English Trams and Trolleybuses

Manchester Metrolink - © Hugh Searle
Manchester Metrolink - © Hugh Searle
Rowley Station at Beamish
Beamish Trams
Birkenhead 20 - © MTPS
Blackpool Tramway Depot - © James Waite
Blackpool Tramway Depot - © James Waite
Crich Tramway Village
Leeds 180 at Crich Tramway Village
Lisbon 730 - © MTPS
Liverpool 869 at Crich - © MTPS
Nottingham trams - © Richard Lemon
Puffing Billy in the Georgian landscape at Beamish
Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum - © Stewart David
Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum - © Stewart David
Seaton Tramway
Stagecoach Supertram
Tram 31 in The Town at Beamish

Holiday Highlights

  • Beamish Living Museum
  • Sheffield SuperTram depot tour
  • Trolleybus driving experience (subject to conditions)
  • Vintage tram driving experience in Crich
  • Private tram tour and vintage tram depot tour in Blackpool
  • Driver's Eye Experience at Seaton Tramway
  • Manchester Metrolink depot tour
  • 14 days from £1,970pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Thursday 11 May to Wednesday 24 May 2017

Travel the length and breadth of England visiting tram networks, both heritage and modern. In-depth tours and driving experiences on trams and trolleybuses as we journey from Newcastle via Sheffield, Nottingham, Liverpool, Blackpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Devon to London.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Newcastle

We meet at our Newcastle hotel this evening for a welcome dinner. Those of us arriving earlier in the day may wish to explore the Metro system independently.

Day 2 – Beamish, the Living Museum of the North

We transfer by coach to Beamish for the day. Beamish Tramway, opened in 1973, serves to re-create the experience and atmosphere of tramway operation of an earlier generation, whilst providing an essential means of transport for visitors around the site.

Day 3 – Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum

Morning at leisure to explore the Metro further. The urban transit system has 60 stations spread around the Tyne and Wear area. We then transfer to the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft where there will be plenty of time to look around the world's largest collection of historic trolleybuses and ride on a trolleybus under the specially-erected overhead wires. Subject to conditions(*) there will be a chance to take a turn behind the wheel. After a buffet meal we continue to Sheffield for a 3-night stay.

Day 4 – SuperTram Depot Tour

Sheffield SuperTram welcomes us today for a guided tour of their main depot building and an overview of the working depot. The remainder of the day will be at leisure to explore Sheffield’s state of the art SuperTram network.

Day 5 – Crich Tramway Museum

Step back in time as you wander along the National Tram Museum’s recreated period street, complete with pub and shops. Our visit will include a workshop tour and under the watchful eye of the instructors a chance(*) to take the controls of one of the fleet of vintage trams. The mile long track offers the opportunity to navigate the points, tram stops and view the Derbyshire hills.

Day 6 – Nottingham Express Transit

A day trip by train to Nottingham to explore the Nottingham Express Transit which more than doubled in length in 2015 to 20 miles. Why not visit Nottingham Castle and Caves, or the Robin Hood statue while you are here?

Day 7 – Wirral Transport Museum & Heritage Tramway

A rail journey via Liverpool takes us to Birkenhead, home of the Wirral Transport Museum. Here, as well as an impressive and extensive fleet of restored trams, we will find buses from Birkenhead, Wallasey and Crosville, classic cars, classic motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles and a large model railway. The U-boat museum and Mersey ferries are close by. Overnight stay in Birkenhead.

Day 8 – Blackpool Trams

After a train journey via Liverpool and Preston a historic Blackpool tram will collect us from the stabling loop very close to our hotel. Our private tour will proceed north to the end of the line at Fleetwood, return to the south terminus at Starr Gate, and to the Rigby Road depot where we have a tour. We also have a day ticket to explore the modern tram network. Overnight stay in Blackpool.

Day 9 – Manchester Metrolink

We take a train to Manchester where we have a tour of the Metrolink depot before crossing to the Heaton Park Tramway to view their collection of vintage trams from the North West of England and have a ride on the tram. Overnight in Manchester.

Day 10 – Black Country Living Museum

After a direct train to Wolverhampton we transfer to the Black Country Living Museum where there will be time to view the collection of trams and trolleybuses, as well as exploring the 26 acres of former industrial land, uniquely placed to tell the story of the creation of the world’s first industrial landscape. We continue to our hotel in Birmingham. This evening we have an optional excursion to ride a Parry People Mover on the Stourbridge Town branch line.

Day 11 – Midland Metro

This morning is at leisure. Choose to ride on the Midland Metro, explore the jewellery quarter or just enjoy the vibrant and culture-rich city of Birmingham. During the afternoon we travel by train to Exeter for a 2-night stay.

Day 12 – Seaton Tramway

Seaton Tramway operates narrow gauge heritage trams between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton in East Devon's glorious Axe Valley, travelling alongside the River Axe estuary through two nature reserves and giving an unrivalled view of the abundant wading bird life. Our visit will include lunch and a ‘Driver's Eye Experience’ which gives you a taste of driving(*) one of the tramcars and a depot visit.

Day 13 – London Tramlink

We travel by train to London and after leaving our luggage at our hotel we spend the afternoon visiting the London Tramlink with our Professional London Blue Badge Tourist Guide.

Day 14 – Docklands Light Railway

This morning we explore the Docklands Light Railway accompanied by a Professional London Blue Badge Tourist Guide. The automated light metro system is not officially a tram though no tour of English trams would be complete without including it. Our tour ends with a farewell lunch at our hotel.

PLEASE NOTE: To be eligible for a driving experience on a trolleybus at Sandtoft you must be aged between 25 and 70 years and hold a full UK driving license. Tram driving experiences at Crich and Seaton are open to everyone aged 18 years and over and eligible to apply for a full or provisional UK vehicle licence.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Crowne Plaza, Newcastle

Novotel Sheffield Centre, Sheffield

Premier Inn, Birkenhead

Ibis Styles Blackpool, Blackpool

Novotel Manchester Centre, Manchester

Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham

Queen’s Court Hotel, Exeter

Crowne Plaza Docklands, London

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Rail travel as specified in standard class
  • One day passes for tram and metro networks in Newcastle (day 3), Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester and Midland Metro
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Excursions as listed
  • Professional London Blue Badge Tourist Guide in London
  • Two lunches and two evening meals
  • Services of a tour leader throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £1,970
Single room supplement: £511
Deposit for this holiday: £100

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