5 Tremendous Train Journeys In The Cotswolds
Trainspotting is trending, thanks mainly to the work of social media star Francis Bourgeois. And lots of people agree that chugging through the countryside on an old fashioned locomotive is a first-class way to travel.
The good news is that the Cotswolds is home to some retro railways that are really rather good.
Here are 5 to visit, all close to The Frogmill, the best Cotswolds hotel from which to explore.
Don’t forget your flask and logbook!
1. Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Steam Railway
Staffed by enthusiastic volunteers, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway boasts charming choo-choos that chug along for 28 miles through the captivating Cotswold countryside, starting at Cheltenham Racecourse. Along the way, you’ll look out onto sleepy hamlets and villages and get to enjoy views right out to the Malvern Hills. Services run throughout the week; you can turn up and buy tickets on the day.
2. Avon Valley Steam Railway
There’s nothing quite like the sound of steam to stir the senses, so a trip on the Avon Valley Railway is sure to satisfy. The service runs from the railway’s beautifully restored Victorian station at Bitton, where visitors can dine on the platform before riding in a heritage carriage behind any one of the lovely locomotives in operation, including the eye-catching TKH49 NO. 4015 “Karel”, which looks like a character straight out of Thomas The Tank Engine.
3. Severn Valley Steam Railway
All aboard! Just an hour’s drive from our Cotswolds hotel sits The Severn Valley Railway, one of the top heritage attractions in the UK. From Kidderminster Station visitors can ride onboard a traditional carriage pulled by tremendous old trains such as the Ivatt Class 4 43106 otherwise known as ‘Flying Pig’, which has been chugging along since the 1950s.
4. Dean Forest Railway
Steam trains and Sunday roasts. Ever wondered why no one thought to combine these two great staples of British culture? Well, on the Dean Forest Railway they have. Boarding at Norchard (a little over 50 minutes drive from The Frogmill, our Cotswolds hotel) passengers on board the Royal Forester train get to enjoy a two-course roast dinner served to their seats as they rattle through the ancient woodland.
5. Swindon & Cricklade Steam Railway
Take a 45 minute, four-and-a-half mile round trip onboard the Swindon & Cricklade Railway from Blunsdon to Hayes Knoll and feel transported back to simpler times as you rumble along behind grand old diesel engines. If ever you needed proof that heritage railways aren’t just a thing of the past, it’s here – volunteer staff here are currently undertaking a big construction project to extend the line into the town of Cricklade.