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Top 5 Vintage Family Train Trips in the UK

29 June 2023

Steam trains have fascinated many generations of children, and while our mainlines now use electric or diesel trains, a trip on a heritage railway is an exciting day out for all ages. They usually run through scenic areas so you can enjoy the views. Here’s five of the best in the UK:

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is a five-mile-long heritage railway line that runs through the Yorkshire countryside. The line was used in filming the classic British movie The Railway Children, and it has been painstakingly restored to its Victorian glory. Visitors can take a ride in rarely used Victorian coaches and experience life during the steam age. They hold special events throughout the year, including summer outings, Halloween trains, and Christmas markets. With its beautiful scenery and period atmosphere, the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is one of the best vintage family train trips in the UK.

The Watercress Line in Hampshire

The Watercress Line in Hampshire is a heritage railway that offers a unique experience for families. They hold event days where you can take a ride on a train pulled by Thomas the Tank Engine, meet some of the characters from the series and listen to stories. There’s things to do at each of the stops on the line, so you can make a full day of it. You can see trains in the engineering sheds, ride on the miniature railway, see exhibitions about the railway line and local area and play in the playground. The line was used in the Harry Potter movies and is regarded as one of the best vintage family train trips in the UK. Travel back in time and enjoy a day out on the Watercress Line.

Vintage Trains

Vintage Trains is one of the best vintage family train trips in the UK because it offers an enhanced steam train experience that is authentic and exciting. The company's Pullman coaches are among the best in the world, and their steam locomotives can reach speeds up to 75mph. In addition, Vintage Trains offers rides all over the UK, so families can explore different parts of the country while enjoying the fun of riding on a steam train.

The Strathspey Railway in Scotland

The Strathspey Railway in Scotland is a unique and enjoyable experience for the whole family. The restored length of the first Highland Railway Line offers a scenic, vintage trip through the heart of the Scottish Highlands. The 10 mile heritage railway provides an authentic and picturesque journey, while the modern amenities on board make it a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all ages. There are options to have lunch or afternoon tea on board. 

Gwili Railway in Wales

The Gwili Railway runs for seven miles through the scenic Welsh countryside. Passengers can enjoy views of the Preseli Hills, the Craig Y Cilau nature reserve, and the River Towy. The locomotive is steam-powered and pulls a variety of vintage carriages, giving passengers an authentic taste of railway history. You can book your own standard or first class compartment for up to six people. There are special events and days where there is food available on the trains, including cream teas and fish and chips, plus there are Santa trains at Christmas. With its stunning scenery and friendly atmosphere, the Gwili Railway is the perfect place to enjoy a day out with the family. 

These 5 vintage family train trips in the UK are the perfect way to spend time with your loved ones while exploring different parts of the country. With their unique atmosphere and beautiful scenery, these railways offer an enjoyable and memorable experience for all ages.

Photo by Different Resonance on Unsplash

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