The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has now set out his “Roadmap to Recovery” for the UK, in response to the current situation with COVID-19. So, what does that mean for a local, family-owned Tour Operator specialising in Day Tours of Yorkshire from York, Leeds and Harrogate that is currently still in lockdown and well and truly furloughed?
Step One of his cautious plan is just to open the schools on the 8th March which, whilst very welcome, doesn’t change things for us at all. If all goes well with the schools opening, Step Two will occur five weeks later on the 12th April, when shops, outdoor attractions and some indoor leisure facilities will be permitted to open, together with limited outdoor socialising and overnight leisure stays in self-contained accommodation. Step Three is scheduled for another five weeks later on the 17th May, again based upon the success of Step Two, when hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and pubs can fully reopen. The final Step Four is currently planned for another five weeks later on the 21st June, when pretty much everything can return to some sort of normality. I suppose we should be thankful that, at least, we now have visibility on a plan that we can work to!
Last year, we geared ourselves up to operate our Tours on a “COVID-secure” basis in accordance with the “We’re Good to Go” industry standard. Sadly, we didn’t get many opportunities to practice our procedures last year but we are satisfied that they will keep everyone safe and we are now ready to operate as soon as the rules permit. We have two different types of tour to consider, Private Group Tours and Public Day Trips from York, so, having now studied the new rules/guidance, we have come up with our own “Roadmap to Recovery”.
We will restart on the 12th April, initially just offering our SMALL Private Group Tours for families/social bubbles who want to get out and enjoy the countryside from York, Leeds or Harrogate. Our precautions will initially include everyone wearing a face covering, whilst inside the vehicle.
We have then decided to let things settle down a bit, following things opening up at Step Three, and have scheduled our regular, public Day Trips from York to operate from the 1st June. We will initially be limiting numbers to maximum 10 guests per tour through June, to ensure social distancing, so we suggest people book early if they want to join us – online booking on our website is now open.
The last year has not been a complete waste of our time – we now have a lot more Private Tour options, small/medium/large groups and full/half days, as well as a completely new “All Creatures Great & Small” tour!
We are really looking forward to getting cracking again and, hopefully, it will just be onwards and upwards this time!
We are currently in a tiered system of COVID precautions in the UK and the vaccination programme has now commenced, which is great news! We now anticipate being able to safely re-start our regular public Day Trips from York in April 2021 and they will operate on a COVID-secure basis in accordance with the “We’re Good to Go!” industry standard. We will initially be limiting capacity to 10 passengers, to provide social distancing, with the bonus of all passengers having a window seat to enjoy the views!
We will be operating all four of our tour itineraries for the Day Trips from York:-
Moors, Whitby & The Yorkshire Steam Railway
Whitby & The North York Moors
Yorkshire Dales National Park
Haworth & The Yorkshire Dales
The Moors, Whitby and The Yorkshire Steam Railway tour will be dependent on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway operating the anticipated timetable that we link up with next year. If not, we will operate the Whitby & The North York Moors itinerary on those days.
In the meantime, our full and half day Private Tours of Yorkshire from York, Leeds or Harrogate will be available from February 2021. We are currently in Tier 2 so, as things stand, individual households or support bubbles can have their own private tour with us and this fully complies with current government rules. The rules may well be relaxed by February/March anyway, if things go well with the virus, but families/support bubbles can now book private tours with us from February. One of the options on our private tours is “small-group” for up to 4 passengers, ideal for couples or families. Dogs are also welcome on our private tours!
All our four standard itineraries are available for the full-day private tours then there are four different options available for the half-day tours, so there are plenty of choices to explore Yorkshire with us!
We expect to be busy once the circumstances improve so we suggest booking early to avoid disappointment!
We are beginning to see a bit of light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel and are becoming increasingly optimistic that we will be able to restart our regular, public, Day Trips from York in March next year!
We are fully prepared and ready to operate our tours on a COVID-secure basis in accordance with the Visit England “We’re Good To Go” Industry Standard. We use spacious 16-seat Minicoaches and will initially be operating with capacity limited to max 10 passengers to leave plenty of room for social-distancing, with the added benefit of all passengers having a window seat! Everyone will need to wear facemasks whilst inside the Minicoach but the journeys between stops are all quite short so this is a small price to pay to keep everyone safe. We have also fitted a Hand Sanitiser dispenser at the entrance to each vehicle for everyone to use each time they enter/exit and introduced regular enhanced interior cleaning measures for the touch-points.
Our public Day Trips from York are now available to book on our website here – Day Trips from York
All our Day Trips can also be booked as Private Tours, with pickup from anywhere in the York, Harrogate or Leeds areas, for groups of up to 4 or up to 8 people so these are ideal for family outings. We are also very happy to welcome dogs on our Private Tours but, unfortunately, cannot accept them on the public tours. Follow this link to see the Private Tour options – Private Tours of Yorkshire
We have decided to welcome dogs onto our Private Tours of Yorkshire, so they are now both Dog and Family-friendly! We recommend that you bring along a Dog Seat Belt and a Drinking Bowl for your dog.
Children aged 4+ can simply come along as we have booster cushions for younger children but, if your child is aged under 4, you should bring along your own Car Safety Seat – our vehicles have car-style seat belts so you should be able to secure your own standard Child Seat.
Half and Full-Day Private Guided Tours are available, with pick-up from York, Leeds or Harrogate:
HALF-DAY PRIVATE TOURS (from £195 per group):-
North York Moors National Park Tour – This Private Guided Tour provides the opportunity for you to get out into the countryside to enjoy the fresh air and scenic beauty of the North York Moors National Park. We will pick you up from your hotel (or other location of your choice) at 10.00am and head out of town for a circular tour of the National Park, with stops at Byland Abbey, Helmsley and the beautiful moorland village of Rosedale Abbey. There will also be photo stops along the way, including the highest point on the moors at the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge . You will be able to buy food and drinks en route, but feel free to bring your own food along and we will stop somewhere suitable for you to have a picnic away from any crowds. The itinerary for this tour is flexible, talk to your Guide when you set off and we can make adjustments to suit your personal preferences. Departs 10.00am and drops off 2.30pm.
Yorkshire Dales National Park Tour – This Private Guided Tour provides the opportunity for you to get out into the countryside to enjoy the fresh air and stunning landscape of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. We will pick you up from your hotel (or other location of your choice) at 10.00am and head out of town for a circular tour of Wharfedale and Nidderdale, with alternative potential stops at Bolton Abbey, Burnsall, Pateley Bridge and Fountains Abbey to suit your preferences. There will also be scenic photo stops along the way. You will be able to buy food and drinks en route, but feel free to bring your own food along and we will stop somewhere suitable for you to have a picnic away from any crowds. The itinerary for this tour is flexible, talk to your Guide when you set off to decide how you want to spend your time, based upon your personal preferences. Departs 10.00am and drops off 2.30pm.
Whitby Trip – We will pick you up from your hotel (or other location of your choice) at 10.00am and take you on a scenic drive through the North York Moors National Park, following which you will have about two hours free time to enjoy the seaside town of Whitby, before the return journey. You can see Whitby Abbey (inspiration for the Dracula books), visit the Captain Cook Attractions, shop for some Whitby Jet or Gothic Fashion, sample Fish & Chips from the famous Magpie Café or just explore the beach, fishing port and waterfront – the choice is yours! Departs 10.00am and drops off 2.30pm.
Haworth Trip – We will pick you up from your hotel (or other location of your choice) at 10.00am and take you to Haworth, on the edge of the rugged Pennine Moors, where the Bronte family lived from 1820 and the sisters wrote their famous novels. You will have about two hours free time to visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum and the Bronte Memorial Chapel in the nearby Church where their father preached, or just explore the quaint shops on the cobbled main street and have a leisurely lunch in one of the traditional cafes – the choice is yours! We then head up Penistone Hill for a photo stop to admire the moorland views towards Top Withens, where the Bronte Sisters walked to gain inspiration, before making the return journey. Departs 10.00am and drops off 2.30pm.
FULL-DAY PRIVATE TOURS (from £295 per group):-
Whitby & The North York Moors – Spend three hours enjoying Whitby on this tour, as well as exploring the scenic and picturesque North York Moors National Park. You will have a full three hours of free time in the fishing port of Whitby on this trip, to see Whitby Abbey (inspiration for the Dracula books), visit the Captain Cook Attractions, shop for some Whitby Jet or Gothic Fashion, sample Fish & Chips from the famous Magpie Café or just enjoy the beach, bustling port and waterfront – the choice is yours! As well as photo stops on the moors, you will also stop at the famous Kilburn White Horse, the market town of Helmsley (with its quaint cafes, shops and medieval castle) and the beautiful, traditional English villages of Goathland (Heartbeat and Harry Potter filming location) and Lealholm (with its stepping stones across the River Esk). The itinerary for this tour is flexible, talk to your Guide when you set off and we can make adjustments to suit your personal preferences. Departs 9.00am and drops off 5.15pm.
Yorkshire Dales National Park – Experience the stunning landscape of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, visiting Bolton Castle, Askrigg (filming location for Darrowby in the James Herriot All Creatures Great and Small TV series), Kettlewell (main filming location for the Calendar Girls movie), The Oldest Sweetshop in the World at Pateley Bridge and the traditional Dales Market Town of Hawes, where you will have the opportunity to sample the cheeses at the award winning Wensleydale Creamery, the home of Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese. The itinerary for this tour is flexible, talk to your Guide when you set off and we can make adjustments to suit your personal preferences. Departs 9.00am and drops off 5.15pm.
Haworth & The Yorkshire Dales – Explore Bronte Country and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, including the West Yorkshire Pennine Village of Haworth (home to the Bronte Parsonage Museum), Bingley Five Rise Locks (the most spectacular feature of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal), Bolton Abbey (where you will see the stunning setting of the ruins of the 12th Century Augustinian Monastery) and the picture postcard traditional Yorkshire Dales village of Linton with its stone bridges and limestone falls. The itinerary for this tour is flexible, talk to your Guide when you set off and we can make adjustments to suit your personal preferences. Departs 9.00am and drops off 5.15pm.
8th August 2020