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The Chilterns and Downs


Saturday 24 November 2018

This tour is now full. Please call the office to be added to the waiting list.

This is another of our ‘shorter day’ main line steam excursions, ideally suited to autumn; this will be ideal for those who enjoy the simple pleasures of a leisurely tour through idyllic countryside.

So this is a highly civilised steam tour with neither an early start nor a late finish. We will have daylight virtually the whole way. Sit back and appreciate the fine scenery of the Chiltern Hills, the rural Thames Valley and the rolling North Downs, all amidst the delightful autumn shades of bronze and burnished gold.

The circular tour with the fine Merchant Navy class loco 35028 ‘Clan Line’ begins as we depart from London Paddington, travelling via Greenford and Ruislip. We soon begin our climb through the Chiltern Hills, passing through High Wycombe and Princes Risborough.

As we approach Bicester we veer left, taking a brand new connection that connects the Chiltern Line with the former Cambridge to Oxford line. The ‘dreaming spires’ of Oxford punctuate the skyline and we stop briefly to take water. The Thames Valley is especially agreeable hereabouts, with pleasure craft cruising peacefully with idyllic farmland as a backdrop.

In due course we reach Reading where we cross to former Southern metals. We continue through Wokingham and the county town of Guildford which is overlooked by its notable 20th century cathedral.

Soon back in open countryside we pause for water at wayside Shalford before heading through the heart of the bucolic North Downs. Before long we are descending through Dorking to Redhill. Here we join the Brighton main line and travel via Croydon to cross Grosvenor Bridge and reach London Victoria. We only saw the River Thames a few hours ago – but how different it looks here!

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

StationDepartArrive
London Paddington11.20n/a
London Victorian/a16.45