West Country and The Great Dorset Steam Fair
New to our portfolio is a rather special holiday to the West Country that features the Great Dorset Steam Fair. Six steam railways also feature alongside some really interesting museum visits amid 5 days of summer touring. Add to this trams, helicopters, models and a visit to a twee Cathedral City and we are sure that there is something for everyone.
Travel to Castle Cary by about lunchtime, meet up, and after a short coach journey we are treated to refreshments and steam with our friends at the Gartell Steam Railway. This private railway is an amazing recreation of the Somerset & Dorset Railway, running on the old track-bed and is open today exclusively for us.
Today we have dedicated to the incredible GREAT DORSET STEAM FAIR. This is surely the largest gathering of its type anywhere. There are traction engines, historic vehicles, farming demonstrations, a steam powered fairground, live music, a craft village and refreshment opportunities galore. Last year there were 520 full sized steam engines in attendance. You can have the whole day here if you wish or just a morning taster and take an afternoon excursion to the nearby Moors Valley Country Park and a ride on “the longest, fully signalled, narrow-gauge railway in the South.”
We have a lovely easy paced day planned as we head south for a bird-spotting tram ride alongside the River Axe at the Seaton Tramway. Afterwards, a literal highlight, with a steamy ride through the gardens of Pecorama, perched high above the sea in Beer. On the way back to the Hollies we must pop into the Yeovil Heritage Centre for a steam train ride and museum visit.
Lots of variety today as we start at nearby Yeovilton and the excellent and extensive Fleet Air Arm Museum crammed full of historic aircraft – even includes a “helicopter ride”!!! Lunchtime will be spent in the charming city of Wells before we push onto Cranmore. The East Somerset Railway provides our daily dose of steam this afternoon.
Have we saved the best till last….possibly! After a final sumptuous breakfast we track across to the West Somerset Railway. With the line at our disposal we’ll come up with a few options so that you can enjoy this premier steam railway to the full. Homeward bound journeys will commence from Taunton Station early/mid-afternoon.
The Hollies, Bower Hinton
Without a doubt our favourite West Country hotel is The Hollies in sleepy Bower Hinton. It’s a quality place with spacious, modern accommodation with most rooms opening onto a furnished patio in the gardens. The cosy bar and restaurant are in an adjacent historic building dating back 400 years and the food is superb. We are so lucky to get a summer date here – come and see what all the fuss is about!