Join us on this interesting trip by vintage steam train to the historic city of Chester, an unusual destination from Bristol.
We travel via the Severn Tunnel, the South Wales Main Line, the scenic Welsh Marches route, and the Shrewsbury to Chester line. There will be over three hours in Chester, with the Christmas Market to enjoy. Our train will be hauled throughout by steam locomotive No.60009 Union of South Africa.
We leave Bristol Temple Meads at around 07:00 hauled by LNER A4 Class Pacific locomotive No.60009 Union of South Africa. Our steam locomotive will be working hard as we climb to Filton Abbey Wood, where we stop to pick up more passengers. We then head westwards along the South Wales Main Line, passing through the Severn Tunnel into Wales, and continuing to the outskirts of Newport. Here we turn northwards, crossing the River Usk, and join the Welsh Marches route.
We stop at Cwmbran and Abergavenny for more passengers to join the train before we begin the challenging climb of the Llavihangel bank. Our steam locomotive will be in full cry all the way to the summit! We pass many sites where there were once railway stations along this route and the longest section without a station today is between Abergavenny and Hereford, where we stop for our steam locomotive to take on water. There is some truly beautiful scenery as we travel through Herefordshire and into Shropshire, passing towns such as Leominster, Ludlow, Craven Arms and Church Stretton.
We continue to Shrewsbury where the ‘listed’ Severn Bridge Junction Signal Box is the largest remaining mechanical signal box in the world. We take the Chester Line from Shrewsbury and stop at Chirk for our steam locomotive to take on water. We pass through Ruabon and Wrexham before arriving at our destination, the beautiful Roman City of Chester. There will be over three hours to explore the walled city and the Chester Christmas Market, with over 70 traditional wooden chalets situated in the heart of Chester, all wrapped around a sparkling Christmas tree. 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. Other places of interest include the Castle, the Cathedral, and the picturesque racecourse, located between the city walls and the River Dee, where ‘Winter Wonderland’ will be in full swing.
Whilst we have been exploring the city, our steam locomotive will have been serviced and turned at Chester ready for the return journey. Our train leaves Chester at around 17:00 returning by the same route and stopping at the same stations as on the outward journey, to set down passengers. Look out for Father Christmas and his Elves who will be visiting the train during the day and handing out presents to all children on board. Please let us know your child’s age when booking.
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
|Bristol Temple Meads||07:00||22:35|
|Filton Abbey Wood||07:15||22:25|