On this fully flexible private tour from York you will be taken to two of Yorkshire’s most celebrated destinations in the company of a knowledgeable local driver-guide. You’ll travel from your hotel in York by executive car, exploring the countryside of North Yorkshire on the way to Castle Howard and Fountains Abbey. Please note: No entrance fees are included in the tour.
You’ll pass through quaint villages and see the historic ruins of Sheriff Hutton Castle as you head into the ‘Howardian Hills’ – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which surrounds the world-famous Castle Howard Estate. As you approach Castle Howard you’ll see some of its magnificent monuments, including the impressive Mausoleum, the imposing Gatehouse and the faux medieval walls.
During your visit to Castle Howard you’ll be able access the extensive estate, grounds and gardens. You can discover the magnificent Temple of the Four Winds – Castle Howard’s summer house – which enjoys a fantastic position at the corner of the estate and offers unspoilt views of the surrounding countryside. You will also be able to explore the amazing house itself. Castle Howard has been the home of the Howard family since it was first built in 1706; the ‘castle’ has been one of England’s grandest and best-loved stately homes ever since, welcoming Royalty, dignitaries, heads of state, important politicians and celebrated special guests ever since. The filming of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ – both the TV adaptation and the Hollywood movie – took place on the estate and in many rooms of the house. Your tour of the house will be enhanced by the guides stationed in almost every room of the house.
Leaving Castle Howard at your leisure, you’ll continue towards Fountains Abbey. You could choose to travel via Helmsley, a quaint market town which offers a wealth of lunch options and is a delightful place to explore.
As you approach Fountains Abbey you’ll travel through the small city of Ripon before approaching the expansive estate of Studley Royal Park. This incredible UNESCO World Heritage site is home to a breathtaking combination of attractions, including the amazingly well-preserved ruins of Fountains Abbey, one of the UK’s largest Cistercian monasteries.
During your time at Fountains Abbey you can explore the monastery ruins, the world-renowned Georgian Water Gardens and the wonderful Studley Royal Estate. You can stroll along a riverside path, visit the watermill and enjoy a drink in the beautifully appointed Lakeside Café. Finally, you can arrange to leave Fountains Abbey through the medieval deer park, which is home to herds of deer from three species – Roe, Red and Sika. The ancient deer park offers incredible views from St Mary’s Church on the estate, down to Ripon Cathedral in the centre of Ripon.
At the end of the day you’ll return to your hotel in York to conclude your private tour.