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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold AwardThe Telegraph Travel Awards Winner 2017

London, York & Edinburgh: a Tale of Three Cities by Train

Discover three of Europe’s most captivating cities in this thoughtfully designed holiday.

Enjoy unrivalled history, world-famous attractions and wonderful food and drink, combined with a handpicked selection of fabulously authentic accommodation.

This train holiday is surely one of the most exciting possible in the UK. London, York, Edinburgh are cities of vast contrast, each steeped in history, with distinct identities reflected in the architecture, food, atmosphere and people. You’ll enjoy some of the country’s most charming accommodation, personal guided tours and smooth, swift train travel between your destinations, giving you the opportunity to view the countryside and coastline of England and Scotland.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Mar - Oct

Why not...

Extend your tour to the Scottish Highlands

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Sat: 9.30-16.30

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Day One – Fall in love with London

If you’ve never visited London before, firstly, we envy your introduction to one of the most exciting cities on Earth. Between us, McKinlay Kidd travel professionals have decades of experience living and working in London and none of us ever fails to feel a special frisson of adrenaline when we know we’re about to return. We’ll provide you with our carefully crafted recommendations for all the best landmarks, attractions, pubs, restaurants, shops, markets, galleries and museums, each the most interesting, quirky, off the beaten-track ideas we can think of, all of which have been tried and tested by us.

Your hotel in London

London contains a mind-bending array of accommodation and choosing one can be a confusing and sometimes dispiriting experience. We’ve scoured the capital to find what we believe is the best selection of accommodation, and we’re sure you’ll love the five-star serviced apartment we’ve selected for this trip. Set right next-door to the Tower of London, this property presents a relaxing oasis of serenity to be enjoyed after a hectic day out. Staff are on-hand to give attentive, hotel-style assistance and a breakfast hamper of fine-quality foods is delivered each day, while there are many alternative dining options right on the doorstep.

Day Two – Out and about in London

Today you’ll take a private, themed, guided walking tour, tailor-made to your specific interest. Perhaps you’d like to hear the stories behind London’s role in two world wars, or James Bond fans can discover the history of espionage in the city, while lovers of all things Royal might like to immerse themselves in the history of some of London’s grand palaces. Later, maybe you’d like to take in a show at one of London’s famous West End theatres, or a simple stroll along the vibrant South Bank – the choice is yours.

Day Three – A last day in London

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast then head out for your final day in the capital. Perhaps you’d like to see St Paul’s Cathedral, scene of coronations, royal weddings and state funerals; or the Tower of London with its ravens, beefeaters and gruesome past. The neighbouring landmarks of Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster are rich with history as well as captivating detail, or you might like to take the time to peruse the shops and markets like Covent Garden, Portobello, Brick Lane and Spitalfields

Day Four – By train, north to York

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred across the city to Kings Cross St Pancras, to catch your express train to York, just a couple of hours north of London.

York, the ancient walled settlement founded by the Romans and featuring the awe-inspiring 12th-century Minster, is one of the UK’s most captivating cities. With a history built on centuries of trade, manufacturing and railways, a city centre of rare historical authenticity and people of bluff charm and great good humour, we’re sure you’ll love your three-day visit.

Your hotel in York

Your hotel in York is a long-standing iconic station hotel, recently refurbished to five-star standard, with each of the rooms having been thoughtfully refitted with guests’ complete comfort in mind. The in-house restaurant serves classic British dishes focusing on the finest Yorkshire produce, while the comfortable bar features an ever-changing range of craft ales and expertly created cocktails. The hotel is ideally placed, with most of York’s main attractions just a short stroll away.

Day Five – Exploring York!

To help you make the most of your time you will also join a short guided walking tour of many of York’s many key locations. We’ll also provide you with a two day York Pass, allowing entry to most of York’s main attractions. The Minster, for example, is absolutely a must-see and could easily take up a whole day, as you marvel at the decorated Gothic nave and chapter house, perpendicular Gothic quire, early English transepts and simply breath-taking stained glass windows, including the Great East Window, completed in 1408, the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world.

Catch your breath with lunch at one of the many charming cafes in the Shambles area of the city centre, and in the evening perhaps enjoy a boat trip along the banks of the Ouse.

Day Six – A last day in York

The National Railway Museum, just a stone’s throw from your hotel, is another must-see for rail enthusiasts and casual observers alike, where ‘history makers and record breakers’ rub wheels with fabulously evocative recreations of historical stations and interactive displays. Or perhaps you’d like to make the gentle climb to 13th-century Clifford’s Tower where you’ll be rewarded with sweeping panoramic views of York and the surrounding countryside. York also features superb parks, gardens and more, and we’ll make sure you’re armed with all the info you need to make the most of your visit.

Day Seven – Heading for Edinburgh

Your train journey continues on the scenic East Coast mainline, passing Newcastle and Berwick before reaching the Scottish capital.  Visitors from across the globe are drawn here by the wealth of historic sites, galleries and museums, shops, restaurants and bars – not to mention the spectacular sight of Princes Street and the castle rock. Yet it’s still perfectly possible to avoid most of the crowds and find quiet cobbled streets, peaceful cafes and bars and, above all, to enjoy this most scenic of British cities.

Your hotel in Edinburgh

Conveniently located in Edinburgh’s fashionable and leafy West End, just five minutes’ walk from Princes Street, your hotel exudes contemporary urban chic, despite being housed in a traditional Victorian town house. The restaurant here is renowned for its tempting menu of contemporary European-inspired cuisine – with many dishes featuring fresh organic produce – accompanied by a fine selection of wines.

Day Eight – Out and about in Edinburgh, and a private walking tour

Soak up the atmosphere of centuries gone-by and learn about the social history of Edinburgh on a private walking tour in and around the Old Town, peeping into hidden closes and wynds, whilst hearing often dark and brooding stories from your knowledgeable guide. You’ll also have plenty of time for self-exploration, perhaps popping into a famous watering hole for a wee dram or a local craft beer, or treating yourself to dinner in one of the city’s Michelin Star restaurants – we’ll provide plenty of recommendations and can help with advance bookings.

Day Nine –A last day in Edinburgh

Stroll along the streets around your hotel amidst breath-taking architecture, up the hill past the Playhouse and towards the east end of Princes Street. Maybe you’re feeling adventurous and would like to make the easy ascent of Arthur’s Seat for yet more spectacular views of the city and beyond? And you’re sure to want to see the castle, the medieval alleys and closes of the Old Town, to walk the Royal Mile and escape the city completely at Holyrood. We’ll provide all the information you need to make the most of your stay.

Then again, you might choose to take a day away from the city on a private guided tour of some of Scotland’s finest spots, all within an hour or two of Edinburgh. You’ll find imposing castles, charming villages and breath-taking scenery on the capital’s doorstep.

Day Ten – Heading home

Enjoy a final, hearty Scottish breakfast before make your return journey by rail to London.


London York Edinburgh

Three centres, London, York and Edinburgh.


£1825 per person for January, February & December, £1865 for March & November, £1895 for April, May & October, £1925 for June, July & September and £2025 for August.

Prices are based on two adults sharing a double or twin room for 9 nights on a bed & breakfast basis in our hand-picked selection of accommodation. (In London this is a serviced apartment with continental breakfast supplies included. This holiday also includes private walking tours in London, York and Edinburgh, a York Pass – helping you to explore the city whilst you’re there, as well as train travel in standard class from London to York, from York to Edinburgh, and finally from Edinburgh to London. First class train travel can be arranged at a supplement.

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.

Hamish uncovers some home truths in York

Hamish uncovers some home truths in York

Before my recent weekend trip to York, I am ashamed to say that the only thing I thought I knew about it was that William Wallace sacked the city duri...

Check availability for London, York & Edinburgh: a Tale of Three Cities by Train

This train based itinerary can be arranged from February 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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