Hello there lovely Buttoneers! A few weeks ago I went on an Adventure! A real steam train adventure! I packed my lunch into my Hogwarts insignia tote bag, stepped into my new flowery, happy shoes, waited for my parents to pick me up with child-like excitement as my brain was screaming “This stops at Hogwarts…right!?” – I mean you have to be sure now don’t you? You wouldn’t want to be on the wrong train!
When I think of steam trains, I can’t be the only one who thinks of Harry Potter steaming out of Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross on the Hogwarts Express or those old romantic black and white films where they talk really fast and love really deep…
My heart flutters at the romantic notion of the old days…of simpler days…of days before the hustle and bustle of technology. Don’t get me wrong, without technology I would be able to write this blog post (or maybe I would write it all out and post it off to you, sealed with a kiss?) but my romanticised notion of the old days seems pretty dreamy! (I know…I know…It wasn’t all like that…but we can pretend can’t we!?)
Here is my adventure on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway…
I was so excited to be going on this adventure and to be sharing the whole day with my parents and my sister, Sarah. It is always great to carve out quality family time and we always have a great laugh and a catch up when we get together so I knew we were going to have the best day!
I was bowled over by the beauty of the Cheltenham station when we arrived.
The tall trees and the neat and tidy flowers and bushes looked so perfect and I gasped in excitement when the steam train chugged into the station!
Not to mention those gorgeous signs with the gorgeous lettering (I am such a typography geek!)
We found our seats and with coffee in hand (I started chomping on my huge box of carrot sticks I had packed!) the train left the station and immersed us into Autumn. I took so many photographs and just had to share them with you. I love these autumn trees – those colours! They make my heart swell twice the size for their warm colours and crisp autumnal hues – they look like a painting!
You can get on and off at all of the stations on the 25-mile round trip between Laverton and Cheltenham Racecourse through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cotswolds. Each station has been brought back to its former old fashioned glory and are all so beautiful.
I was transfixed by the beauty of the journey. I know these hills and these fields so well from growing up here but you see them all so much better from the train.
You see views from different angles, sweeping fields, high hills, trees and animals, farms and houses…all washed in an autumn golden glow…I am certain this was the best time of year to travel by steam train.
If you follow me on Instagram you will know my huge love for the colours of sunny autumn days all wrapped up and cosy and today this day was no exception.
Winchcombe station was beautifully laid out with cute table-clothed tables and a sweet little cafe. I felt like I was transported back in time and it was delightful!
I even spotted my beloved Broadway Tower in the distance!
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway is run entirely by volunteers and I think they do a fabulous job running and maintaining the stations, the line and the trains themselves.
At each station it is like you gaze out to another, long gone era…There is something truly magical about that.
At the end of the line, at Laverton, the engine travels past the carriages and picks them up from the other end to start the journey back to Cheltenham. Eventually they are working to open up the line all the way through to Broadway and I can’t wait to try that out in the Future!
It was great fun to look out of the window and watch the engine chuff past! I am pretty sure I took a shovel full of soot home in my hair from doing this!
The train stops at Toddington for a while to refuel and so that you can (if you haven’t got off already) stretch your legs and wander around the museum, the old carriages and a few stalls of memorabilia (and also Lego!)
We rode the steam train the whole journey twice and ate our picnic lunch on the train! There was a buffet carriage where we were able to grab some tea and coffee and I was mightily tempted by the bacon rolls and cakes available!
For the whole journey back at the end my dad and I looked out of the window and soaked up all of the golden autumn warmth, the beautiful scenery and a lot of soot! I was like an excited kid all day and I was so inspired.
There is something really special about travelling around on a steam train. It is dreamy and exciting and such an adventure!
It was just what I needed and I would highly recommend it to blow away the cobwebs of the everyday.
Here is a short video I put together of the steam train travelling through the second longest tunnel on a preserved railway at Greet! It is 693 yards long and was great fun. The steam looks amazing against the dark of the tunnel so it’s worth a quick watch!
I had an amazing day and am so glad I captured it all to share with you. I will definitely be going back! I got home exhausted from laughing and grinning like a Cheshire cat, I jumped in the shower and rinsed all of the coal bits and soot out of my hair (my own fault for looking out of the window all of the way home!) and even though it didn’t drop me off at Hogwarts, I felt very happy indeed.
Have you ever been on a steam train? Have you been on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway? I would love to hear all about it!
Just a quick note: I am in no way affiliated with the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, I was just excited to share with you my adventure so that you can see behind the scenes of Eliston Button on my days off as well as work days in the Eliston Button Headquarters – I like to think of it as a happy balance! So all of my opinions are my own – I hope you get the chance to have a steam train adventure one day!