Arena Rail Holidays says its 2021 itineraries, which include Durham and the Yorkshire Dales, will continue the trend for short breaks and holidays in Britain.
The tour operator said it has had interest from groups in exploring destinations closer to home and it expects the holidays, which take in historic cities, beautiful countryside and vintage rail journeys, to be particularly popular with group organisers.
With departures scheduled for next spring and summer, managing director Steve Goodenough said they had been “encouraged by the level of interest in new bookings for next year” as lockdown restrictions have eased.
He added: “Prior to Covid-19, we had already seen a noticeable growth in demand for rail based holidays as greener and more convenient alternatives to flying, so we expect that this will continue as more people consciously look to avoid crowded airports.”
Included in the programme are:
Historic Railways and Medieval Durham: based in the medieval city of Durham, locomotive enthusiasts will embark on a round-trip along the South Tynedale Railway - the highest narrow-gauge railway in England, departing from the small town of Alston and passing through the South Tyne Valley in the North Pennines. The tour includes a trip on the heritage Woodhorn Railway, which to this day operates ex-mining locomotives, as well as a visit a 1900’s Pit Village in the Beamish Open-Air museum.
Other highlights include a guided tour of Alnwick Castle, famously featured in the Downton Abbey and Harry Potter films, and a walking tour of Durham to see the city’s UNESCO-listed Norman Castle and Romanesque Cathedral. The five-day holiday will depart in July and September 2021.
Railway Tracks & Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: this five-day itinerary features guided walks across the Yorkshire moors and riversides with trips aboard three heritage railways while based in the market town of Skipton. There will be the chance to ride a vintage steam locomotive on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway and experience a scenic round-trip on the restored Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
On foot, visitors will cross the Pennine Bridleway and tread the Brontë Moor Walk to the village of Haworth, home of the literary sisters. The tour has departure dates in April, August and October 2021.
Group travel organisers can check with Arena’s groups team for the latest updates on capacity and other new rules/requirements in light of Covid-19.
For more information visit: www.arenarailholidays.co.uk