It’s full steam ahead to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022. With a bonus four-day bank holiday weekend you and your crew can find plenty of fun-filled heritage train activities to keep you on track from Thursday 2nd June to Sunday 5th June.
These five historic railway lines are all hosting family-friendly events including afternoon teas and fancy dress steam train trips. So, grab your Union Jack flags, banners and bunting, and celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service in all its patriotic glory.
Severn Valley Railway
For a bumper weekend of steam train travel, Severn Valley Railway is throwing the ultimate railway party across its 16-mile line. You’ll ride behind the freshly painted purple locomotive No. 70 ‘Elizabeth II’, 2999 Lady of Legend and Class 52 Western Queen, and discover something fun to do at every station along the way. From rock ‘n’ roll jukeboxes, to a vintage fairground ride at Bridgnorth Station, there’s even an open-air live music concert at Kidderminster station on the Friday night. Find out more about the weekend-long festivities on the official Severn Valley Railway website, including how to bag tickets to a scrumptious Vintage Afternoon Tea in a premium 1930’s dining carriage.
Plan your adventure: www.svr.co.uk
Spa Valley Railway
Dig into a delicious Afternoon Tea in one of the Spa Valley Railway heritage trains. Steam past the glorious High Weald countryside in the Garden of England and dine on sumptuous sandwiches, scones, cakes and sweet treats from the hamper on your table. You’ll be travelling in one of the 1960s heritage carriages between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled as you pass the famous sandstone rocks along the way.
Plan your adventure: www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk
Lincolnshire Wolds Railway
Wear your best themed fancy dress and step back in time for a steam train adventure along the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway. Pack a picnic and wave your Union Jack flags as you spend the day riding the train, visiting the museum and buying little treasures to commemorate your day from the souvenir gift shop. Hourly trains will be running on the Saturday and Sunday from 10:45am until the last train departs at 3:45pm.
Plan your adventure: www.lincolnshirewoldsrailway.co.uk
Avon Valley Railway
Delight in a glass of bubbly as well as a picnic style Afternoon Tea with full view of the magnificent trains at Avon Valley Railway. Book a steam-hauled train ride along the picturesque historic railway route and discover live music at Bitton station too. Afternoon Tea slots are booking fast but there’s still availability to enjoy a yummy bite to eat on Friday 3 June.
Plan your adventure: www.avonvalleyrailway.org
Come and visit this award-winning museum, which celebrates 19th-century life and railway history. From Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June, you can enjoy a colourful street party at the museum’s 1950s Front Street terrace; eat traditional ice cream and fish and chips; get a 1950s hairstyle and even watch the Queen’s coronation ceremony in the 1950s welfare hall. Though there’s not strictly a steam train ride available, you can pre-book morning tickets to see Rowley Station and take a look around the signal box, waiting rooms and goods yard. It’s a must visit for families, especially those with curious children.
Plan your adventure: www.beamish.org.uk
This article is written by September Withers, a freelance travel copywriter and marketing copywriter with a love of the British countryside.
Learn more about the best steam train family adventures in Julian Holland’s book Britain’s Heritage Railways, which is available to buy online now and at all good bookshops.