TRAINS AND TREASURES
AUGUST 26-SEPTEMBER 16, 2018
GROUP SIZE 20
Our 2018 tour gives you the opportunity to visit all three countries on the British mainland, or you can choose the part that most interests you. The tour offers a balanced view of what this beautiful island can offer the railfan, as well as anyone interested in history and scenery. Travel in a group of no more than 20 like minded guests. Ride in executive motor coaches, on interesting trains and in boats as we travel from the English channel to the Scottish highlands. This tour is also being offered in three shorter options.
Day 1 Sunday August 26: (D)
Your tour starts early this afternoon with a familiarization tour around the city in a private coach. An included dinner will be at a nearby restaurant, followed by a tour of the London Underground railway that visits some of the best known stations with your guide giving you a fascinating history and anecdotes related to the world’s first underground urban railway.
Day 2 Monday August 27:(B-D)
Travel by train from London to Bristol this morning over Brunel’s Great Western Railway route. On arrival at Bristol’s Temple Meads Station, transfer by coach to your hotel, and from there to Bristol docks. After a break for lunch, visit Brunel’s famous ship, the SS Great Britain. There will also be time to wander down the historic dockside, and visit the Bristol Industrial Museum.
Day 3 Tuesday August 28: (B-D)
Travel by coach from Bristol to Bishop's Lydeard, where you will board a West Somerset Railway steam train bound for the seaside town of Minehead. Re-join the coach to drive through the scenic Exmore National Park to your second steam train ride, on the narrow gauge Lynton and Barnstaple steam railway. This is a short but scenic preserved railway with grand ambitions to re-create one of Britain’s most iconic railway routes. Continuing by coach to Exeter.
Day 4 Wednesday August 29: (B-D)
This morning, take a train ride along the famous Dawlish sea wall to the coastal town of Paignton to ride on the standard gauge Paignton and Dartmouth steam railway. On arrival at Dartmouth, cross the River Dart by ferry to the town of Kingswear for lunch and possibly to see the interesting atmospheric steam beam engine that is preserved there. This afternoon, join a boat for a trip up the river to Totnes where a short walk will take you to the station for a train back to Exeter.
Day 5. Thursday August 30:(B-D)
Take a train from Exeter to Portsmouth via the city of Salisbury. Visit the Royal Navy’s Historic Dockyard, home to Nelson's HMS Victory, The first iron battleship, HMS Warrior, Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose and much more.
Day 6 Friday August 31: (B-D)
Take a foot ferry to the Isle of Wight, arriving at Ryde Pierhead. Take an unusual ride down the pier and onto the island on an electric train that started its life on the London Underground. Leave the electric railway at Smallbrook Junction to ride the Isle of Wight Steam Railway to Wooton and back. Retrace your steps back to Portsmouth where we will spend a second night.
Day 7 Saturday September 1: (B-D)
Travel from Portsmouth to London by rail this morning, arriving shortly before lunch. Enjoy your afternoon in London at your own leisure. If you are interested in the legacy of Engineer I K Brunel, builder of the Great Western Railway and the SS Great Britain, we will be happy to show you some of his London landmarks, including a small museum dedicated to him and located in a shaft of his original Thames tunnel, now part of the Underground railway system.
Day 8 Sunday September 2: (B-D)
After breakfast, travel by train from King’s Cross Station in London to York along the East Coast main line. This afternoon, visit the National Railway Museum in York followed by dinner at the Sidings restaurant.
Day 9 Monday September 3: (B-D)
Drive from York to Beamish, the living museum of the north. Explore the museum and its railway before continuing to the city of Edinburgh, capital of Scotland.
Day 10 Tuesday September 4: (B-D)
This morning, enjoy a hosted tour of Edinburgh. Experience the grandeur of Scotland’s brooding capital with a full-day excursion. With an expert guide, journey by coach to the city’s main attractions such as the formidable Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. Accompany your local guide on a stroll along the Royal Mile and through Old Town, the city’s oldest quarter strewn with historic landmarks.nDinner tonight will be in a restaurant in the shadow of the famous Victorian Forth Railway Bridge at South Queensferry on the banks of the Firth of Forth.
Day 11 Wednesday September 5: (B-D)
Today you will motor to the Highlands of Scotland. Your first visit will be a distillery at Pitlochry to find out how Scotland’s well known drink is made, and try a dram. This will be followed by a tour of Blair Castle, a chance to meet Britain’s only private army, and a stop at the resort town of Aviemore for the standard gauge Strathspey Steam Railway. Our train ride includes high tea served in a dining car as we steam to Broomhill and back. Continue our road journey to the city of Inverness where we will spend the night.
Day 12 Thursday September 6: (B-D)
Ride a main line train this morning over Kyle Line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, one of Scotland’s most scenic railways. Drive over the Sky Bridge to the Isle of Sky for lunch before visiting Eilean Donan Castle. Later this afternoon, continue over the scenic road to Fort William.
Day 13 Friday September 7: (B-D)
Ride first class on the ‘Jacobite’ standard gauge steam train from Fort William to the small fishing town of Mallaig, one of the most scenic railways in the world with the most famous landmark being the Glenfinnan Viaduct – if you are a Harry Potter fan, you will know all about it! There will be time for lunch and a visit to the fishing harbor before returning to Fort William.
Day 14 Saturday September 8: (B-D)
This morning, enjoy a scenic coach trip up the dramatic Glencoe Pass and over the remote and rugged Rannoch Moor to Stirling Castle. Find out how this magnificent castle changed hands between the Scottish and English before the Act of Union, and how it has maintained a significant role in Scotland since then. Later this morning, continue to the famous Falkirk Wheel boat lift, a millennium project and a fine example of modern engineering. Later, take a mainline train down the West Coast main line to Carlisle, over the border in England.
Day 15 Sunday September 9: (B-D)
This morning, motor to Whitehaven to visit the place where John Paul Jones invaded England in the American war of independence. Americans in the group may like a photograph alongside the statue of the famous patriot before we continue to Ravenglass to ride the 15 inch gauge Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, a small train doing a big job in dramatic scenery. Continue your journey along the scenic coastal road to Haverthwaite, terminus of the standard gauge Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. A steam train will take you to the shores of Lake Windermere, where you will transfer to an historic lake boat, originally a steamer but now diesel powered, to continue your journey to Bowness near Windermere in the Lake District National Park. Continue by coach to your hotel at Kendal.
Day 16 Monday September 10: (B-D)
After a leisurely breakfast he travel to Betws y Coed in north Wales, a pleasant journey that will take you along the Dee estuary, Colwyn Bay and the Conwy river valley.
Day 17 Tuesday September 11: (B-D)
After a relaxed breakfast, take a service train to Blaenau Ffestiniog where you will change trains and gauges to the narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway. Your trains will probably be powered by a double Fairley articulated steam locomotive on your journey to the Irish sea at Porthmadog. After lunch, take a train on the narrow-gauge Welsh Highland Railway, this time probably operated by a Garratt articulated steam locomotive for a 25 mile journey through the Snowdonia national park to Caernarfon. Transfer to our hotel, a short drive from Caernarfon. Your luggage will be transferred by road between hotels.
Day 18 Wednesday September 12: (B-D)
Make a short coach journey inland to one of the main slate quarries of north wales at Llanberis, scenically located at the base of Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. Join the Snowdon Lily, a steam train to the top of the mountain on the 3ft 6in gauge Snowdon Mountain rack railway, the only rack railway in Britain. Your lunch break will be at the National Slate Museum, a fascinating museum built into the original quarry workshops that were powered by the largest waterwheel on mainland Britain. The waterwheel is still there, as are the original machine tools and forges. This afternoon, ride the 2ft gauge Lakeside steam railway along the shore of Lake Pardarn. This railway uses steam loco-motives that previously worked on the terraces of the Dinorwic slate quarries, high above the present line.
Day 19 Thursday September 13: (B-D)
Before we leave Caernarfon this morning, visit the castle to discover the reason for its very existence, why it was built in such a distinctive shape, how it was defended and why it is still important today. Later this morning, travel by coach to Porthmadog to visit the Boston Lodge workshops of the Ffestiniog Railway. This amazing workshop opened the 1830’s, and has been the engineering headquarters of the Ffestiniog Railway since then. This afternoon, take a train on the Cambrian Coast line from Porthmadog to Fairbourne. Hugging the coastline, the line offers spectacular views and a crossing of the Mawddach Estuary over an unusual swing bridge and wooden trestle. Ride a 12 inch gauge steam train across the beach on the Fairbourne Railway that has been running from Fairbourne village to the mouth of the Mawddach Estuary, connecting with the ferry to Barmouth, for over 100 years.
Day 20 Friday September 14: (B-D)
Travel by coach this morning to Tywyn, where our first stop will be the Talyllyn Railway’s railway workshops at Pendre. Watch the first steam locomotive of the day being prepared before traveling to Tywyn station to join a train from there to the end of the line at Nant Gwernol before returning to Dolgoch Falls where you will have a photo opportunity. Leave the train for a short coach ride past Talyllyn lake and up the mountain pass to the village of Corris, home of the Corris Railway. Enjoy tea and welsh cakes in the Corris railway museum before boarding a steam train bound for Maespoeth, the line’s depot and workshops and presently the end of the line. This short 2ft 3in gauge railway is probably the shortest you will ride, but it is a firm favorite with many. Return to Aberystwyth by coach.
Day 21 Saturday September 15: (B-D)
This morning, take a tour of the Vale of Rheidol workshops before riding the 2ft gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway to Devil’s Bridge, a scenic line that was originally built to serve lead mines up the valley, but has now become a popular tourist attraction. There will be time to visit Devil’s Bridge, where three bridges have, over many centuries, been built one on top of the other. Arrive back in Aberystwyth in time for lunch and an afternoon exploring the attractive seaside promenade dominated by a ruined castle and a Victorian pier at one end and a funicular cliff railway up Constitution Hill at the other, which we will ride. Dinner tonight will be in a restaurant on the pier, perched high over the Irish Sea.
Day 22 Sunday September 16:
This morning, travel by coach from Aberystwyth to Welshpool. Join a steam train on the narrow gauge Welshpool and Llanfair railway to Llanfair Caereinion and back.On arrival back in Welshpool, transfer by coach to the city of Wolverhampton’s station on the West Coast Mainline.Your tour ends on arrival at Wolverhampton, but it is assumed that you will wish to book onward train travel and Geoff will be happy to arrange this for you and assist with your onward planning. Options include a Virgin high speed train to London Euston station, one departs at 3:45pm and arrives in London at 5:38pm. It is also easy to reach Manchester Airport, Birmingham city and Birmingham airport as well as other destinations in Britain.
all prices are per person
FULL 22 DAY TOUR
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$6,795
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$2,095
FINAL PAYMENT DUE JUNE 26, 2018
7 DAYS AUGUST 26-SEPTEMBER 1
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$2,095
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$795
FINAL PAYMENT DUE JUNE 26, 2018
10 DAYS SEPTEMBER 1-10
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$3,275
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$1,095
FINAL PAYMENT DUE JUNE 26, 2018
7 DAYS SEPTEMBER 10-16
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$1,995
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$495
DEPOSIT ALL OPTIONS$1,000
FINAL PAYMENT DUE JUNE 26, 2018
TOUR CONDITIONS FOR 2018 **PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
Tour Price: All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. Those people that use a credit card for payments a 3% conveyance fee will be added to the tour price. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.