When world renowned music mogul Pete Waterman isn't hobnobbing with the stars, he can be found visiting one of Britain’s many rail related tourist attractions. Here, he picks a few of his favourites to inspire you to get your mates together and have a great day out.
I’m a patron of the STEAM Museum and, if you like your steam trains, I’d highly recommend it. You can discover more about the fascinating history of the Great Western Railway (GWR) and find out about the extraordinary men and women who worked on the trains during the Railway Revolution. They’re currently hosting a special exhibition called ‘A Railway at War’ to mark the centenary of World War One, where you can see exhibits as varied as munitions work to specialist carriages, all built by GWR for the war effort.
The Great Hall at the National Railway Museum in York is a must see for anyone who loves trains. Among the huge collection of exhibits, you can see some of the great steam engines, including Mallard, which in 1938, broke the world speed record for steam locomotives – a record that’s remains to this day. Later this year, the iconic Flying Scotsman is scheduled to return after undergoing an extensive restoration – it’ll be a huge attraction!
If you want to experience the sounds, smells and smoke of a steam train, then consider a trip on the Bluebell Railway. Hop on to a Bluebird Special at Sheffield Park Station and experience what is was really like to travel in Steam Age as you make the return journey to East Grinstead and back again.
If you’d like to experience a steam journey for yourself but you’d rather go north than south, you could give the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) a go. Sit in one of the panelled carriages and travel through the beautiful landscape of the National Park. You could even get off at one of the restored stations and enjoy a walk in the National Park too. A visit to the NYMR will also give you a great excuse to see the classic ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ before it is withdrawn for restoration later this year.
The Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway is well worth a visit if you’re in Scotland. You can take a ride on a steam locomotive and journey along the banks of the River Forth before visiting the Museum of Scottish Railways where you can operate a railway signal and points, climb aboard heritage locomotives and learn about Scottish Railways through the ages.
If you’re in the Capital, you could always head over to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden, and discover more about the world’s first underground railway, which from 1863 to 1905 was unbelievably, powered by steam.
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