshire’s steam heritage

Date Posted: 04/06/2014

Pictured: Castle Howard. (Photo credit: Mike Kipling).

This themed day trip will take you from a stately home in the heart of the Howardian Hills through Yorkshire moorland by steam train to the seaside town of Whitby.

11am - Start your day at Castle Howard

Begin your day at Castle Howard, home to the Howard family for over 300 years. Set within 1,000-acre grounds in the Howardian Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Castle Howard is 15 miles north-east of York and offers easy access to the rest of north Yorkshire.

On your  arrival at Castle Howard, you will be greeted with coffee and pastries. On this ‘Yorkshire’s Steam Heritage’ group itinerary, your ‘elevenses’ will be followed by a lecture lunch with the curator.

12pm - Lecture lunch

The ‘Age of Steam’ lecture examines the involvement of the 7th Earl of Carlisle in railway development, and the impact of the railway on life at Castle Howard during times of great industrial change. A light lunch follows the talk.

Castle Howard can provide a variety of themed curator-led talks to groups which can be tailored to suit your requirements and  interests.

1pm - Free time to explore the house and gardens

After the lecture lunch, you can spend some time exploring the house and grounds independently.

The house tour is free-flow and with guides in every room to answer any questions and share stories of the Howard family, members of your group can explore at their leisure.

There’s also ample opportunity to take an afternoon stroll through the gardens, taking in lakes, fountains, statues and follies as well as the 18th century walled garden.

Alternatively your group could join one of the daily outdoor tours, included in admission, which guide you through the landscape and history of the gardens.


Pictured: North York Moors Railway. (Photo credit: J Parker).

3.15pm - Travel to Pickering

Depart Castle Howard for the ancient market town of Pickering, which is surrounded by a vast expanse of heather covered, rolling moorland, mature forests and the Yorkshire coast.

The town is well known as the southern terminus of the North York Moors Railway and as a ‘Gateway to the Moors’.

4pm - All aboard the North York Moors Railway

Your group will board the steam-hauled North York Moors Railway then journey through the iconic moorlands to the coastal town of Whitby.  

From the smoke and steam pouring from the engines to the wood-panelled carriages, the railway is recommended as a great way to take in the north Yorkshire scenery.

5.30pm - Fish ‘n’ chip supper in Whitby

Your group will disembark in the seaside town of Whitby, a traditional maritime town with a sandy blue flag beach dominated by the cliff-top ruins of the 13th century Whitby Abbey.

Take the opportunity to breathe in the fresh sea air on a walk along the pier before rounding the day off with a traditional fish supper.

7.30pm - Departure

Among the other suggested itineraries put together by Castle Howard are: ‘York’s Chocolate Heritage’; ‘Yorkshire in Wartime: Special for 2014’; ‘A Taste of Yorkshire’ and the ‘Gardens of Yorkshire’.

For further group travel information contact:


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