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 Golden Valley line through Stroud and Kemble and return via the Cotswold Line through Moreton-in-Marsh and Evesham. We should experience some fast running along the ex-GWR main line and some challenging climbs.
Our steam hauled train leaves London Paddington at around 07.40 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 the Vale of White Horse to Swindon, where we take the Golden Valley line through Kemble and up the climb to Sapperton Tunnel. We bypass Gloucester and head northwards through Cheltenham to Abbotswood Junction, were we leave the main line to Birmingham and head for Worchester Shrub Hill.
There will be more than three hours to explore the fine city of Worcester. 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 hauled train leaves Worcester Shrub Hill in the late afternoon and returns to London via the Cotswold line. 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 Evesham and face the five-mile climb of Honeybourne bank, graded at 1 in 100 to Campden Tunnel. At Moreton-in-Marsh, we regain double track and head for Kingham and Ascott-under-Wychwood, followed by more pretty Cotswold villages at Charlbury and Finstock.
At Wolvercot Junction, we join the main line from Birmingham and pass through Oxford and return to Didcot where we call to set down passengers. Our final part of the journey calls at Reading and Slough before arriving back in London Paddington in the evening.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast and four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning tea or coffee with a bacon/breakfast roll and a Danish pastry and an afternoon service of tea or coffee with a savoury of the day followed by a scone with butter and jam.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat usually at a table for four.
Tables for two can be guaranteed in first class and premier dining 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