What better way to begin the Christmas season than with a trip by steam train on the ‘Bath & Bristol Christmas Express’?
What better way to begin the Christmas season than with a trip by steam train on the ‘Bath & Bristol Christmas Express’? There will be ample time to sample Bath’s award winning Christmas Market, set in the beautiful area between the stunning Bath Abbey and the internationally famous Roman Baths, or to visit Bristol for the ‘best Christmas shopping in the South West’. Join us as we travel by vintage steam train through some superb countryside en route.
We leave Swanage early in the morning, hauled by steam locomotive No.46233 Duchess of Sutherland. Our steam locomotive will be working hard, as our train climbs Parkstone Bank. We stop to pick up further passengers at Bournemouth, Brockenhurst and Southampton.
We follow the main line towards London as far as Eastleigh where we take the single-track line to Romsey. Here we join the Southampton to Salisbury direct line and then travel up the valley of the River Test. We stop at Salisbury, for the loco to take on water, and then continue along the ‘South West’ main line to Wilton. Here we turn northwards and cross the edge of Salisbury Plain en route to Warminster. We descend steeply to Westbury, with its famous hillside white horse, and then follow the scenic Avon Valley.
We shall soon catch sight of the Georgian city of Bath as we approach the well-kept Bath Spa station, which is close to the city centre. The afternoon is free to explore the city which has gained a reputation not only for its famous Christmas Market but also for its quality independents and favourite high street stores. The essentially ‘British’ Christmas Market is centrally located and has over 170 traditional wooden chalets offering everything you will need for the perfect Christmas celebration.
Meanwhile our train continues to Bristol, another fascinating destination for those who wish to explore this fine city instead. It has several world class attractions including Britain’s most acclaimed historic ship, the S.S. Great Britain; Brunel’s iconic Clifton suspension bridge; the world’s fifth oldest zoo; and an historic harbour-side, the location of the M Shed, an exciting new innovative museum. The city is a Christmas shopper’s haven with all the major retail outlets in the Broadmead and Cabot Circus shopping centres.
We depart Bristol steam hauled about 16:35 and stop to pick up those parcel laden passengers who stayed for the Christmas Market in Bath! At Salisbury we say goodbye to our steam locomotive and continue diesel hauled returning by the route of our outward journey, stopping at the same stations for passengers to alight.
Mulled wine and mince pies will be served to the first and standard class passengers on board.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast and a four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning coffee with a muffin, afternoon tea and coffee with a cake and a biscuit.
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