One sure fire way to blow away the January blues is by planning a holiday.
Having something to look forward after the lull that comes with any new year can brighten up anyone's day. Where to go on your annual break? The same old trip to Spain or France to soak up a few rays, sure this can be a relaxing vacation but after a number of years this kind get fairly similar and routine.
Why not try something completely and indulge your railway loving side? There are hundreds of opportunities to combine a foreign getaway with steam trains. Europe and the rest of the world has numerous excursions people can embark and each one offers its own unique experience. You could travel through the forests of southern Germany or even the dusty plains of the US.
For those of you that prefer to stay in the UK when holidaying, there are a plethora of steam adventures to be had without even leaving the British Isles. Here are our suggestions to combining steam and a holiday.
For those not wanting to venture abroad for their annual holiday then Scotland is a perfect destination to visit a new country by steam train. Head to the Scottish Highlands where there are plenty of breathtaking landscapes all accessible by steam train thanks to the famous Jacobite route.
Travelling from Fort William to Mallaig, the Jacobite has been described as one of the greatest journeys in the world. It passes by the UK's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, the most westernly mainland railway in the British Isles Arisaig and also passes over a famous sight for movie fans – the Glenfinnan Viaduct as seen in the Harry Potter films.
Germany may not be the first country to spring to mind when booking a holiday but the European nation has seen a rise in popularity in recent years. While many people flock to the likes of Berlin, Munich and Cologne to sample the famous bratwurst and flagons of locally brewed beer, the country has an abundance of steam train routes.
One of the most prominent routes in the whole of Germany is the 650km Steam Railway Routerunningright which passes the scenic setting of Saxony. There is also the great expanse of Bavaria to explore which is a treasure trove of small villages heading into the large towns of Augsburg, not to mention Munich itself.
Alongside Germany there is also the opportunity to travel to nearby countries such as Austria and Switzerland which are also havens for train lovers.
For those feeling slightly more adventurous, then the US is a perfect destination for people wanting to indulge their love of railway on a much larger scale. Not only does the country have the expansive Amtrak rail service which links some of the biggest cities across the 50 states but the US also love its steam trains.
Wyoming for example is home to the iconic Big Boy trains which were once common sights on the nation's railways but have now been retired to museums. A visit to the Grand Canyon could also be enhanced by a trip on steam train around one of the great wonders of the world.