Historic Railways and Medieval Durham

Prices from £479


15 Jun 2020 - 21 Sep 2020
Duration: 5 days
Ref: REUDH0520


Prices from £479
Single Supplement: £120
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With its winding cobbled streets, famous Cathedral and Castle, Durham is a captivating city with a timeless quality. It is also the perfect place from which we’ll explore the beautiful north-east of England where history and heritage are still very much alive. Experience a real sense of the past at Beamish, the Living Museum of the North, and visit iconic Alnwick Castle where centuries of history are interwoven with Potter-inspired magic. We also step aboard the South Tynedale Railway and Woodhorn Railway to enjoy memorable journeys from a bygone era in this charming corner of the country considered the birthplace of railways.


  • Four nights’ half board accommodation in Durham
  • Coach transfers for our excursions
  • The services of our experienced Tour Manager

Your rail journeys:

  • Roundtrip on the South Tynedale Railway
  • Journey on the Woodhorn Railway

Plus the following excursions:

  • Guided walking tour of Durham
  • Visit to Beamish open-air living museum
  • Entrance and guided tour of Alnwick Castle and Gardens

Day 1 – Durham

Make your own way to our hotel in Durham where you will meet our Tour Manager. Enjoy a relaxing evening with dinner served in the hotel’s restaurant.

Day 2 – Durham & South Tynedale Railway

This morning we drive to the centre of Durham to meet a local guide who will lead us on a walking tour of this historic city. Highlights include the UNESCO-Listed 900-year old Norman Castle and Durham Cathedral where we have a chance to admire the stunning interior of this iconic, vaulted Romanesque building. At the end of the tour there is some free time for you to enjoy lunch in one of Durham’s many cafes or restaurants. Our tour then continues to the small town of Alston where the former North Eastern Railway Station is now the headquarters of the South Tynedale Railway. Following the former route of British Rail’s Haltwhistle to Alston branch line, this preserved narrow-gauge heritage railway is the highest in England. We’ll enjoy a wonderful roundtrip through beautiful countryside as the train winds its way from Alston into the South Tyne Valley in the North Pennines. This evening dinner is served in the hotel.

Day 3 – Beamish Open-Air Living Museum

Today we’ll visit the famous Beamish Open-Air Museum, which recreates life in the north east of England during the 1820’s, 1900’s and 1940’s. Step back in time and see how families lived and worked in the years leading up to the First World War, or head to the 1940’s farm and see what life was like on the home front during the Second World War. Experience life in a 1900’s Pit Village showing a colliery community at the time of peak coal production in the north east, and take a look around Rowley Station with its signal box, waiting room and yard just as it was in Edwardian times. We’ll have free time for lunch before our coach transfers us back to Durham for an afternoon at leisure. Dinner is served in the hotel this evening.

Day 4 – Woodhorn Railway & Alnwick Castle and Gardens

Today we’ll experience what it was like to travel as a miner. Run by volunteers, the heritage Woodhorn Railway operates ex-mining locomotives pulling man riding carriages on a mile-long, two-foot, narrow gauge track. Starting at the Woodhorn Museum our leisurely journey takes us alongside the QE2 Lake before arriving at Lakeside Halt. We’ll return to Woodhorn Museum before joining our coach and driving to the charming town of Alnwick. Here we’ll enjoy a guided tour of the iconic castle, which may be familiar from Downtown Abbey and the Harry Potter films but has actually been home to the Percy family for more than 700 years. Enjoy time at leisure for lunch and further exploration before we return to the hotel where dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 5 – Home

After a leisurely breakfast it’s time for you to check-out of the hotel and make your way home.

Please note: we cannot guarantee that all of our rail journeys will be steam hauled.


    Make your own way to and from hotel

      Check in from 15.00
      Check out 10.00

Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County

Situated in the historic city of Durham, this 4-star hotel is situated by the Castle, Cathedral and the River Wear. Newly renovated en suite bedrooms are clean and modern in style and feature a double bed, flat screen TV, radio, telephone, and tea and coffee making facilities. Within the hotel there is an international restaurant where we’ll have breakfast and dinner, a lounge bar - perfect for a drink after a day of exploring, and fantastic leisure facilities including a heated indoor pool, whirlpool, and fully-equipped gym.