The Flying Scotsman rides again!

The Flying Scotsman rides again!

Discover our top 10 steam railway experiences
Forest Holidays


After a £4.2m, 10 year restoration project under the watchful eye of the National Railway Museum, the great day is upon us. On Thursday 25 February the Flying Scotsman leaves Kings Cross station in London on an historic journey to York. This is followed by a number of showcase journeys around the country and a programme of events at York.

Inspired by this wonderful project, which brings to life an era of elegance, when train travel was a sheer joy, we present our top 10 alternative steam railway journeys.

1. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway

The Flying Scotsman’s home at the National Railway Museum in York is not the only piece of steam history in Yorkshire. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway takes you by steam train though Heartbeat land, Harry Potter film locations and into the heart of Dracula country in Whitby. Stay at our family appropriate hot tub accompanied cabins at Cropton or Keldy, both just a short drive from Pickering.

North York Moors steam train

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

2. The Jacobite - Fort William To Mallaig

One of the great railway journeys of the world, this is an 84 mile round trip that captures the beauty of Scotland, taking in mountains, lochs and the stunning west coast. Worth the one hour drive from Ardgartan Argyll for a spectacular day out.

The Jacobite steam train

The Jacobite

3. The Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway

By the south shore of the Firth of Forth, this special little railway looks steeped in history but was, in fact only begun in 1979 with the last section opening to passengers in 2010. However it evokes the great age of the railways and several original buildings have been re-erected along the line. If you’re staying at our Strathyre log cabins, Bo’ness station is just over one hour away.

The Boness and Kinneil railway

The Boness and Kinneil railway

4. Sherwood Forest Railway

Tucked into the valley between Edwinstowe and Mansfield, this is Nottinghamshire’s only narrow gauge steam railway. A far cry from the mighty Flying Scotsman, Sherwood Forest Railway is a family run 5/8th scale narrow gauge railway with two stations and two miniature locomotives. A hidden gem, just up the road from our hot tub cabins in Sherwood Forest.

Sherwood Forest railway

Sherwood Forest railway

5. Mid Norfolk Railway

Running between Wymondham and Dereham, through the heart of the mid Norfolk countryside, in-car dining is the reason to take this particular line. The Breckland Fryer (fish and chips on a summer’s evening) and the Sunday Cream Tea service bring together dining, travelling, sightseeing and a love affair with steam trains. Catch the train at Wymondham Abbey Halt if you are staying at Thorpe Forest.

Mid Norfolk railway

Mid-Norfolk railway

6. Bure Valley Railway

Enjoy an 18 mile round trip on a narrow gauge railway through the heart of the Norfolk Broads. Notable for the Boat Train special which includes a one and half hour trip by boat through the Norfolk Broads National Park. North of Norwich from Thorpe Forest.

Bure valley railway and steam train

Bure Valley railway

7. Dean Forest Railway

The Dean Forest Railway, “the friendly forest line” runs on 4.5 miles of the former Severn & Wye Railway between the mainline at Lydney Junction and the village of Parkend, deep in the Forest of Dean. With 5 forest and countryside stations, catching the steam or vintage diesel trains is a satisfying way to explore the local area. Our pet friendly cabins at Forest of Dean are less than twenty minutes’ drive away.

Steam train in Gloucestershire

The Dean Forest railway

8. Perrygrove Railway

Also in the Forest of Dean, Perrygrove Railway offers a short 20 minute forest journey on a miniature steam train. But you can make a full day out of it with the play and picnic areas, treetop adventures and indoor village.

Perrygrove railway

Perrygrove railway

9. Watercress Line

Opened in 1865, this railway was nicknamed for its role in transporting locally grown watercress to the markets in London and beyond. The line now runs steam and heritage diesel engines through the lush Hampshire countryside and offers a window into the great age of the railways. Pick the train up at Alresford Station, which is under half an hour away from Blackwood Forest.

Watercress line overlooking Hampshire countryside

Watercress line

10. Bodmin and Wenford Railway

Cornwall’s only full size railway with a regular steam train service, the Bodmin and Wenford line wends its way through the Cornish landscape for 6.5 miles. Bring the dog or the bikes and enjoy the Camel Trail at Boscarne before catching a later train back to Bodmin Parkway, which is a short drive from Deerpark.

There is no doubt that the Flying Scotsman is the granddaddy of them all, but we have found on our travels that the age of steam lives on, the length and breadth of the country. Hop on board and escape to another age.

Steam train in Cornwall

Bodmin and Wenford line