Britain

Birmingham to Stratford-upon Avon, Midlands

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Starting in Britain’s second city, the buzzing metropolis of Birmingham, and finishing in Shakespear­e’s birthplace, this journey is known as the Shakespear­e Express – England’s only regular main-line, steamhaule­d excursion, a service that’s only in operation on summer Sundays. The journey itself is possible on modern trains but it’s worth timing your visit for the summer to experience the distinctiv­e jogging rhythm exclusive to steam trains, and to take advantage of the afternoon tea or four-course dinner served on board, as you whistle through beautiful landscapes.

The open countrysid­e outside Birmingham is delightful. Passing through Henley-in-Arden and its surroundin­g forest is a joy, with thatched cottages in abundance providing a taste of Warwickshi­re. Arriving in Stratford with its Tudor houses and literary heritage is somehow more exciting in a steam train – different histories brewed together to create a truly memorable experience.

 ?? ?? www.vintagetra­ins.co.uk www.gwr.com
www.vintagetra­ins.co.uk www.gwr.com

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