West Somerset Christmas Steam Gala

West Somerset Christmas Steam Gala

Here's something a little unique! Whilst most heritage railways are understandably concentrating on 'Santa Specials', one of our favourites, the wonderful West Somerset Railway, will be hosting a Christmas Steam Gala. So here's a stocking filler short-break to Somerset, conveniently organized between Christmas and New Year to fill you will steam-hauled festive cheer!

4 days from £445

 

DEPARTS

Thursday 27th December 2018

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Stay in Dunster at the heart of the West Somerset Railway

  • Day Rover ticket on the West Somerset Railway Christmas Steam Gala

  • Visit Dunster Castle with tea and scones

  • Visit Dunster’s Working Water Mill

  • Four course dinners at your hotel with festive fayre

 

Also included in your Tour Fare:

  • Dinner every evening

  • Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

  • Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

DAY 1

Those travelling on our rail package arrive at Taunton for a short transfer through the countryside to Dunster in the Exmoor National Park. Here we spend three nights at the charming Yarn Market Hotel in Dunster's pretty High Street.

D

DAY 2

A short transfer takes us to Dunster Castle. There has been a castle on this site since Norman times and with 1,000 years of history the castle has plenty of stories to tell. The last family to live here, the Luttrells, moved in in 1376 and out in 1976, changing the former medieval stronghold into a grand country mansion and comfortable family home with great views of Exmoor and the Quantocks. We also visit the Dunster Working Watermill, set in the castle's grounds. Milling has taken place here since medieval times and the current watermill dates from the 18th century. Still in use today, the mill produces its own muesli recipe with great success. We enjoy tea and scones here before returning to the Yarn Market, where there will be a talk about the West Somerset Railway after dinner.

B, T, D

DAY 3

After breakfast the day is yours to hop on and off to your heart's content at the West Somerset Railway Christmas Steam Gala. It's the longest heritage railway in England, at over 20 miles length between Bishops Lydeard and the seaside destination of Minehead, with eight more beautifully restored stations in between, including Dunster. It's an absolute delight to relax and enjoy the extra special ambience of this steam gala, hopefully with crisp wintry weather and some great wintry steam photo opportunities. At Minehead enjoy the sight of the locomotives being 'turned' on the turntable and at Williton. There will be an hourly train service in each direction through a changing panorama of the Somerset countryside as the journey unfolds along the Bristol Channel coast and through the Quantock Hills. All trains will call at Dunster station.
The locomotives are from the West Somerset Railway's home based fleet and should include GWR 7828 "Odney Manor", whose return from overhaul is scheduled for later this year. There is also number 53808, one of the two surviving 7F locomotives built for the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway. Places of interest along the line include the old harbour town of Watchet and if the weather is kind there will be a chance to take a walk from one of the ten stations. The Railway Museums at Washford and Bishops Lydeard stations should be open to welcome visitors. Also, at Bishops Lydeard you will find the doors of the Taunton Model Railway Group open to allow visitors to see their award-winning skills and layouts. Not to mention Quantock Brewery, 200 yards from the station!

B, D

DAY 4

We bid farewell to Dunster and return homeward.

B

B=Breakfast, T=Afternoon Tea, D=Dinner

HOTEL

The Yarn Market, Dunster

A small family-run hotel in medieval Dunster, dominated by its castle, on the edge of the Exmoor national Park. Situated on the High Street in the village centre, the ancient Yarn Market stands directly in front of the hotel. With only 28 rooms, space is limited, so we would advise you to book early.

 

FARES

Fare Region

First

Standard

RC (-)

London: Paddington

£580

£530

-£10

Greater London

£635

£555

-£15

South of England

£640

£560

-£15

East Anglia

£650

£575

-£20

South West

£560

£515

-£5

Heart of England

£580

£525

-£10

Midlands

£640

£550

-£15

Yorkshire

£735

£600

-£25

North East

£780

£625

-£25

North West

£685

£580

-£20

South Wales

£640

£525

-£15

North Wales

£695

£580

-£20

Scotland

£880

£685

-£30



 

Join & Leave at Hotels £445

 

Single Room Supplement £65

 

3 nights’ bed, breakfast & Table d’Hôte evening meal

Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

Rail & coach travel, with transfers as described

All excursions and admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

Important – Please select the number of passengers before proceeding to ‘Book Now’

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