Yorkshire Tour: Off-the-Beaten Path

Reed Travel Features

KNOTTINGLEY, England -- Double Deck Tours is offering an off-the-beaten path look at Yorkshire aboard a double-decker motorcoach.

Although the vehicle looks like any other double-decker from the outside, clients step aboard to find a hotel of sorts on wheels, said Peter Garforth, who with Steve Gillings started the operation last April.

The interior has been refitted to accommodate four cabins, two bathrooms with showers and a viewing area.

Each cabin is carpeted and features bunk beds, a vanity and a closet, he said.

"We are unique," he said, explaining that other people might use double-decker buses to sightsee but that this is the only one that has over-night accommodations.

Garforth said travelers not only see Yorkshire in a different way; they see places that are not on standard tours.

For example, Double Deck has arranged for private tours of Cropton Brewery in north Yorkshire. The brewery usually is not open to visitors.

The company has received a good response so far, he said, adding that this year, he will target retailers in the U.S.

The product is aimed at the travelers in the 40-and-older range who are familiar with England but have not seen much of Yorkshire, he said.

The bus takes a maximum of eight passengers, and the tour is led by the driver-guide.

In addition to scheduled departures, the company will organize themed itineraries for groups, he said.

The two- and four-night plans start and finish in the city of York, and the company also can book accommodations for clients before or after the trip.

The tours cover a short distance so that participants can spend more time exploring the countryside than they spend aboard the bus, he said.

The four-night itinerary, priced from about $500 per person, includes visits to Castle Howard, the town of Helmsley, Rievaulx Abbey, Robin Hood's Bay, Pickering, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, Haworth and Bingley.

Highlights along the way include a steam-train ride to Pickering, dinner at Harry Ramsden's World Famous Fish & Chips in Guiseley and a narrow-boat cruise.

The three-night program priced from $300 per person, visits Pickering, Whitby, Cropton, Rievaulx Abbey, Helmsley, Ripon, Harrogate and Weth-erby.

Highlights of the tour are a steam-train ride, a barbecue and a visit to Harewood House.

Departures are scheduled from April to October.

For further details, the phone and fax number is (011) 44 197-767-7077.

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