Est. 1985

Railways of Southern England

  • Dartmouth Steam Railway Paddle Steamer ©Courtesy of the Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company

    Dartmouth Steam Railway Paddle Steamer ©Courtesy of the Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company
  • Skipton Canal Cruise

    Skipton Canal Cruise
  • Stonehenge ©English Heritage

    Stonehenge ©English Heritage
  • Salisbury Cathedral ©VisitEngland Visit Wiltshire / Chris Lock

    Salisbury Cathedral ©VisitEngland Visit Wiltshire / Chris Lock / where Jane Austen is buried
  • The SS Great Britain © Destination Bristol

    The SS Great Britain © Destination Bristol
  • A view of Beaulieu Palace House from across the river ©VisitEngland

    A view of Beaulieu Palace House from across the river
  • Osborne House ©English Heritage

    Osborne House ©English Heritage
  • Torbay Express

    Torbay Express
  • Kent and East Sussex Railway, Rotersbridge, 1066 Country ©VisitEngland, 1066 Country marketing

    View of Kent and East Sussex Railway with Bodiam Castle in the distance, 1066 Country
  • Chapel Down Winery & Vineyard

    Chapel Down Winery & Vineyard
  • Hever Castle Tudor Garden ©VisitKent

    Hever Castle Tudor Gardens ©VisitKent
13 day tour (other durations available)
Prices available on request

Full steam ahead!

All aboard for this two week adventure discovering heritage railways of Southern England. Explore some great museums such as STEAM and Didcot and take a scenic full-day ride on the famous Torbay Express. We have included some of the best railways in England, coupled with excellent industrial ship attractions such as The Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth and Brunel’s SS Great Britain – the longest passenger ship in the world from 1845-1854!

You will get the opportunity to board the Kingswear Castle Paddle Steamer along the river Dart – the last working coal fired paddle steamer carrying passengers in the UK today.

See the beauty in nature when you visit Stonehenge, New Forest National Park and enjoy the scenic views as you ride across English countryside on the Bluebell Railway.


Dates

Dates available Summer 2018


Suggested itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to England

Arrive at Heathrow Airport and meet with your guide / tour manager who will escort you to your coach. Start your day with a visit to Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Check-in into your centrally located hotel and the rest of the day is free to rest and relax.

Overnight in Windsor.

Day 2

Didcot Railway Centre and the STEAM Museum

After breakfast travel to Didcot Railway Centre, a former Great Western Railway engine-shed and locomotive stabling point, and see its unique collection of steam engines, coaches, wagons, buildings and small relics. After lunch at the train cafe, continue to the STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway. The museum is housed in a beautifully restored Grade II railway building and tells the story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway. Arrive in Bath and check-in into your hotel in late afternoon.

Overnight in Bath.

Day 3

Brunel’s SS Great Britain and Bath

This morning you will travel to Bristol where you’ll visit Brunel’s SS Great Britain and discover the ship that changed the world! Learn about this former passenger steamship, which was advanced for her time; she was the longest passenger ship in the world from 1845 to 1854! You will stop at Clifton Suspension Bridge, Brunel’s world-famous bridge before returning to Bath. Enjoy a walking tour of this beautiful city in the afternoon and the evening is at your leisure.

Overnight in Bath.

Day 4

The Torbay Express

Today you will enjoy a full day steam train ride on the Torbay Express, one of the most famous express trains of the post-war years. It follows the route of Brunel’s Great Western Railway, speeding across the Somerset levels and around the beautiful Devon coastline on one of the most enchanting railway journeys in the world. You will stop off in Dartmouth to explore this beautiful town, including an experience on board the Kingswear Paddle Steamer River Boat – the only remaining coal-fired passenger steam boat in the UK!

Overnight in Bath.

Day 5

Stonehenge and Salisbury

Leave Bath in the morning and travel to Stonehenge, one of the ‘Wonder’s of the World’. Walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors and explore the ancient landscape. Spend this afternoon exploring the medieval city of Salisbury and visit its magnificent Cathedral. Continue to your hotel in Southampton.

Overnight in Southampton.

Day 6

Exbury Gardens Steam Railway and National Motor Museum

Today will be spent in New Forest National Park. Start your day with exploring Beaulieu, home to National Motor Museum, Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey and beautiful gardens. After independent lunch in their Brabazon Restaurant, you will continue to nearby Exbury Gardens, where you will enjoy a steam train ride through one of the most famous Gardens in the world!

Overnight in Southampton.

Day 7

Osborne House and Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Enjoy a day trip to Isle of Wight where you will tour Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s palatial holiday home and step back to a bygone era when steam power was the order of the day. Settle back in beautifully restored Victorian and Edwardian carriages and enjoy a unique view of some of the Island’s unspoilt countryside.

Overnight in Southampton.

Day 8

Portsmouth Harbour and Historic Dockyard

Take a morning public train from Southampton Central station to Portsmouth Harbour and spend the day exploring Historic Dockyard (10 minutes walk to attractions). Discover three historic British warships: Henry VII’s doomed flagship Mary Rose, Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory, and the world’s first iron battleship, HMS Warrior. Come back to Southampton and evening is at your leisure.

Overnight in Southampton.

Day 9

Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre and Bluebell Railway train

Say goodbye to Southampton and drive to Sussex stopping en-route at Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, a 36 acre open air site dedicated to the industrial heritage of the south east. Take a ride around the Museum on the narrow gauge railway and see telecommunications hall, working printshop, lime kilns, stationary engines and more. Then continue to the Bluebell Railway and enjoy a scenic ride through woods and fields from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead. Check-in into your hotel in Tunbridge Wells area.

Overnight in Tunbridge Wells.

Day 10

Kent and East Sussex Railway and Chapel Down Winery

After a leisurely morning in Tunbridge Wells, enjoy a ride on Kent and East Sussex Railway, a fine example of a rural light railway. The line gently winds its way through the Rother Valley from Tenderden in Kent, to Bodiam in East Sussex. There is also a museum at Tenderden which tells the story of Colonel Stephens and his contribution to railway history. Finish your day at Chapel Down Winery, England’s leading wine producer. Take a guided tour of the vineyard and learn how to produce sparkling wines! Enjoy a wine tasting at the end of the day.

Overnight in Tunbridge Wells.

Day 11

Spa Valley Railway and Hever Castle

After breakfast, depart for a picturesque train journey on Spa Valley Railway through five miles of the countryside of Kent.  Say farewell to Kent and travel to London stopping at Hever Castle en-route. Discover 700 years of history and award-winning gardens at the romantic double-moated 13th century castle, once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Arrive in London in afternoon and check-in into your hotel.

Overnight in London.

Day 12

Postal Train Railway

The highlight of today is a unique visit to the Postal Train Railway which opened in August 2017. It is known as London’s secret Tube network and for almost a century provided an underground railway system for delivering post across the capital. The rest of the day is at your leisure to enjoy London.

Overnight in London.

Day 13

Home Time

Private transfer to Heathrow airport for your return flight home.


This tour is available for group of 20 persons or more travelling together.

For individuals we can offer a version of this tour with car hire and based on a self drive basis.

This tour can be tailored to your specific requirements, please contact us to discuss your interest, and we will be pleased to amend the duration of the tour to suit your own time scale.


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