Framlingham CastleDingle HarbourPortmeirion, North WalesLoch Lomond, ScotlandFanad Lighthouse in County Donegal, IrelandStonehengeFfestiniog Railway, North WalesRock of Cashel, IrelandTu Hwnt i'r Bont and Pont Fawr Bridge, WalesEdinburgh Military TattooWindsor CastleWelsh Highland Railway

Testimonials

Dai was AMAZING, today was definitely our favorite day so far. Dai was very easy going, funny and friendly - he introduced us to laver bread and shared so much information about the area.

Mr & Mrs Collins, USA

See more testimonials >

Heritage Railways and Train Travel

While the history of rail transport can be traced back to ancient Greece, it was in the United Kingdom that the ‘age of steam’ began, and there are now almost 200 working heritage rail and tramways in the UK and Ireland. Of course, for those who enjoy the pleasures of modern trains, travel by rail is still one of the most relaxing ways to tour the UK and Ireland.

Heritage_Railways_1.jpgWelsh Highland Railway

Heritage Railways

Almost every corner of the UK and Ireland boasts its own heritage line, many of which have been faithfully restored by volunteers since steam trains went out of service on the national rail network in the 1960s.

Perhaps the most famous heritage railway in England is the Bluebell Railway in Sussex, the UK’s first preserved standard gauge passenger railway and now one of the region’s most popular tourist destinations. It boasts one of the country’s finest collections of vintage steam locomotives and carriages and has featured in many movies and TV productions, including Downton Abbey.

Other notable heritage lines in England include the Mid Hants Railway in Hampshire, affectionately known as the ‘Watercress Line’ from the days when it used to transport locally-grown watercress to London; the Dartmouth Steam Railway, which travels along the spectacular South Devon coast and the Scarborough Spa Express in North Yorkshire, which boasts some of the oldest working carriages in operation today and has appeared in the Harry Potter movies.

fr1.jpg Ffestiniog Railway

As the oldest railway company in the world still operating trains, Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways operates two fabulous heritage lines in North Wales. The Ffestiniog Railway is the oldest narrow-gauge railway in the world with almost 200 years of history, which started life hauling slate from the quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog to the docks in Porthmadog. The Welsh Highland Railway is the UK's longest heritage railway and runs for 25 miles through the magnificent scenery of Snowdonia National Park. On a sunny day, the panoramic views from these historic trains are second to none.

Ffestiniog_Railway_4_-_Copy.jpgAfternoon Tea in First Class on the Welsh Highland Railway

Ffestiniog_Railway_1_-_Copy.jpg

Also, in North Wales, Snowdon Mountain Railway has been taking tourists up to the top of one of the UK’s highest mountains for over 100 years. A narrow-gauge rack-and-pinion mountain railway, it carries about 130,000 visitors each summer and is one of the most unique railway journeys in the world.

Snowdon_Railway_2.jpgSnowdon Mountain Railway

In Scotland, The Jacobite steam train journey to Mallaig and back, on the west coast of Scotland, has been described by Wanderlust Magazine as “the world’s greatest railway journey.” Although beautiful views abound, the curving, quarter-mile long, 100-foot high Glenfinnan Viaduct, which overlooks Loch Shiel, is perhaps the highlight.

The Irish Steam Preservation Society narrow gauge railway in Stradbally, about 50 miles from Dublin, is the oldest established heritage railway in Ireland. The Society also manages the Steam Museum there which houses many fascinating steam engines, including a Guinness loco which was once used at the Guinness Brewery.

Kent_Railway.jpgTenterden Town Station on the Kent and East Sussex Railway

Funicular Railways

There are over 40 funicular railways in the United Kingdom dating back to the 19th century, many of them still in operation and open to the public. Most are located around the coast, providing a convenient - and spectacular - way to get up and down the cliffs, but there are also some inland, such as Castle Hill Railway in Bridgnorth, Shropshire (pictured below).

The Bridgnorth funicular claims to be the steepest in England and is one of four built to the same basic design in the 1890s. The others are the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway in Devon - the longest funicular railway in the British Isles, the Aberystwyth Cliff Railway and the now closed Clifton Rocks Railway in Bristol.

Bridgnorth_Funicular_Railway_-_Copy.jpg

A funicular railway, often known as a cliff railway, is unique in that it has a pair of carriages pulled up and down a slope by the same cable which loops over a pulley wheel at the upper end of a track. While many of the UK's funicular railways are now electricallly powered, a number, such as the Saltburn Cliff Lift, still use a traditional water-balanced mechanism.

Railway Museums

In addition to heritage railways, there are dozens of fascinating railway museums to visit. Most famous of all and not to be missed is the United Kingdom’s acclaimed National Railway Museum. It’s the biggest of its kind in the world, with more than 100 locomotives, including Mallard, as well as the gleaming, silk-lined railway carriages of royal trains used by Queen Victoria and King Edward VII and much more.

Train Travel

Of course, a love of trains doesn’t just have to be about the past, and so what better way to travel around the UK and Ireland than on one of the modern, high speed or local lines that connect every region?

Heritage_Railways_2.jpg

Among the many unforgettable routes in the UK is the Settle-Carlisle Railway, which runs through some of the most attractive scenery in northern England. Built in the 1870s across the remote Yorkshire Dales and North Pennine Hills, this line has several landmark tunnels and bridges, notably the quarter-mile long, 100-foot high Ribblehead Viaduct. This is one part of the UK’s national railway network that is not to be missed!

Whatever your interest in railways and train travel, the UK and Ireland has something for you. From some of the oldest passenger lines and rolling stock in railway history, to modern high-speed comfort, there is a train journey for you. Perhaps combine your train travel with a stay in a hotel with links to the rail network, such as the luxurious St Pancras Hotel at St Pancras Station in London – a George Gilbert Scott masterpiece, now restored to its former glory. And when at St Pancras Station, one of Britain’s finest, why not while away an hour at Europe’s longest champagne bar or hop on a Eurostar train and head further afield – to Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam?

To arrange a tailor-made tour to the UK & Ireland exploring some of the country’s fascinating heritage railways, or to enjoy a tour of these countries by train, please do contact our friendly team today.

Ready to Start Planning Your Trip?

Contact us

Email us

Phone: +44 (0) 1743 360333

Or Skype us

flogo.jpg tlogo.jpg linkedin-icon.png youtubepinterest-icon.png

Events

Oct
22
Events
Oct 22nd - Nov 03rd - All Day
Wexford Festival Opera is an opera festival that takes place in the town of Wexford in south-eastern Ireland during the months o.....
Oct
28
Events
Oct 28th - Oct 31st - All Day
Annual 'City of Bones' Halloween celebrations in Derry and Strabane, Northern Ireland - the largest Halloween festival in Europe.....
Nov
04
Events
Nov 04th - Nov 06th - All Day
World Travel Market London 2019 is the leading global event for the travel industry......

See Full List of Events Here

News

— Oct 21, 2019

Churchill tours explore Britain's wartime history

Our tailor-made Churchill tours take in the most…

— Oct 16, 2019

New link-up to deliver Welsh golf tours

In a new initiative for 2020, Janet Redler Travel…

— Oct 8, 2019

Dee Valley World Heritage Site lights up for 10 year celebration

The iconic structures along the 11-mile corridor…

See All News Articles Here

Special Interest Tours

Garden Tours, Visit, English Gardens

Garden Tours

Visit Famous English and British Castles

Heritage Tours

Luxury Travel Tours to England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Europe

Golf Tours

Pilgrimages, Pilgrim Tour, Europe, UK

Pilgrimages

Genealogy Tours

Genealogy Tours

Choir, Concert Tours, Europe, UK

Concert Tours

Culture Tours, Europe, UK

Language and Culture Tours

Food and Wine Tours

Food and Wine Tours

Quick Links

Home  |  About Us  |  Contact  | Tours  |  UK & Ireland  |  Travel Trade  |  DMC  | News  |  Blog  | Testimonials

Contact

Email
Phone: 
+44 (0) 1743 360333

flogo.jpgtlogo.jpg

Website By InSynch

ETOA

Scots_Agent_logo.jpg

Iata_official_logo_-_Copy_-_Copy.png

UKinbound

 

EGWW_portrait_RED.png

England Office: Suite 2A Network House, Badgers Way, Oxon Business Park, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY3 5AB

Wales Office: Ty Caws, Pentre Hall, Pentre, Churchstoke, Powys SY15 6TB

New York Office: 382 Main Street, Port Washington, New York. NY 11050