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Slowly Discovering Rural England

Explore stunning scenery in the North York Moors

Best Time To Go

April - October

Why not...

add a few days in the picturesque Lake District?

Prices From


No of Nights


Explore stunning scenery in the North York Moors

Slowly Discovering Rural England

Best Time To Go

April - October

Why not...

add a few days in the picturesque Lake District?

Prices From


No of Nights


A 10-night meander through some of England greenest, most pleasant locations, with superb experiences and an appealing selection of accommodation.

Take your time as you criss-cross your way through rural England, beginning in the easternmost county of Norfolk, with its unique geography and wildlife. Then, saunter north to the beauty of the Peak District, onwards to Yorkshire for a thrilling steam-train trip across the legendary North Yorkshire Moors, winding up with a private experience bringing Roman Northumberland and Hadrian’s Wall to vivid life.

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Holiday Details

Day One – The Expanse of the Norfolk Coast

Your holiday starts with a road trip to England’s North Norfolk Coast. Wherever you’re travelling from, we’ll make sure you have a tailormade route to get you here. Prepare yourself for vast skies, welcoming villages, medieval churches and beaches just beckoning you to stroll and stroll for miles on end.

Your Accommodation in North Norfolk

At the heart of this close-knit village community for many years, your accommodation is a Victorian ex-farmhouse, expanded and remodelled into a superb place to spend a few days. Overlooking the RSPB reserve and distant beach, this stylish 26-room hotel features sumptuous accommodation, a secluded and peaceful garden and a relaxed fine-dining restaurant serving an acclaimed menu of imaginative dishes making excellent use of the abundance of local produce.

Day Two – Taking to the Water

It’s just a five-minute drive this morning to the quayside for your first excursion. Boarding the charming little vessel guided by a friendly local skipper, you’ll set off on a voyage of gentle discovery along the North Norfolk coastline, taking in Scolt Head Island, the waters and landscape around it, crucial to wildlife and the local ecosystem.

The tour lasts around two hours, giving you plenty of time to continue discovering at your own pace for the rest of the day, perhaps heading to Burnham Thorpe, the village where Horatio Nelson was born and bred  – a peaceful, almost mystical spot and far contrast from fierce overseas battles.

Day Three – Exploring North Norfolk

The coast around your hotel is studded with jewel-like villages, with names like Wells-Next-The-Sea and Burnham Overy Staithe, and is home to wonderful, expansive, often deserted beaches as well as unusual birds and other wildlife. Take your time today and uncover some of the hidden corners in this delightful location – we’ll provide you with a plentiful list of recommendations to help you choose.

Day Four – North-west to the Derbyshire Peaks

A fine day on the road today, first taking in the coast around the Wash before heading in to the flat expanse of rural Lincolnshire. You’ll cross Robin Hood country as you skirt the edges of Nottingham on your way to the tumbling landscape of the Derbyshire Peak District and your base at the village of Rowsley, where the River Wye flows into the River Derwent.

Your Accommodation in Rowsley

In our opinion, quite a treat is in store for the next two nights at this historic country retreat. On the vast Haddon Estate, rubbing shoulders with Chatsworth, this 15-room hotel dates back to 1652. Period pieces and art are everywhere you look, though bedrooms feature every convenience to make your stay as relaxing as possible. As famous for its food as its accommodation, dining here is a rare indulgence, with superb service complementing the acclaimed fine-dining menu.

Day Five – Exploring the Peak District

Hotel guests are invited to take advantage of favourable admission rates at Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House and Gardens – though you could easily spend a whole day at either. Simple rural walking routes fan out from and circle back to your hotel, perfect for a post-breakfast stroll – while some of the Peak District’s most famous towns and villages are within a short drive. You surely won’t want to miss a Bakewell Tart in its place of creation!

Day Six – Cross-country to the Edge of the North Yorkshire Moors

Take the long way round today, crossing the heart of the Peak District and making your way in to Yorkshire. Travelling north-east, you’ll skirt Barnsley, Leeds and York, and the edge of the Howardian Hills on your way to you base for the next three nights in the historic market town of Pickering.

Your Accommodation in Pickering

On the hilly main street of this cute settlement, your accommodation is a centuries old ex-coaching inn run by the friendliest of families. After a day on the road, drop your bags in your spacious en-suite room then find yourself a cosy nook by a log fire, choosing a tipple from the bar. Later, enjoy dinner (included during your stay here) prepared by the hotel’s chef of 20 years – we can’t wait to get back to enjoy Yorkshire lamb from the charcoal oven again.

Day Seven – All Aboard the Steam Train to Whitby

Just a moment’s walk from your hotel, Pickering Railway Station is something of an event in itself, its classic features frozen in time. Here, board the steam train for an evocative journey across the North Yorkshire Moors to the classic harbour town of Whitby. You’ll have a Freedom Ticket, allowing you to hop on and off, giving you the chance to explore stations recently made famous by TV’s Heartbeat and the Harry Potter movies. At Whitby you’ll find one of the UK’s liveliest harbour towns, rich in history, the ruined abbey overlooking colourful winding cobbled streets, and the place where the locals will tell you this is where to find the world’s best fish and chips.

Day Eight – Exploring the Moors and Beyond

A day of exploring at leisure today. You could elect to leave the car behind while you get under the skin of the ancient streets of Pickering, or the more intrepid might like to don the walking boots and take advantage of the Moors’ world-class routes and scenery. 

Day Nine – Further North to Hadrian’s Wall Country

A last loping day behind the wheel, through some quite magnificent scenery. Our favourite route skirts the Moors before heading through rural north Yorkshire, onwards to historic Barnard Castle and crossing the staggering North Pennines on your way to proper Hadrian’s Wall country and the village of Haltwhistle.

Your Accommodation in Haltwhistle

Near the centre of this prettiest of Northumberland villages, this five-room, family owned B&B is owned and run by some of the friendliest people you could hope to meet. Recently created from the Victorian village schoolhouse, each of the en-suite rooms is a simple, comfortable haven, perfect for a peaceful night. Breakfast features daily homemade bread and the very best ingredients from the rich local larder.

Day 10 – Hadrian’s Wall Brought to Life

Make sure you partake of a hearty breakfast, before getting in to stout walking boots and setting off to meet your next guide. Of all the local experts we work with, today’s has to be one of the best, a local with an infectious passion and bottomless well of knowledge of Hadrian’s Wall and the Romans’ time here in Border country. You’ll uncover details of the wall’s construction and sometimes brutal history, at a pace most suited to you. Along the way you’ll break for lunch – picnic by the wall if the weather is benign or cosy-up in a local pub.

Day 11 – Heading Home

Homeward bound today, wherever you’re headed, we’ll make sure you have an easy-to-follow route to get you home without any unwanted drama.


This multi-centre English self-drive holiday includes stays in Norfolk, the Peak District, the North Yorkshire Moors and Northumberland.


£1495 per person in April, May & October and £1565 per person from June to September.

Price is based on two adults sharing en-suite accommodation for 10 nights in our selection of small hotels and guest houses on a bed and breakfast basis. Price includes a boat trip off the coast of Norfolk as part of a small group, a Freedom Ticket for North York Moors Steam Railway and a full-day small group guided tour of Hadrian’s Wall with a stop for lunch (though lunch is not included).

Car hire is not included but can be arranged for a variety of vehicles – please do ask for more information.

Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your trip.

All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.

We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.

Check availability for Slowly Discovering Rural England

This holiday can be arranged from April to October.

To check the latest availability for this holiday complete the form below or call us. We will respond to your availability check within one working day if at all possible. Please bear with us on this - we work with a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses, and other independent businesses, ensuring that you have the chance to explore off the beaten track and really get under the skin of the destination.

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