This new steam train service is pretty magical, and you don’t have to run through any brick walls to board it.
Departing from London Waterloo and heading west to Windsor, the Royal Windsor Steam Express will run all summer long. Chuffing along every choo Tuesday from June 4 to September 3, the weekly service will run three services — 8:02am, 11:10am and 2:30pm. There are a few ways to travel; from standard class tickets at £35, to ‘Wizard’ tickets and Champagne brunch tickets.
The train will whisk you not only to Windsor, but to a bygone era — and, of course, a dream world where you’re on your way to Hogwarts. (Yes, there will be a snack trolley — but don’t expect Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.)
The vintage Pullman carriages are pulled by Mayflower, an original British Rail engine built in 1948.
(You may also like: this glamorous Mary Poppins-themed afternoon tea on a steam train, departing from Victoria station.)
Windsor itself is a wonderful place for a day trip from London. There’s so much to see—including the famous Windsor Castle and the pretty town centre with historical pubs and shops—but it’s not all about the destination. Along the route, you’ll pass many London landmarks, including the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. You’ll also ride past beautiful reservoirs and lakes before reaching Windsor and Eton Riverside station, which is a landmark in itself.
There’ll be journeys from Windsor to London Waterloo at 9:30am, 12:30pm and 15:30pm — but do note that these aren’t intended to be return journeys. If you really want to make the most of your trip to Windsor, we suggest getting the boring-but-cheaper-and-more-regular train back.
Departing a little later on Tuesdays is the Sunset Steam Express, which leaves Waterloo at 6pm on the same dates. However, rather than dropping you off somewhere and leaving you to your own devices, the evening service will be a four-hour round trip to the Surrey Hills.
Enjoy dinner in a vintage rail carriage as you tour the stunning Surrey countryside. Choose to dine in a Pullman Style or Premier Dining carriage, and you’ll be served delicious British dishes with a modern twist. You can also opt to sit in standard class where you can enjoy your own picnic or snacks from the trolley.
Also published on Medium.