We meet at Southampton Station about lunchtime and transfer to the port for a cruise across Southampton Water to Hythe where, after a ride on the world’s oldest electric pier railway, there is time to appreciate this lovely little town. We then head off into the New Forest and the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. Here there are vintage cars, codebreaking wartime interest and James Bond. There is also an elevated monorail that travels through the main exhibition building and around the site.
We board the Steam Ship Sheildhall, heading out past Brownsea Island and Sandbanks, to moor off Bournemouth Beach. Due to the limited number of passengers allowed on board you will have plenty of space for your enjoyment. Refreshments will be included all day to enhance the overall experience. If you wish you can even look at the engine room and bridge! The Airshow is best viewed from Sheildhall because the pilots use the ship as a navigation point so everything will be coming over us – what a day!
Off to the Isle of Purbeck today (it’s not really an Island). We are going by rail to Bournemouth and join the open-topped “Breezer” bus, over the Sandbanks Chain Ferry to Swanage. Then, we have the very authentic Swanage Steam Railway with options to visit Corfe Castle and Swanage itself. We’ll conclude the day with a fascinating visit to the Bovington Tank Museum that will surprise even the least “tank interested” person.
For our final dose of steam, the Moors Valley Railway is surely the most exciting miniature line there is. Fully signalled, engines built on site, it is a rare breed of engineering achievement and great fun. Homeward bound journeys will commence at about lunchtime from Southampton.
The prime location of this three-star hotel means it is one of the most sought after and popular in the area. The dining room enjoys a magnificent sea view which looks out over the harbour, festooned with yachts, other pleasure craft, and Brownsea Island. All rooms are spacious and comfortable, no pokey singles here, all single bookings will enjoy a double for sole occupancy. The food is plentiful, the staff lovely, and there are both upstairs and downstairs bars as well as several local hostelries on the quay.