Stunning views, silver service meal and luxury steam train travel
DurationMultiple durations available
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple options available
1 - 2
In the lead-up to Christmas, we’ve organised a long weekend of guided walking that will ease you into the festive spirit. We leave behind the normal mad festive panic by heading to the beautiful and atmospheric North York Moors.
Staying in a four-star cottage near Pickering we organise two days of walking that maximises the contrasting scenery of the windswept moors and sheltered river valleys, while allowing plenty of time to simply re-charge the batteries.
All this, and then on Sunday we’ve laid on a silver service meal aboard the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s steam train.
In a nutshell:
- Experience the winter beauty of the moors, dales and coastline• Re-live the era of steam travel with an evening on-board a steam train as it chugs through the North York Moors.
- Relax away from the madness of the Christmas preparations!
- Relish coming back to the comfort of a cosy cottage after a day’s walking.
As you arrive, your host for the weekend will welcome you, show you to your room and introduce you to the other guests. The host will then retreat to the kitchen to conjure up the legendary Large Outdoors welcome night feast.
After dinner, there will be ample time to retire to the sofas in front of the roaring log fire, no doubt with a drink in-hand.
After a hearty breakfast, we head out for a leisurely 8-10 mile walk that follows the gentle gradients of the surrounding dales up onto the moors and past historical features such as Danby Castle.
Today’s walk will be at a gentle pace that will suit all the group enabling everybody to really enjoy a great day out in the North York Moors.
At the end of the walk, there is the option of having afternoon tea in one of the lovely tearooms nearby or we can head back to the cottage and enjoy a cuppa in front of the fire.
Then follows a relaxing evening with dinner, using as many local ingredients as possible and will include a Yorkshire cheeseboard invariably accompanied by a tipple of port!
We have a leisurely start and then there’s the option of either taking a stroll or, if you’re finding it hard to drag yourself away from the comfy sofas, you’re welcome to chill out in the cottage with the Sunday newspapers to-hand.
Late morning, it’s time to dress to impress in your finest Christmas attire before we hop on a mini bus and venture up to Grosmont to catch the midday Pullman service of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
Once on the platform you’re immediately transported back in time to those glory days of steam travel.
With the smell of the coal smoke and the sounds and activity on the platform there will almost certainly be a few members of the group (those of a certain age) who will be reminded of the film ‘The Railway Children’!
On-board there’s a chance to order drinks (although we can also take drink orders in advance) before lunch begins as the train pulls out of the station and into the heart of the North York Moors.
During the next three hours we’re treated to a silver service lunch (no mean feat for the waiters who masterfully overcome the movement of the train with no slippages!).
You can view this years Christmas menu here…
Back at Grosmont we pile into the minibus for the trip back to the cottage, where the festivities usually continue. In fact some of the party will invariably head back out to one of Pickering’s watering holes.
We serve a mezze of snacks, dips and nibbles that evening.
All too soon it’s time to pack up and head out for our last day walk.
Today there are numerous options, , from a trip to Whitby for a walk along the dramatic coastline or a short hop to Castle Howard where we can stroll through the beautiful parkland.
Afterwards, there’s time for one last lunchtime stop in a tea room before we say our final farewells.
The steam train theme continues with our choice of accommodation for the weekend.
The lovely four-star former mill owner’s house, High Mill in Pickering enjoys a fantastic location right alongside the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Fascinating rather than noisy, guests can simply watch the trains trundle past the living room window.
High Mills, which has been refurbished to a high standard while retaining many of the Victorian features, can accommodate a group of 10. There’s a mix of en-suite double, triple and twin-bedded rooms so the weekend will suit couples as well as solo travellers and all bedding and towels are supplied.
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What our members have to say...
I have attended Large Outdoors weekends for the last two years , achieving many challenges in the British countryside. Every weekend has been very well organised, in beautiful locations, wonderful walks, nutritious food with lovely people.
I have learned new skills and gained confidence in the outdoors from the mountain leaders. I thoroughly enjoy every weekend and always look forward to the next.Elizabeth BrooksMember Since 2014
I love the concept of the Large Outdoors weekends and I like to have at least one or two booked for the future, to have something to look forward to. A weekend trip finds me visiting some fabulous parts of the country: Northumberland, Dorset, Brecon Beacons, Lake District, North York Moors... hills, mountains, moors and coast - all well covered by the amazing choice of locations to pick from, with decent (or lovely!) accommodation, great food and qualified walk leaders. They're also very good value.Sue LangfordMember since 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience from beginning to end. The host Kendra was very welcoming upon arrival at the youth hostel, all walkers and climbers were friendly and we got on great as a group. The home cooked food was amazing and the idea of 'kitchen angels' worked really well. The rock climbing instructor and his son were brilliant and helped us all, providing constant guidance and encouragement.Penny GraingerMember Since 2016
Since my first Large Outdoors weekend I have rediscovered my love for the countryside, met so many great people and had a whole lot of fun. I've sailed around the Inner Hebrides on a luxurious yacht, climbed the 3 national peaks Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafel Pike, danced my socks off at the Halloween and New Year celebrations and fallen in love with the beautiful Isle of Skye. Every trip has been amazing fun and I have met so many lovely people and made friends for life. Cheers Large Outdoors!Karen RobertsMember Since 2012
I have been joining Large Outdoors on their outdoor adventures for many years now. I wasn’t always an active person and as a self-confessed city dweller I never thought I would appreciate so much of what is on offer when you leave the suburbs behind you. Large Outdoors has not only made me appreciate what natural beauty is on our door step, it has also given me the confidence to challenge myself and see things differently.Shad EverettMember since 2009