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Yorkshire & Lake District Explorer

Whitby, North Yorkshire

Best Time To Go

Wrap up warm and enjoy as a great off-season break

Why not...

include a trip on the Ravenglass & Eskdale narrow gauge railway?

Prices From


No of Nights


Whitby, North Yorkshire

Yorkshire & Lake District Explorer

Best Time To Go

Wrap up warm and enjoy as a great off-season break

Why not...

include a trip on the Ravenglass & Eskdale narrow gauge railway?

Prices From


No of Nights


From the North Sea to the Irish Sea, discover three of England’s most magnificent National Parks.

You could spend months exploring each area fully. This self-drive holiday, including time spent exploring and walking with local guides, gives a snapshot of some of the hidden gems and spectacular National Parks of England and will leave you wanting to come back to each for longer.

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Holiday Details

Day One: Arrive in Whitby

From wherever your starting point, the drive to Whitby is a superb one, whether you choose to follow the east coast or to cut across the North York Moors National Park. Once here, you’ll be immediately struck by the colour and vibrancy of this place.

Your Accommodation in Whitby

Here in Whitby, you’ll be staying in a family owned jewel of a guest house, set opposite the green space of Pannett Park and just a few minutes’ stroll from the action in this fascinating and historic seaside town. Your hosts are passionate about Whitby and only too eager to give terrific advice on where best to eat and how best make your way around.

Day Two: Exploring Whitby

A stroll around Whitby should not be missed; the abbey is world-famous as the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the town lays claim to serving the UK’s best fish and chips! We’ll provide recommendations from our personal research to assist you along the way.

Day Three: Wend Your Way to Harrogate

Lose yourself in the North Yorkshire Moors, the driest upland area in the UK. There are 1408 miles of paths but much of the land is open-access so you can truly immerse yourself in the countryside, and in late summer the purple heather blooms as far as the eye can see. Driving the direct route from Whitby to Harrogate takes only 90 minutes or so, giving you plenty of time to explore the valleys and villages of this most enthralling landscape before arrival at the historic spa town of Harrogate.

Your accommodation in Harrogate

Tucked away on an unassuming residential street around 15 minutes’ stroll from the centre of town, the exterior of your accommodation here gives little clue as to what’s in store once you step over the threshold. Lovingly restored by the friendly owners to a quite staggering level of detail, this converted chapel has been transformed in to a luxury guest house, filled with antiques and art gathered during a lifetime spent travelling and collecting. The 50-foot high atrium stands repurposed as the main living area, delivering a wonderful sense of space, light flooding in from every angle, while each of the bedrooms is styled according to a different south- and southeast-Asian theme, with one-of-a-kind en-suite bathrooms complementing the uniquely styled sleeping areas. A genuinely exceptional place to stay.

Day Four – Out and About and a Foodie Tour in Harrogate

One of the very prettiest towns in England, Harrogate established itself from the Georgian era onwards as the go-to destination for the fashion-conscious holidaymaker seeking solace in the waters of its mineral springs, Moorish-style Turkish baths and health spas. Today, it’s a genteel and distinctive destination, featuring several fine specialist museums – including the Royal Pump Room and Pateley Bridge Nidderdale Museums – the 17-acre Valley Gardens, engaging shopping and a wealth of good eating and drinking possibilities.

Today, you’ll enjoy a guided foodie tour as part of a small group with a local expert food guide. You’ll get to see, and hear history of, some of the hidden corners of Harrogate, while taking a dive in to the town’s thriving independent food scene, home to a wealth of exciting producers and restaurants, with food and drink tastings along the way.

Day Five – Make for the Lakes

Wave goodbye to Harrogate this morning after a splendid breakfast, and choose your route to Pooley Bridge on Ullswater in the Lake District. For us, taking the smaller roads through the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Yorkshire Dales National Park is a must, to experience the breath-taking beauty of this legendary locale. The landscape dominates this area of Yorkshire and there is much exploring to be done. One of England’s finest show caves, Ingleborough, is a short stroll away from the A65, as are the Norber Erratics, huge boulders left by glacial movement. Many more options are within easy driving range: Malham, White Scar cave, the fantastic engineering of Ribblehead viaduct and the eerie geology of limestone pavements.

Perhaps take a detour via Windermere and over the challenging Kirkstone Pass, to approach Pooley Bridge from the foot of Helvellyn and the western shores of Ullswater.

Your hotel in Pooley Bridge

Your base for the next three nights is a delightful, family owned gem in this unspoiled corner of the Lake District. Resting just on the edge of the cute village of Pooley Bridge, you’ll find this converted former blacksmith’s shop, whose owners have done a quite outstanding job of creating a comfortable small hotel and very appealing bistro, and in the process lifting the appeal of the entire village. Spacious, beautifully appointed rooms decorated in modern, relaxing tones feature one or two decadent touches alongside high-spec en-suite bathrooms. Downstairs, a cosy bar serving local ales and a ‘Gin of the week’, gives way to lounge-space around a crackling fire and a simple, elegant dining room. The seasonal menu created from the very best local produce – often with foraged elements – features tempting game, poultry and seafood dishes.

Day Six – Exploring Ullswater

After breakfast, take a stroll to Ullswater – regarded by many as the very prettiest of the lakes in the UNESCO World Heritage Lake District National Park – and board the steamer for a trip around almost its entire circumference. Stopping at five different points, it’s easy to make a day of it, perhaps with your walking boots and a picnic, as you hop on and off as many times as you wish. One of our favourite spots is the tumbling waterfall at Aira Force, from where you can take the easy mile-and-a-half woodland stroll to Glenridding to catch the steamer back to Ullswater.

Day Seven – A Day’s Exploring of the Lake District

Get off the beaten-track and visit some of the smaller lakes, perhaps enjoying a waterside stroll. Take a trip on the Keswick Launch which stops at various points around Derwentwater – you can hop on and off to visit points of interest or stretch your legs. Alternatively, head for some of England’s more challenging drives, taking in mountain passes such as Hardknott and Honister. You’ll be rewarded with breath-taking views and plenty of pretty places to stop for refreshments along the way.

Day Eight – Depart for home


Three centres: Whitby on the east coast and the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, then to Harrogate, and finally to Pooley Bridge in the Lake District, convenient for visiting the Cumbrian coast.


£825 per person for November to March (excluding Christmas/ New Year), £865 per person for April & October and £925 for May to September. 

Price is based on two adults sharing a double room for seven nights in our hand-picked selection of small hotels and country inns, on a bed and breakfast basis. The holiday includes an afternoon guided food tour in Harrogate as part of a small group, tailored to suit your preferences, and a ‘Round the Lake’ pass on Ullswater.

Though not included, car rental is available from around £25 per day – please just ask for details.

Due to the smaller nature of the properties included, no twin rooms are available on this itinerary, but we would be delighted to create a tailormade trip if this style of room is preferred.

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 holiday.

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 Yorkshire & Lake District Explorer

This holiday can be arranged from March to November.

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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