It is reaching that time of year again, the time which many people have been looking forward to all year – summer.
While the World Cup and Wimbledon dominate our television screens, many people all over the UK will be looking forward to a little getaway. There may be some that have not even decided where they want to go and will have a spur of the moment idea and book an exciting holiday off the cuff. For those that are yet to decide then how about a steam engine themed break?
Thanks to the Eurostar, the UK is easily connected to mainland Europe and this opens up a wealth of options for people wanting to enjoy a trip on stream train while abroad. Rail Trail offers a host of excursions both in Europe and one home soil. Here is just a taste of what people can get involved with.
Northern Germany & Baltic Coast Steam – July 28th (eight days)
Northern Germany provides many wonderful sights for railway enthusiasts. Snaking through countryside visiting the quaint areas of Gutersloh and Muhlenstroth people will be able to experience the steam heritage that the country boasts. Holidaymakers can spend a full day on the Molli railway as well as enjoy a trip on the Rassender Roland on Ruegen Island.
It is then on to the magnificent shipping city of Hamburg where there is the opportunity to visit the world's largest model railway – Miniatur Wunderland. There is the rare treat of seeing the Jan Harpstedt line before a relaxing break on the beaches of the Baltic coast and then finishing sightseeing tour of Bremen.
Meiningen Steam Festival & Sauschwanzlebahn – September 3rd (six days)
Southern Germany truly is a magnificent part of the world. Alongside the Bavarian countryside there are the historical cities of Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart. Starting from the latter, holidaymakers have the opportunity to visit one of the world's most famous steam loco work festival – Meiningen Steam Festival.
This is not all as people will be able to travel along the mainline from Stuttgart to Meiningen aboard the Pacific 01 1066. The tour also include a private steam charter at the Hartsfeldbahn.
Norfolk Steam Gala – August 28th (four days)
For those who prefer to holiday at home then the Norfolk Steam Gala is one not to be missed. Over the four days people will able to take a full day of steam nostalgia when they travel to the North Norfolk Railway Steam Gala. Norfolk has an abundance of heritage line and holidaymakers will be treated to a private steam photo charter at Whitwell & Reepham Railway.
There is also the chance to enjoy a steam along the scenic Bure Valley which continues for nine miles while there is a visit to the steam museum and gardens at Bressingham.
Welsh Mega Steam – August 23rd (eight days)
This a real celebration of everything steam and gives people the chance to see 15, yes 15, fantastic railways across the Welsh countryside. Among the heritage on the agenda are the famous Ffestiniog Railway, Welsh Highland, Cambrian Coast, Llanberis Lake Railway and Great Orme Tramway.
It provides great value for money and a trip that no holidaymaker will be able to forget.