Explore the stunning North York Moors by road and steam train on this wonderful small-group day trip from York. Travel through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and visit the fabulous seaside town of Whitby, famous for its association with Captain James Cook and featured in Bram Stoker's Dracula, before boarding a steam train for a journey across the majestic North York Moors. You'll see the best of the Moors, spend time by the seaside and visit the charming railway station made famous as 'Hogsmeade Station' in the Harry Potter films.
You'll meet your guide at 8:45am in the heart of York, close to York Minster, and hop into your climate-controlled minivan for the day's excursion across the North Yorkshire countryside. First, drive 45 minutes or so to the historic market town of Helmsley on the edge of the Moors. Explore the charming town, its pretty church and interesting streets, before the tour continues into the moors. Admire the rugged, windswept landscapes as you climb to the stone village of Hutton-le-Hole, where sheep graze freely on the common land. At the North York Moors National Park, your guide will explain the geological and natural processes that shaped this striking landscape. Discover the region's mining and farming heritage and ancient history as you stroll across the heather. It's just a short hop to North Yorkshire's striking coastline and the seaside town of Whitby, where you'll have at least two hours at leisure to explore at your own pace, and perhaps enjoy a fish-and-chips lunch. You may just wish to wander the picturesque harbor, explore the cobbled streets, historic cottages, and beautiful beach, or shop for Whitby jet. Or you can discover Whitby's connection to Australia at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, delve deep into the world of Dracula at St. Mary's Church or the Dracula Experience Museum, or take a boat cruise from the harbor to discover the coastline (own expense). From Whitby, it's back in the van to journey up through Sleights and onto the village of Goathland, nestled at the bottom of a wide valley surrounded by the heather-clad hills of the North York Moors. Fans of Heartbeat, the long-running ITV drama series, will recognize this as Aidensfield: you'll have chance to visit the Aidensfield Arms, pop into Aidensfield Stores and Post Office, and see what's happening at Scripps Garage. Love Harry Potter? Don't miss the chance to capture pictures at Goathland station, which did duty as Hogsmeade Station for the filming of the Harry Potter movies. After you've explored the station, it's time to board a steam train for a nostalgic steam-hauled journey across the Moors (own expense). Snake through valleys and heathland for 18 miles (29 kilometers) in restored heritage carriages to the medieval market town of Pickering. Here you'll rejoin the minibus for the 40-minute journey back to York, arriving around 5:45pm.