Join us on this scenic rail tour by steam train through the beautiful Cotswold Hills.
Our destination is the cathedral city of Worcester, located on the banks of the River Severn and internationally famous as the home of Worcestershire Sauce. We travel outward via the Cotswold Line through Moreton-in-Marsh and Evesham and return via the Golden Valley line through Stroud and Kemble. We should experience some fast running along the ex-GWR main line.
Our steam train leaves London Paddington at around 08.05 hauled by A4 class Pacific steam locomotive No. 60009 Union of South Africa and heads down the ex-Great Western Railway (GWR) main line. We stop at Slough, Reading and Didcot to pick up more passengers. Our journey continues through Oxford and, at Wolvercote Junction, we join the Cotswold Line. Parts of this line has had double track reinstated, which reopened in 2011. We pass through Finstock, Charlbury and Ascott-under-Wychwood. The Cotswold Area of outstanding Natural Beauty is characterised by attractive small towns and villages built of Cotswold stone, a yellow oolitic limestone. Rare limestone grassland habitats as well as the old growth beech woodlands typify the area, which is a delight to behold.
We pass through Kingham and Moreton-in-Marsh, then through Campden Tunnel, and speed down Honeybourne Bank to Evesham. We arrive at Worcester Shrub Hill where there will be more than three hours to explore this fine city. The River Severn runs through the city and is overlooked by the 12th century Worcester Cathedral. The site of the final battle of the Civil War between Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II was here. It is also the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain, and the birthplace of the composer Sir Edward Elgar is nearby at Lower Broadheath.
Our steam train leaves Worcester Shrub Hill in the late afternoon and returns by a different route. At Abbots Wood Junction, we join the ex-Midland Railway route to Bristol and there are distant views of the Malvern Hills to the west. We head south to Cheltenham, by-pass Gloucester, and then join the Golden Valley route at Standish Junction. We pass through Stroud and climb up the picturesque Stroud Valley to Sapperton Tunnel. We continue through Kemble and on to Swindon where we join the ex-Great Western Main Line. We call at Didcot, Reading and Slough to set down passengers, before arriving in London Paddington.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast and a four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning coffee with a variety of tulip muffins and afternoon tea with a savoury of the day followed by a selection of cakes and fancies.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat usually at a table for four.
Tables for two can be guaranteed in Premier Dining and First Class for a supplement of £25 per person (subject to availability).
A buffet car is available and serves tea, coffee, snacks and light refreshments.
Approximate timings shown