Now that the tour is active there is now an official GoAhead site for our tour. Using both sites should answer most of your questions. Click on the Bath and York button to watch a Rick Steves' episode on those towns.
This tour is a modification from a regular GoAhead tour. Below is a description of our special day in Ramsbottom which will fall on the travel day between York and Liverpool on Day 8. I'm working on a slight deviation to the optional excursion to Stirling Castle on Day 4 to include a stop at the Dunblane Cathedral, hopefully with a short concert on the organ.
Day 4, July 31
Stirling Castle excursion and Dunblane Cathedral or Loch Lomand (TBD)
Day 6 or 7, August 1 or 2
Another fabulous thing to do in York is visit the National Railway Museum
Day 8, August 4
Transfer from York to Ramsbottom
This day is a work in progress but here is a basic idea. We only have a bout 4 hours for this itinerary so it will be tight.
Late-Morning arrival in Ramsbottom
Lecture from the Heritage Society
Grab an ice cream and take a Walk in Williams Footsteps tour with the Heritage Society.
Visit the Helmshore Textile Museum
Transfer to Manchester
The Footsteps tour is lovely but about half of it will be on dirt path (see photos below) and will probably not be doable if it is wet as it will be too muddy.
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Ramsbottom like this:
RAMSBOTTOM, a small town and a chapelry in Bury parish, Lancashire. The town stands on the river Irwell and on the East Lancashire railway, 4 miles N of Bury; was the place where the first Sir Robert Peel established calico-printing; carries on cotton spinning, machine-making, rope-making, and iron and brass founding; is governed by a local board, under the act of 1858; and has a post-office‡ under Manchester, a railway-station with telegraph, a commodious inn, a police station, a church, four dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a public school, an athenæum, a public library, and an Odd Fellows' hall. ...
Day12, August 8,
Added a down day in the seaside town of Bournemouth. Hang out at the beach, ride the ferris wheel, rent bikes to ride along the shore, stroll through a long park, and visit a victorian mansion turned art gallery.