We can announce a new railtour round southern England with UK Railtours, featuring lunch aboard the British Pullmans on Saturday 6th November 2021.
See the UK Railtours website.
The magical combination of the beautifully appointed Belmond British Pullman and Merchant Navy Pacific 35028 ‘Clan Line’ make this an unmissable luxury day out for you, your partner and your friends.
As befits the time of year, this itinerary is a shorter day, but considerably longer than the well-known Surrey Hills lunch excursion. Sit back, relax and appreciate the fine scenery of the Hampshire countryside slipping by your picture window. Our highly civilised later start and early finish allow us to have daylight virtually the whole way.
Dining is an essential part of a journey on the Belmond British Pullman, with morning coffee and biscuits starting your day off as you get to know your fellow travellers and of course your immaculately presented Pullman stewards. A perfectly chilled glass of Champagne heralds the commencement of a sumptuous five-course lunch served at a leisurely pace.
The circular tour begins as the train climbs out of London Victoria, crossing the River Thames via Grosvenor Bridge and passing the ever growing development around the iconic former Battersea Power Station on the left. We now skirt the once popular south London suburbs, often at rooftop level as we make our way via an unusual route to gain the South Western Main Line at Wimbledon. Here we join one of Britain’s busiest commuter corridors to Woking and Basingstoke. On this four track section we enter into the Surrey and Hampshire commuter belt with fine views of the ever opening landscape of green areas interspersed with some fine housing, and even at Basingstoke with high rise apartment development.
From Basingstoke we pass under the famous Battledown Flyover at Worting Junction where the Southampton and Bournemouth line diverges, and where we will pass over on our return later on! We are now in the stunning rolling countryside of Hampshire as we head towards Salisbury with fine views over the Salisbury Plain to the south. On the approach to Salisbury we slow to take Laverstock Junction and turn south towards the line to Southampton.
We now head back across the countryside of Wiltshire towards the junction at Romsey. We are now heading towards the south coast and the outskirts of Southampton. We then thread the busy Southampton station and tunnel and take the sharp curve to head towards Eastleigh and London The large Eastleigh Works is passed on the right and is followed by a long climb back through Winchester to Basingstoke where we join our outward route by going over the Battledown Flyover this time!
It is then, hopefully, a fast return up the South West Main Line to Woking after which we take the alternative route back to Victoria via Virginia Water and Staines, giving us the opportunity of crossing the Thames three times, plus threading the huge complex of Clapham Junction before taking the lines leading to our journey’s end back at Victoria.