Exploring Castle Line
Take a trip to Castle Howard and discover why this magnificent stately home and its stunning gardens are a place like no other
Our journey from York begins with a visit to the Vangarde retail and leisure park, a short walk from the LNER Community Stadium, home to York City Football Club and rugby league’s York City Knights. You’ll also find an IMAX multi-screen cinema, bowling alley, shopping and restaurants – or stay on the bus for the Monks Cross Shopping Park and its selection of high street retail names.
We leave York behind and soon turn off the A64, passing on our right FERA, the Food and Environment Research Agency’s York research site. The complex is an international centre of excellence in agriculture and food quality and safety, supporting the nation’s growers and food producers with scientific expertise.
Entering the district of Ryedale, we reach our next calling point, Sand Hutton. Its manor house was home in the 1920s to the eccentric Sir Robert Walker, fourth Baronet of Sand Hutton, who came up with a novel solution to transporting produce from the estate’s farms, coal to its brickworks at nearby Claxton and bricks from there – the Sand Hutton Light Railway. Using redundant track from a former Army depot in east London, Walker built a five-and-a-half-mile line to Warthill station on the old York to Beverley railway line, and as well as freight, began carrying passengers by 1924. But it didn’t last – the brickworks closed in 1929 and Walker died the following year. His railway steamed into the history books in June 1932.
We travel on through Claxton, a pretty village with a wide green which grew from a hamlet in the early 19th century to the tranquil community we see today.
Crossing the busy A64 again, we arrive in Flaxton, a small village with a population of less than 350 residents and seven Grade II listed buildings. Look out on the right for the former Church of England school, now used for parish council meetings. Built in 1867, it closed in 1987 and was Grade II listed in 2011: look out for the clock on its roof, made by the famous Victorian railway clock makers Potts of Leeds. Most of the village itself and an area to the north of the main street known as The Crofts was designated a Conservation Area in 1986.
Passing through the hamlet of West Lilling, we reach Sheriff Hutton, a historic village with two castles! The first was built in Norman times and today, only the mounds on which it stood remain: but the second was once the grandest in Northern England. A favourite residence of Richard III and Henry VIII, the castle fell into its current ruined condition by the early 1600s. Look out for it on your right as we enter the village.
The village of Bulmer is our next stop, before we turn east and approach Castle Howard through an arch in its boundary wall – a tight squeeze for our Castle Line bus! We turn right at the 16th century obelisk and enter the Castle Howard grounds. Here is a fantastic family day out – discover the stunning house, familiar to millions of TV viewers as the fictional ‘Brideshead’ in the classic 1980s ITV serial, and more recently as ‘Clivedon House’ in the Netflix drama ‘Bridgerton’. Or explore the extensive gardens, and wander by the lake and into the woods beyond. Save over £3 on admission to Castle Howard with a Transdev Treats voucher from your driver.
Our Castle Line journey continues through the scenic Ryedale countryside, including the villages of Welburn and neighbouring High and Low Hutton before reaching journey’s end in Malton – now Yorkshire’s Food Capital. With its restaurants, food producers, shops and events including major food festivals, it’s a foodie’s paradise!
Many popular attractions offer money off admission fee or your bill with your bus ticket as part of our #TransdevTreats programme. Check here for our up-to-date list of our partners. Ask your driver to print you a Transdev Treats voucher and just show them at the destination to get your discount.