Tuesday 4th – Wednesday 5th June 2019
The first day of this tour is a travel day for me, the Tour Manager. Following a train into London and tube from Victoria to King’s Cross I caught the 12:00 train to York and then the 14:11 train on to Harrogate. The tour is based in The Old Swan in Harrogate from where we will travel out each day.
The Old Swan is a large period hotel and is renowned for being the hotel where Agatha Christie was found staying when she famously disappeared for 10 days. What interested me was the fact that she checked into the hotel using the name of her then husband’s mistress.
From 16:00, for an hour, I waited at reception to meet all the tourees so that I could greet them and give out the details of the evening meal.
After breakfast, on the Wednesday, we walked as a group down to Harrogate train station to make the 25 minute train journey to York. Some tourees opted not to join us in York, instead preferring to spend the day in Harrogate.
At York Station we were met on the platform by our two local guides. The group duly split into three as some passengers opted not to join the walking tour and set off to explore on their own. I had distributed their return tickets in readiness so that they could travel back to Harrogate on any of the hourly trains at a time of their own choosing.
Since my elder daughter is at York University I have visited the city a few times previously and I was impressed with the two hour walking tour which took in several places in York that I had never been to before. In the museum gardens we saw part of the original Roman wall …
… and also the remains of the Benedictine St Mary’s Abbey destroyed by Henry VIII during the Reformation.
An interesting building was the King’s Manor. This had originally been the Abbot of St Mary’s Abbey’s residence. When Henry dissolved the Abbey it became the seat of the Council of the North.
The walking tour took in parts of the city walls, allowing fine views of the Minster.
After the walking tour the tourees had the afternoon free to spend time as they wished. Places visited by different tourees included the National Railway Museum, Betty’s, the Yorvik Viking Museum and the Minster. I took the opportunity of visiting Rail Discoveries Head Office and then spending time with my daughter.
I met up again with some of the tourees and we travelled back to Harrogate on the train. As we walked through Harrogate, back to the hotel, we passed the famous Harrogate Turkish Baths.
RailDiscoveries Tour Map:
Selfie of the day:
- Welsh Highland Railway & Caernarfon
- Ffestiniog Railway & Portmeirion
- Passau and Home [via Köln]
- London to Munich [for Oktoberfest]