Steam Trains, Whitby
& the Moors
A Steam Train ride, the Yorkshire countryside, Whitby and the North York Moors
- Collection from your accommodation in York
- Amazing drive through the Yorkshire countryside
- Idyllic North Yorkshire towns and villages including Helmsley and Hutton-le-Hole
- Scenic journey across the North York Moors
- Two hours at leisure in Whitby
- Goathland (better known as ‘Aidensfield’ or ‘Hogsmeade’)
- Steam train journey on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (included)
- Drop off at your accommodation in York
- Experienced local guide, born and bred in Yorkshire
- Never more than 7 people in your group
- Adult (per person)
- Child (per person)
Our Most Popular Day Trip from York
Join Grand Yorkshire for this truly exceptional small-group day trip from York, exploring the North York Moors, spending time in the wonderful coastal town of Whitby and travelling by steam train (ticket included!) on the charming North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
Premium Tour – Hotel Pick-Up and the Smallest Tour Groups in York
This fantastic small-group day trip from York begins with collection from your accommodation in York – the start of a truly intimate and personal touring experience with Grand Yorkshire. There will never be more than 7 people on the tour (just 5 per group in April & May) – guaranteeing a memorable, personalised touring experience. You’ll have the opportunity to get to know your guide and ask questions throughout the day, as well as being able to get to know your fellow passengers. Our spacious minivans are still small enough to allow us to travel on the rural roads, country lanes and farm tracks in the North York Moors, so we can really escape the busy routes, avoid the usual tourist trails and never worry about traffic. Wherever we go, you won’t have to worry about crowds of people competing for photos each time we make a sightseeing stop and you won’t spend the day waiting for everyone in the group to turn up at each stop.
Our itinerary for the day is planned around the steam train journey – occasionally the order of the day’s itinerary will change to ensure that your train journey through the Moors is steam-hauled.
Here is the itinerary for a typical day’s tour:
HOTEL PICK UP: Collection from your hotel is included in the tour, usually at approximately 8:30am. With a maximum of 7 people per group (5 in April & May), this means there are limited pick ups for each tour – and with York such a small city, it doesn’t take long to get everyone on board.
Our first journey takes us out of York and we very quickly find ourselves in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. On this first journey you’ll get to know your local guide for the day, a Yorkshire native who was born and bred in the area. Along the way you’ll find out about some of the history, geography, wildlife and local culture of the region, discover the origins of place names in the villages that we pass and learn a little bit about what makes Yorkshire so special.
HELMSLEY: Our first stopping point of the day is in the quaint market town of Helmsley. Here you’ll have chance to explore the pretty market town and perhaps enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in a local tearoom. You could take a photo of Helmsley Castle or even ask your guide to drive you out to nearby Rievaulx to see the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey.
HUTTON-LE-HOLE: Our route into the moors takes us through the picture-postcard village of Hutton-le-Hole, located on the very edge of the North York Moors.
THE NORTH YORK MOORS: Within seconds of leaving Hutton-le-Hole we head out across the heart of the North York Moors, the spectacular National Park filled with amazing open moorland, fertile dales and valleys, unique flora and fauna and some of Yorkshire’s most amazing natural and agricultural scenery. As we wind our way through the North York Moors we take time to stop and admire some of the best viewing points in the Moors, learn all about the creation of the North York Moors and the amazing history and present day of this stunning National Park.
Discover five reasons to visit the North York Moors here.
WHITBY: At the far end of the North York Moors we reach the Yorkshire coastline, enjoying the views as we approach the seaside town of Whitby, famous for its clifftop Abbey, it’s association with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, its beautiful harbour and Yorkshire’s finest fish and chips! We’ll take in the views of Whitby from the West Cliff before you’ll enjoy 2 hours of leisure time to explore the town at leisure. Choose to start your exploration of Whitby from the town centre, or at Whitby Abbey at the top of the town’s famous 199 steps. You can take a boat ride from Whitby Harbour, walk out on the harbour wall, learn about Captain James Cook and his incredible voyages of discovery at the Captain Cook Museum, and enjoy fish and chips at one of the town’s many celebrated fish and chip restaurants, including the world-famous Magpie Café.
GOATHLAND: We leave Whitby and head to the village of Goathland, a short, scenic drive that takes us back into the North York Moors. Goathland is a small village built on land owned by the Queen and is perhaps best known as the location for the UK drama series Heartbeat and for its railway station which was used as “Hogsmeade Station” in the Harry Potter film series. After a drive through the village, we make our way to the railway station to await the arrival of our steam train (“Heartbeat” fans can request a bit of extra time to see the village).
STEAM TRAIN: Goathland station is possibly the best place to catch a steam train anywhere in the UK. Standing on the platform, you’ll hear the train approaching before you can see it. The steep incline on the approach to the station means the steam train is working at full-power, creating a truly spectacular scene as the engine puffs and roars up the hill. Once at the station, you’ll board the train and take a seat for the relaxing, charming journey through the valleys and woodland of the North York Moors. Enjoy the views out of the window and perhaps a drink from the on-board bar (if available) as the train twists and turns through the Moors, often passing another steam train at Levisham station at the mid-point of the journey.
PICKERING: After a journey of approximately 1 hour, you will arrive into Pickering station, where your guide will meet you for the next part of the tour.
BACK TO YORK: The journey back to York is the final part of the tour as we travel across the Yorkshire countryside and back to our starting point.
HOTEL DROP-OFF: On arrival back in York your guide will drop you off at the location of your choosing – in the city centre, at the railway station or back at your accommodation in York. Wherever suits you best.
Your tour will begin with collection from your hotel between 8:30am and 8:45 am (confirmed the day before the tour) where you meet your guide for the day and board the spacious, air-conditioned minivan. Leaving York, you travel through the North Yorkshire countryside and up to the market town of Helmsley, where you have the chance to explore at leisure and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in a local café.
Leaving Helmsley, you then travel across the heart of the North York Moors, taking in the spectacular scenery of Rosedale as we pause to see one of the most beautiful views in the Moors. See evidence of the area’s mining history and how railways changed the industry during the industrial revolution. You also have the chance to wander onto the heather and to see some local wildlife and the sheep that live out on the open moors.
We continue across the top of the Moors and through the small, isolated villages in the Moors as we eventually follow the course of the River Esk on our way to Whitby.
On arrival in Whitby, you have over two hours to explore the town and its many varied attractions, with a chance for fish and chips at the Magpie Cafe, a boat ride from Whitby Harbour and a visit to Whitby Abbey. Your time is free to spend as you wish.
We then meet for a short journey to Goathland. Here you have some time to explore the village and its preserved shops before we gather at Goathland’s railway station to await the arrival of our train for the journey on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The train departs for a journey south back across the Moors.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway terminates in the market town of Pickering, where you’ll re-board the executive minibus for the final leg of today’s journey back into York city centre. The tour concludes on our return to York. We should arrive back in York at approximately 5:00 pm, but exceptional traffic conditions can cause delays.
*Every effort is made to ensure that your journey on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway will be steam-hauled. This may involve minor adjustments to the day’s schedule, although the overall content of the day’s tour from York will be unaffected. Due to the railway’s scheduling, our Sunday tours will often catch a steam train from Whitby to Goathland (instead of Goathland to Whitby).
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off
- Return travel from York
- The services of a local guide throughout the day
Got a question?
View our Frequently Asked Questions.