Join us on seasonal tour that provides an excellent opportunity to travel across the country from east to west, visiting the historic city of Chester.
Apart from its cultural attractions, including the Cathedral, Castle and the Medieval Rows, Chester is a well established shopping mecca, with a large choice of designer and main stream shopping on offer. Our steam hauled train will be pulled by 46233 Duchess of Sutherland from Stevenage to Chester via an interesting route.
Our journey commences at Stevenage early morning where at Hitchin we take the line to Cambridge. We then call to pick up Ely, March and Peterborough. We now follow the cross country line through Stamford, a town of outstanding architectural and historic interest that is of national importance. The town has over 600 listed buildings, more than half of the total for the County of Lincolnshire.
We continue westwards and pass Rutland Water towards Oakham, the small county town of Rutland. Entering Leicestershire, we run through Melton Mowbray, famous for its pork pies, and head for Leicester, our final pick up station. We follow the main line to London St Pancras for a while as far as Wigston Junction, where we branch off on the Nuneaton and Birmingham line.
Our route now takes us westwards through Hinkley to Nuneaton, where we join the West Coast main line. Heading northwards, our steam locomotive can now get up to top speed as we head for Tamworth and Lichfield. Lines split at Colwich Junction and here we follow the WCML through Shugborough Park to round Queensville Curve at Stafford. The four tracks continue northwards through rural Staffordshire, with our steam locomotive working hard as it tackles the long climb to Whitmore Summit. After a few more miles, we slow down and approach the major railway junction of Crewe.
Our final part of the journey takes us across the Cheshire Plain through Beeston Castle, with its lofty 13th castle overlooking the railway and the Shropshire Union Canal. In no time at all, we arrive at Chester, where there will be a break of around four hours for passengers to visit the city with all its attractions. The Chester Christmas Market with over 70 traditional wooden chalets is situated in the heart of Chester. There will be an abundance of festive treats and gifts on offer, including quality local and regional products, crafts, clothing, accessories, jewellery, unique gifts and stocking fillers which are sure to make the perfect present! Don’t forget to sample the delicious hot food and drink, including tasty mulled wine and hot chocolate; the perfect way to keep warm whilst enjoying the market.
We then return from Chester early evening for the steam hauled run back to Stevenage, where our tour today terminates.
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