A later start today as we only had 30 kilometres or so to go to our railway for the day, the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway. Therefore, a later Sunday breakfast was not a problem. As we headed towards the railway we noticed the smoke on the horizon and knew that the Pacific Class huge steam engine was warming up and getting ready for our arrival.
Today was to be a mixed day with plans to ride on the train, visit a heritage village, travel through the Cotswolds while viewing the beautiful countryside, shopping, coffee and Tea Rooms. We achieved all we had planned.
The Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway offers a 40 kilometre round trip between Laverton and Cheltenham Racecourse. We arrived to board the 1000 out of Toddington. The line commands wonderful views of the sleepy hamlets and villages as it runs through the Cotswold Countryside. There is also a museum at Toddington that has a former Great Western Railway Collet Brake Coach from 1935.
For refreshments, there is the Flag and Whistle Restaurant at Toddington or the 1950s style coffee shop at Winchcombe. Winchcome Station is the next down the line from Toddington and is set against a backdrop of the stunning Cotswold hills, this lovely country station is in the village of Greet, a mile north of Winchcombe town centre.
Frank left our train at Winchcombe to view the Carriage and Wagon works and it was pleasing to see arrival back at Toddington in time to join us as we departed. In the meantime, the rest of our group continued on to Cheltenham Racecourse Station and then once the Locomotive had changed around, we enjoyed the trip back to Toddington.
Just out of Toddington on the way to Laverton Station there is the 15 span brick arch Stanway Viaduct. As we heard that the diesel train would be crossing the viaduct on the way to Laverton we headed off to a viewing area and waited a short while and then were rewarded with the sight of the train passing above us. Many good photos were taken but Bill climbed the embankment and was able to take a front on photo, these train spotters are something else!!
Lunch called so we headed into Broadway, known as the Crown Jewel of the Cotswolds and as we arrived we could see why. Beautiful houses, shops and hotels all constructed with the Cotswold golden coloured stone. Free time in Broadway was well received and all went their way to view the town before finding that little Tea Shop for their lunch stop.
At 1600, we gathered and headed home to the Cheltenham Chase Hotel. Tomorrow we head north to Derby but first will stop in at Kidderminster for the Severn Valley Railway.