Heritage Railways Throughout the UK
- Alton, England, for the Mid-Hants Railway, also called the Watercress Line, with easy connections to London’s Waterloo Station, just over an hour away.
- Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales, for the Ffestiniog Railway, a narrow gauge line that is the world’s oldest operating railway. Blaenau Ffestiniog is the southern terminus of the rail network’s Conwy Valley Line, with connections to high-speed services to London at Llandudno Junction.
- Grosmont, England, for the 16-mile North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which attracts 300,000 visitors each year. Some of the steam trains offer service to historic Whitby, on the North Sea. There is a direct connection at Grosmont from the scenic Esk Valley national rail line.
- Kidderminster, England, for the Severn Valley Railway, which runs 16 miles from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, largely along the banks of the Severn River. The Severn Valley station is only 150 feet from the national rail Kidderminster station with its direct trains to Worcester and Birmingham.
- Porthmadog, Wales, for the Welsh Highland Railway and Ffestiniog Railway, which are a short walk from the national rail station. The Welsh Highland Railway is a 25-mile long route on the slopes of Mount Snowdon that just opened to travelers in 2011. Porthmadog is reached from Birmingham via the scenic Cambrian Coast Line of the national rail network.
Heritage railways frequently offer special events such as “Days Out with Thomas (the tank engine)” programs for kids, World War II period reenactments, “Santa specials” and dinner trains in the style of first-class Pullman service of years ago. Many of these railroads have their own pubs and tea rooms, as wells as gift shops and full restroom facilities. Be sure to ask for a BritRail pass discount when visiting any of these grand old railways.
*Note from BritRail: BritRail in conjunction with the Heritage Railways Association (HRA) is offering up to 25% off the admission of many HRA’s railways all over the U.K; http://www.acprail.com/britrail-teams-up-with-heritage-railways