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The Cotswold Lion

Saturday 21 March 2020

Spring is here at last, time to get out and about with a visit to the Cotswolds and the medieval city of Worcester.

The rolling Cotswold hills, thatched medieval villages and churches built of distinctive local yellow limestone make for an unforgettable scenic backdrop from the train window. This tour includes both lines that pass through this delightful part of the country, travelling outward via Oxford and the bucolic Cotswold Line and returning home by way of the ‘Golden Valley’, the name for the line through Stroud and Kemble, coined by Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII, while on a train along this picturesque route in 1909. One option is to travel along the third Cotswold rail route also, the preserved Gloucester Warwickshire Railway, now running from Cheltenham to Broadway.

At our destination, Worcester, the River Severn flanks the city centre. The fine cathedral dates from the 12th century; much of it is Norman, and the foundations are older still. King John, of evil repute, lies buried in the crypt. Worcester is famed for its porcelain. The Museum of Royal Worcester, standing on the former factory site, contains the finest collection of Worcester Porcelain in the world and has recently undergone a £1.7 million refurbishment.

The city boasts a notable collection of medieval and Tudor buildings centred upon Cornmarket, Friar Street and New Street. Here you will also find a great range of shops, cafes and historic inns, and Saturday is market day too. The walk from Worcester Shrub Hill Station to the city takes about twelve minutes and you have over four hours in which to explore.

There is a wide range of joining stations, stretching all the way from Peterborough into the capital. Our train runs via the North London Line, then via the Great Western main line. We pass by the ‘dreaming spires’ of Oxford before continuing through the peaceful Cotswolds, through Charlbury and Evesham to reach Worcester Shrub Hill late morning.

After our sightseeing break our return route is via Cheltenham. We glimpse Gloucester Cathedral then divert south-east through the idyllic Golden Valley, rejoining our outward route at Didcot.

OPTION – THE GLOUCESTER WARWICKSHIRE RAILWAY: On this option you leave our train at Evesham for the nine-mile transfer to Toddington, headquarters of the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway. This is a fourteen mile standard gauge preserved steam railway running from Broadway through the Cotswold Hills via Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse. A ‘rover’ ticket is included in this option and with three trains in the operating circuit there will be lots of scope for designing your afternoon itinerary. Broadway station is just a ten minute level walk from the picture-postcard village of Broadway. At the end of the afternoon, the bus transfer is from Cheltenham Racecourse station to the main line station at Cheltenham Spa. This option needs to be pre-booked.

OTHER OPTIONS: We are planning other off-train activities including the Elgar Birthplace Museum, located just a few miles from Worcester, also a river cruise on the River Severn. You can register your interest with us and we will confirm details as and when confirmed.

First Class Dining includes the Great British Breakfast, morning coffee and a four-course dinner.

The Gloucester Warwickshire Railway option includes bus transfer from Evesham to Toddington and from Cheltenham Racecourse to Cheltenham Spa, plus freedom of all Gloucester Warwickshire Railway train services during the afternoon. 

ClassPrice Availability
Standard Class Adult£79.50Good
Standard Class Junior£69.50Good
First Class Dining£189.00Good
First Class Dining Party of Four£736.00Good
Option - The Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway£19.00Good

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

StationDepart Arrive
Welwyn Garden City07.4021.55
Potters Bar07.5521.45
London Finsbury Park08.1521.25



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