Modern public transport, especially in London, is (by and large) a feat of modern engineering and ingenuity. As technology has advanced, so too have the abilities and appearances of the trains we take to and from our destinations in and around London. The trains have gotten sleeker, faster, and quieter. (Well, mostly they’ve gotten quieter…)
But there’s something to be said for the glamour of steam trains in their heyday. Massive polished behemoths of steel thundering along the rails through the British countryside. It’s all rather romantic! And now, thanks to Steam Dreams and their locomotive-drawn day trips, you can step back into the heyday of steam-powered train journeys.
With Steam Dreams’ selection of trips you could choose to strike out to the Isle of Wight, spend a day in Winchester, or take a sunset steam trip through Surrey Hills, all in vintage train carriages. The journeys offer departure from a number of London stations, with a host of destinations, and the promise of an unforgettable day out. And for the summer, a host of new Steam Train express routes from London Victoria have been added for the warm summer season (June 22 – August 29).
The historic locomotives that could be hauling your journey include Sir Nigel Gresley, Mayflower 61306, 70000 Britannia, 45231 Sherwood Forester, 46100 Royal Scot, and Braunton with additional guest appearances still to be confirmed.
A trip with Steam Dreams
Across their trips, Steam Dreams offer three classes of travel: Pullman Style Dining, First Class, and Premium Standard. Regardless of your choice, however, you’ll still be settled back in gorgeous vintage luxury for the journey.
Pullman Style Dining stands out from the rest with their extensive dining option – which you might have guessed from the name. Depending on the trip, you could be treated to a tantalising three-course meal or an indulgent afternoon tea. Either way, food takes inspiration and is often sourced from the regions travelled through during the journey. This is all while guests kick back in luxuriously restored 1950’s and 60’s wood-panelled carriages. Oh, and you’re also greeted upon arrival with champagne and canapes, of course!
First Class passengers are welcomed aboard their 1950’s carriage with a complimentary Buck’s Fizz. Guests will settle in to cushioned armchair style seats to enjoy sweet and savoury treats and spectacular views of the passing countryside.
And Premium Standard is no shabby affair either! Tables of four are treated to large pictures windows with astonishing views and complimentary tea and coffee. A buffet bar will provide guests with extra refreshments – but you’re more than welcome to bring your own picnics on-board!
At the destination
Upon reaching your destination, the day trips often provide supplementary tours or experiences. Or, if you’re more keen to strike off by yourself, guests are free to roam the area. Just be sure to get back on the train before it departs and heads on back to London!
The upcoming April 22 trip to Winchester, for example, allows guests to marvel at the the unspoilt cathedral city at leisure. Alternatively, the trip also offers an optional excursion to the Beaulieu National Motor Museum. While there, visitors will also be able to explore the Montagu family home and Beaulieu’s stunning grounds and gardens. You don’t want to miss the conserved ruins of a vast 800-year-old medieval abbey!
The Steam Dreams day trips
For a full list of Steam Dreams’ 2023 day trips, departing from London stations, see below:
🚂 London Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour (June 10)
🛤️ London Victoria to Weymouth (June 27)
🚂 London Paddington to Chichester (Goodwood Revival) (September 10)
🛤️ London Paddington to Cardiff (September 16)
🚂 London Victoria to Bath Spa (September 27)
But in addition to all of these dates are the sunset express trips – a new set of which have just been confirmed for June 22 – August 29) – and the shorter afternoon trips. So there’s plenty more, still, to choose from!
Whether you’re keen to explore the British Isles, or want to experience a sunset surrounded by natural beauty in a vintage train carriage, Steam Dreams offers the magical trip for you. Head to their website to see the full selection of trips they offer.
View the newly added sunset express routes from Victoria Station here.