Grand Rail Tour of England and Wales
- A wonderful rail journey across the north of England and Wales
- Heritage steam travel
- Scenic rail journeys
- Visit several rail museums
- Beamish Living Museum
- Manchester Airport’s Runway Visitors Park
- Great Little Trains Of Wales
- See Snowdon and the Great Orme
- 15 days from £2,995pp
This tour showcases some of Britain’s amazing heritage and steam railways. Our travellers wanted to experience some memorable rail journeys across the north of England and through Wales, using National Rail trains, local public bus services and heritage railways. It is a wonderful way of seeing some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes including the North Yorkshire Moors, the Lake District and Snowdonia National Park. We arranged all travel and accommodation and produced a detailed day-day-timetable so that our travellers knew what journeys were possible each day.
Day 1 – Train to Leeds
Afternoon train from London’s Kings Cross to Leeds for a 2-night stay at the Novotel Leeds Centre, situated in the centre of the city, just a 3 minute walk from Leeds Railway Station. The vibrant nightlife and shopping areas are within a 10-minute walk from the hotel and the Royal Armouries Museum only a mile away.
Day 2 – Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
A short half hour train journey to Keighley to spend a day on the scenic Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (KWVR), via the Settle and Carlisle route. The KWVR ticket offers unlimited travel for a whole day – allowing you to break your journey and explore as you please. It includes free entry to RAIL STORY where the award winning Museum Of Rail Travel and the Bahamas Locomotive Society’s ‘Ingrow Loco’ exhibition are located – all at Ingrow West Station. Return to Leeds by train early evening
Day 3 – National Railway Museum
Having checked out of the hotel take another short train journey to York to “Immerse yourself in the home of iconic locomotives and an unrivalled collection of engineering brilliance.” Entrance to the museum is free and luggage can be stored there. You can spend as much time exploring the museum as you please or wander around historic York before catching a late afternoon train to Darlington for a 3-night stay at the Hotel Bannatyne Darlington, a historic town house less than a mile from Darlington town centre.
Day 4 – North Yorkshire Moors Railway
By train to York and a short bus journey to Pickering to enjoy a return trip on the stunning North Yorkshire Moors Railway, all the way to Whitby and back, passing scenic moorland en route to the east coast. Retrace your journey and arrive back in Darlington by 6pm.
Day 5 – Beamish – the Living Museum of the North
Take a 15 minute train journey to Chester-le-Street where you can catch a regular bus service from the town centre to Beamish Museum, which takes approx. 15 – 20 minutes. Beamish is a world famous open air museum, telling the story of life in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s & 1940s. Spend the day exploring Rowley Station, Beamish Tramway, the Pockerley Waggonway and much more. Arrive back Darlington late afternoon.
Day 6 – By Train to Carlisle
Late morning train via Newcastle, arriving in Carlisle by 2pm for a 2-night stay at the Hallmark Hotel in the heart of the city centre.
Day 7 – Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
Take the train from Carlisle to Ravenglass , the only coastal village in the UNESCO World Heritage Lake District National Park. The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway travels across the estuary, through the hills, past seven request stops with a 1:40 gradient at times, en route to the final destination some seven miles up the line to Dalegarth for Boot Station. There is plenty of time to enjoy a round trip on this charming miniature railway. Arrive back in Carlisle early evening.
Day 8 – Settle and Carlisle Railway and Runway Visitor Park
Take a trip over the Settle and Carlisle Railway through the attractive scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, Cumbrian Fells passing famous Victorian architecture, huge stone viaducts, long tunnels and remote wayside station buildings. Continue on to Manchester Airport, arriving early afternoon to catch a bus to the Runway Visitor Park, located just off the main terminal areas of the airport along Wilmslow Road. This unique location at the end of the runway offers a wealth of attractions for young and old alike, including the chance to view planes taking off. Entrance to the park is free, aircraft tours are available approximately two months in advance and could be added at a later date. Overnight stay at the Radisson Blu Manchester Airport.
Day 9 – North Wales Coast
Travel by train from Manchester Airport along the scenic North Wales coast to Llandudno. Enjoy an afternoon ride on the Great Orme Tramway, Britain’s only cable-hauled public road tramway that has been delighting visitors from near and far since it opened in 1902. The Tramway climbs a mile (1500m) up the Great Orme Country Park and Nature Reserve. This unique journey begins at a Victoria Station and climbs to the Halfway Station exhibition, where you can find out about the history of this fascinating funicular and view its Victorian engineering. Change trams at the Halfway Station and continue your journey to the summit where the views are breathtaking! On a clear day, it is possible to see as far as the Isle of Man, Blackpool and the Lake District! Overnight stay at the St Georges Hotel with wonderful views across Llandudno Bay.
Day 10 – Conway Valley, Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
Travel from Llandudno to Caernarfon by steam railway. Take a mid-morning National Rail train to Blaenau Ffestiniog to connect with the Ffestiniog Railway, the world’s oldest narrow gauge railway that follows the Vale of Ffestiniog to the harbour town of Porthmadog. Here board the Welsh Highland Railway on a wonderful journey through Snowdonia National Park, passing the base of Snowdon en route to Caernarfon, arriving late afternoon. Enjoy a 2-night stay at the Black Boy Inn,
a 16th Century inn within Caernarfon's historic town walls and just a few minutes' walk from Caernarfon Castle.
Day 11 – Snowdon Mountain Railway and Llanberis Lake Railway
A 25 minute bus journey will take you to Llanberis where you can spend the day at Padarn Park and take a ride to the summit of Snowdon on the Snowdon Mountain Railway. The Llanberis Lake Railway is a five-mile return journey alongside Lake Padarn, right in the heart of Snowdonia. The journey takes you past 13th Century Dolbadarn Castle, across possibly Britain's shortest river and past Llanberis' twin lakes. From Llanberis the train runs non-stop through the Padarn Country Park, joining the 1845 slate railway route to run along the shores of Lake Padarn to Penllyn, delivering stunning views of Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales. Spend time exploring the National Slate Museum and the Park and end the day with an afternoon ride to the summit of Snowdon on the Heritage Steam Experience. Return to Caernarfon late afternoon.
Day 12 – Welsh Highland Railway and Cambrian Coast
Journey once again on the Welsh Highland Railway to reach Porthmadog and connect with the Cambrian Coast line to Machynlleth, arriving mid-afternoon. Spend 3-nights at the Wynnstay Hotel.
Day 13 – Vale of Rheidol Railway
Travel on the “other” branch of the Cambrian line to Aberystwyth to join the Vale of Rheidol Railway to Devil’s Bridge. Enjoy a ride on the seaside town’s Cliff Railway before returning to Machynlleth early evening.
Day 14 – Talyllyn Railway
Today enjoy a return trip on the charming Talyllyn Railway. A 30 minute National Rail train journey will take you from Machynlleth to Tywyn to join the steam railway. There will be time to visit the narrow gauge railway museum before returning to Machynlleth by 4pm.
Day 15 – Return to London
A morning train from Machynlleth via Wolverhampton, arriving London Euston by mid-afternoon.
Novotel Leeds Centre, Leeds
Hotel Bannatyne, Darlington
Hallmark Hotel, Carlisle
Radisson Blu, Manchester Airport
St Georges Hotel, Llandudno
Black Boy Inn, Caernarfon
Wynnstay Hotel, Machynlleth
Please note - hotels can be subject to change
- Rail travel in standard class as indicated
- Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis in single rooms (Darlington is room only)
- Keighley and Worth Valley Railway day rover ticket for unlimited travel for a whole day. Includes free entry to RAIL STORY where the award winning Museum Of Rail Travel and the Bahamas Locomotive Society’s ‘Ingrow Loco’ exhibition are located
- North Yorkshire Moors Railway day return
- Beamish Unlimited entrance
- Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway full day 24 hour ticket; valid for 24 hours from first point of entry, hop on and off all day, and a free line guide
- Ffestiniog Railway single journey
- Welsh Highland Railway return journey on separate days
- Snowdon Mountain Railway Heritage Steam Experience
- Llanberis Lake Railway return ticket
- Vale of Rheidol Railway return ticket
- Talyllyn Railway day ticket
Price per person
From £2,995 per person
Download your tour booking form here.