All Aboard For The Summer Holidays - Six Top Train Experiences!

Red and black steam train on viaduct surrounded by forest and blue sky

From Thomas the Tank Engine to the Hogwarts Express, and from Brief Encounter to Murder on the Orient Express, we love stories about trains, train stations and travelling.  Who knows what will happen next as we take our seats on board and who - or what - is waiting for us at the end of the line?

Inspired by the romance and mystery of past adventures, Peach Perfect set out to find train journeys and attractions that will thrill you this summer.  And here are six of the best experiences we found in the UK ...


We're starting off underground with London's quirky 100 year old "secret railway", the Mail Rail.  At its peak, miniature driverless trains carried 4 million letters a day through narrow tunnels below Oxford Street and across the capital.  Last year the Post Office reopened the line as a tourist attraction, based at its Mount Pleasant sorting depot.  Explore London's hidden depths - if you dare!      

From being underground, we're soaring up, up and away - transported to the giddy heights of Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.  Enjoy the views as the sturdy Mount Snowdonia Railway trains wind their way around some of the most stunning scenery in the UK.  If you're feeling energetic, you can hike back down - or take a short break at the summit before taking your return journey.

Our next stop is North of the Border - for the Hogwarts Express.  Yes, it really does exist!  Ride along 84 miles of track on this striking steam train called the Jacobite, which takes centre stage in the Harry Potter films.  And during your journey through spectacular West Scotland, you'll get to cross the bridge which led to Hogwarts on film - so keep your camera ready.

If you like to travel in the lap of luxury, it's hard to beat the charms of the historic Belmond British Pullman train.  This beautifully restored "Golden Age" 1920s icon plays host to assorted themed events, from murder mysteries to fine dining - and even Paddington afternoon teas.  Zena, one of the carriages, featured in  the dramatic train chase scenes in Paddington 2.

And if action's your thing, why not book onto a train driving experience?  These have become increasingly popular so there's lots to choose from.  We've chosen Severn Valley Railway who offer a range of Footplate adventures in the heart of England.  Step up to the plate on a traditional steam train or choose one of their earliest diesel trains - and start making memories to treasure!

Lastly - and we know this isn't a rail journey and it's definitely aimed at families with younger children - we couldn't help but include a trip to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Theme Park, Staffordshire.  Children love the numerous rides and activities showcasing the inimitable Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends - and the Fat Controller joins in the fun, too!  

We hope you enjoy trying out some of these experiences this summer - and if you're looking for a present for a train-mad youngster, take a peek at our Book and 3D model locomotive. Or browse our collection of Kids Stuff with trains, planes, automobiles and lots more fun gifts!

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