Celebrate Shakespeare’s 453rd birthday

Whether you’re a lover of steam trains, all things vintage or the bard himself it doesn’t get much better than our special trip to Stratford Upon Avon, boarding at London Paddington, Slough, Reading or Oxford. With just a few tickets left we’d hate you to miss out so click here to reserve your seats now.

Shakespeare’s Celebration, On Saturday 22 April, Stratford-upon-Avon will come alive to celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday. Shakespeare’s 453rd Birthday festival, like previous year’s, will include special Birthday-themed activities across the picturesque town.

Shakespeare birthplace incorporates a museum illustrating his life, Holy Trinity church, where he is buried and nearby Hall’s Croft, Nash’s House and New Place all give further insights into Shakespeare’s Stratford. The Swan Theatre, home to the Royal Shakespeare Company, provides a lovely place from which to admire the River Avon with its many swans.

Shopping too is a treat with many individual and specialist shops within easy reach.

Your route, Pullman Style and Premier Dining passengers travelling between London and Oxford, or Oxford and Stratford Upon Avon will be served a 2-course dinner on the return journey.  Pullman Style Dining and Premier Dining passengers will receive Brunch on the outward journey.

Your locomotive, 34046 Braunton is a ‘Bulleid Light Pacific’ express passenger engine designed by Oliver Bulleid. The locomotives were so named after towns on or near the Southern Railway system in the west of England, with the town of Braunton situated in North Devon.

In the post-war years of skills shortages and declining maintenance standards, British Railways embarked on a rebuilding programme of the ‘Light Pacifics’ in an attempt to improve reliability. In 1959 the air-smoothed casing and the internal chain drive were removed. By 1965 after accumulating 779,210 miles in service, Braunton was retired from service and sold to Barry Scrapyard. By 1988 the locomotive had moved from Barry but serious restoration did not begin until 1996 and was completed by 2008.

Over the winter of 2011 the locomotive was fitted with all the modern equipment to allow it to be used on the mainline railway network. Although restricted to 75mph, Braunton is capable of speeds in excess of 100mph.

Braunton is currently operating under the guise of 34052 Lord Dowding. It was renamed to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Whilst this locomotive is rostered for the trips listed, it cannot be guaranteed.

Click here to book your journey

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