A Great Escape!
In the summer of 2011, having not been able to afford a proper holiday for some years I decided I could just about afford to 'get away from it all' for a few days. However I didn't want to muck up my weekend preservation commitments, so I decided to go away from Monday 1st until Friday 5th August. But where to?
Well for a start it had to involve trains, or it probably wouldn't be my kind of holiday. To find trains both new and interesting, I would have to head south of the border, preferably to some preserved railways I hadn't seen before. Since I had a sore back, I would be using my car to minimise heavy lifting, so I could go just about anywhere. However I had to pick railways that ran during the week and which were in locations that made each days driving reasonable. I gave it a lot of thought and did a bit of web browsing, and having done so booked accommodation for four nights in four places. So on Monday 1st August I set out from home very early and headed south...
Visit To Settle Station
My first 'real' stop on my holiday was a quick visit in the
passing to have a look at the restored
Despite the short stop at Settle, I was still on schedule when
I got onto the platform at my first preserved railway of the week, which was good
as I had long wanted to have a trip over the
Keithley & Worth Valley Railway.
After visiting the K&WVR I headed south again as I was
staying at Chester that night. After booking in to my hotel, I went out
to get a few pictures of
Steam In North East Wales
Day 2 of my holiday saw me heading west into Wales, albeit
a relatively short distance, as I was very keen to see
The Llangollen Railway.
No Rails, Just Water!
Since I was in Llangollen anyway, I detoured both before
and after my railway journey to see parts of the well-known
Preservation On A Large Scale!
After staying at a comfortable guest-house overnight, on day 3
I had arguably the busiest day of my holiday as I had only a few hours to
explore the one of the largest preserved railways in the country,
The Severn Valley Railway
Relaxing Trip Over The 'Poppy Line'
After a busy day at the SVR followed by a longish drive to my next hotel
in Peterborough, I needed something a bit more relaxing on day 4, and I got just that on
a most interesting visit to
The North Norfolk Railway
Long Sunny Trip!
On the last day of my holiday, after staying the night at Doncaster,
I had to head for home, but that allowed me to turn off the A1 and have some great
The Wensleydale Railway
And in the late evening of Friday August 5th, I arrived home! I had driven about 1100 miles, travelled behind eight steam locomotives and one diesel locomotive, seen a total of ten steam locomotives actually in steam (half of them at the Severn Valley Railway!), taken 1868 pictures including subsequent captures from video (the worst pics were left out of these pages of course!) and had had a wonderful holiday!
Some people might like to speculate at length about how the railways I had visited compared to each other, whether they were doing what they set out to do as well as they could, and even whether they were doing some things badly. But my website isn't about that and anyway I don't think it's fair to make comments like that after only a short visit to a railway. For these reasons I'll only say that the overall impression I got was that all the lines I visited are doing a lot of things right (sometimes with much still to do of course), and that I would recommend them all as places to visit if you can!
And if I can ever afford another trip like this, there are many more preserved lines I have never seen! ;-)
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