Norfolk Steam Railway Holiday
We all meet up in the cathedral city of Ely about lunchtime and time is allowed to wander within the quaint, historic centre of this “fen island” before heading north. A stop at Welney to visit the interesting wildfowl sanctuary follows and then we take a rural route (it can hardly be anything else round here!) up to Kings Lynn.
The Mid Norfolk Railway, running from East Dereham, has a truly rustic 1950’s feel running through country stations with names such as Yaxham and Thruxton – watch out for deer and birds of prey. Lunchtime is spent in delightful Wymondham where you might like to visit the towering abbey. Then it’s time to get in among the flowers as we head for Bressingham Gardens and what a place this is! Three steam railway lines, Dads Army, a carousel and you can even buy a rockery!
A super circular day out starts after breakfast with a drive, via a Stamford leg stretch, to Rutland Water. Here we enjoy a most relaxing cruise and morning coffee aboard the Rutland Belle. Then it’s our ‘Posh’ event as we head for the outskirts of Peterborough and the Nene Valley Railway. This is a major preserved railway with multiple stations, a large collection of engines and a “proper” rail journey experience. A round trip on this line takes an hour and a half so we’ll be here for most of the afternoon. Our route back to Kings Lynn is by coach and rail via St Ives and the railway line from here to Cambridge on a bus where the driver forgets to use the steering wheel – a very unusual experience!
The best of North Norfolk is enjoyed today as we’re off to the seaside – well almost! The Wells & Walsingham and North Norfolk Railways provide contrasting steamy delights for us to experience amid the rolling farmland and coastal scenery. Then, how’s this for variety? At Thursford there are shiny showman’s engines galore, mechanical organs playing, a fairground roundabout to ride and the coup de grace, a remarkable live Wurlitzer performance – time for a knees-up!
Here’s a literal highlight. Luggage goes ahead as we rail from Kings Lynn to Whittlesford and then transfer to nearby Duxford. The Imperial War Museum makes for a fantastic finale. There are numerous historic aircraft displayed in the various hangers and don’t be surprised if planes are landing and taking off whilst we are there. Homeward bound journeys commence after lunch from nearby Cambridge Station.
The Dukes Head Hotel, Kings Lynn