Peak District Steam Railway Holiday
In our never ending battle to provide the ultimate in variety, entertainment and hospitality we think this exciting trip has reached new heights. We can certainly say that we have never before managed to combine well-dressing, afternoon tea on the river (don’t you know!), trams, trains, an evening meal on the move and a medieval battlefield. But that’s not all – you’ll be losing the battle if you don’t read the rest of this inventive itinerary:-
The jaunt starts at Nottingham Station just before midday and our first afternoon is at a relaxed pace. We are going to enjoy a traditional cream tea aboard the Nottingham Princess cruising the River Trent. We glide past the football and cricket grounds, pass under the watchful eyes of the castle and enjoy city and country views. A modern tram trip through the city streets follows before swiftly crossing to Derby for our first night at the Hallmark.
After a leisurely breakfast a full and fantastic day out starts at Donnington Racecourse. This fascinating museum tracks the history of Grand Prix racing and combines it bizarrely with the military exhibits of the Wheatcroft Collection. Now, onto deepest Leicestershire. Our first train ride today is at the Battlefield Line where there will also be the chance to visit Bosworth Battlefield and look for the Kings horse! Later, we spend the remainder of the afternoon enjoying the “main line” steam experience of the Great Central Railway. Our holiday highlight then follows with a relaxed evening meal in the first class dining carriage aboard the Charnwood Forester – wow!!!
How can we top yesterday – try this! First off this morning we’re heading for Wirksworth and the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. They have over 14 miles of running line between Wirksworth and Duffield as well as a steeply graded branch line to Ravenstor and we are guaranteed a friendly welcome. We’ll then loop northwards through the gorgeous Peak District National Park and allow a little time in Bakewell where today is the start of their annual well-dressing festival – well, well, a bit of local flavour to savour! Back to the trains to end the day with a visit to Peak Rail for a steamy finale before the branch line from Matlock to Derby.
Time for one more highlight this morning and a literal one as well. We’re off up into the hills for the excellent National Tramway Museum at Crich. Ride the trams, see the exhibits and enjoy one of the country’s premier nostalgic transport attractions before homeward bound journeys commence from Nottingham.
Our base for the three nights is one of our favourite hotels. The 4* Hallmark Hotel in Derby is the former Midland Railway Station Hotel and it retains that Victorian opulence whilst having been modernised and pleasantly furnished. Nice rooms, good food, friendly staff and right opposite the station – couldn’t be better!