Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount
Great things to see fromCoastliner busesYorkshire
From steam railways to rollercoasters, food festivals to forests, there really is something for everyone on the epic Coastliner bus journeys from Leeds and York to the seaside. The buses pass through York’s ancient walls and arrive eventually at the colourful beach huts of Whitby or Scarborough. In between, are pretty market towns, the rolling Yorkshire Wolds or dramatic moorland landscapes. The North York Moors National Park, which the bus crosses, has hundreds of square miles of heather and 26 miles of coast - no wonder the Coastliner 840 was recently voted Britain’s most scenic bus ride. Sit upstairs if you can for the best views.
Founded by the Romans nearly two thousand years ago, York evolved through centuries of Viking invasion and medieval trade to become an empire of steam and chocolate. Today it’s a thriving city and a magnet for sightseers, race-goers and party-lovers. York’s narrow cobbled streets can get so crowded that jumping on a bus into the countryside is particularly inviting. The 840 and 843 Coastliner buses leave for the wild moors, rolling wolds and seaside from outside York railway station. With a £17.50 daytripper plus ticket, you can hop on and off wherever you like and use other Transdev buses too, like the CastleLine bus to Castle Howard (see 2 below). The group ticket for £30 (up to 5 people) is especially good value.
- Before you leave you might want to check out the National Rail Museum, behind the station. The world’s largest rail museum, spanning three centuries of train-related history, it features gems like the Flying Scotsman, Queen Victoria’s carriage, Eurostar, Japanese bullet trains and the record-breaking Mallard. And it’s free!
- For an entertaining glimpse into the dark corners of York’s history, you could also visit the York Dungeon where you can come face to face with the city’s former inhabitants like Vikings, plague doctors and Guy Fawkes. The dungeon’s just 20 minutes’ walk from the station, through some of the oldest and most picturesque parts of town (or you can hop off the Cosatliner bus at Micklegate and stroll over the bridge – see map). Best of all, you get 40% off entry with your Coastliner ticket (ask the driver for a voucher).
2. Malton and Castle Howard
Half an hour later, the bus stops at the market town of Malton in the wooded Howardian hills. This bunting-strung, flower-hung, traditional market town has become a foodie destination: butchers and sweet shops are sandwiched between creamy Georgian mansions housing independent cafés. With a regular market and a food lovers festival in May, it’s Yorkshire’s self-proclaimed “food capital”. You can even join a three-hour lunch tour around town (come hungry!) or explore Malton’s new gin distillery on a boozy “gin o’clock” tour.
- Fifteen minutes from Malton on the separate Castleline bus, which squeezes through the pyramid-topped gatehouse on its way down the grand avenue, is stately Castle Howard. The temple-dotted, rolling grounds of Castle Howard are always beautiful with flowers bordering the sloping lawns and winding trails through dappled glades of rhododendrons. Visitors get 20% off entry with a bus ticket (you can also get the bus direct from York).
- And the Yorkshire Aboretum, not far from the gates of Castle Howard, has 120 wooded acres to explore.
3. Scampston Gardens
Elegant geometric patterns of ponds and hedges, wave-form beds of softly waving grasses, fragrant herbs and flowering cherries: the walled garden at Scampston is an unexpected delight. Hidden below the Yorkshire Wolds and surrounded by a larger eighteenth century park, the garden, designed by Piet Oudolf, is open from Easter to October each year.
- Beyond Malton, the two Coastliner routes routes diverge, with the hourly 843 towards Scarborough passing the end of the lane to Scampston. Visitors who arrive by bus, train or bike get 30% off entry.
- Don’t miss the cafe with a wonderful selection of freshly cooked food, often using veg or herbs from the garden.
Arrive in the seaside town of Scarborough to stroll through Victorian gardens or ride the cliffside tramway down to the sea, explore the craggy historic castle or dig your own castle on the miles of golden sand. Buckets and spades at the ready!
- A ruined 12th-century castle on a headland surrounded by sea, these walls were besieged by roundheads in the Civil War. A century later Scarborough Castle became a prison for Jacobite rebels and in 1914 it was shelled by German warships – all part of an eventful history! Visitors to who arrive on the Coastliner bus can claim 10% off entry (ask the driver for a voucher).
- You can also get a discounted ticket for the open-top buses: the Scarborough Beachcomber, which runs every half an hour or more between the town’s North and South bays and costs £3.50 as an add-on to the Coastliner.
- Thanks to Scott Poole for the bus banner image below.