Top 10 stays for Railway Enthusiasts
Notice to all Train Buffs… If you’re looking for a short break or weekend away with a difference, browse our hand-picked list of railway related holiday accommodation.
The team at Historic UK have scoured the country to put together our favourite ten stays for railway enthusiasts. So, re-live the golden age of rail travel by staying in a former signal box, a cliff railway apartment, or perhaps an Old Railway Station hotel, set in luxuriously restored Pullman carriages.
So, in no special order:
- Southern Bell, Hayling Island, Hampshire.
Sleeps 8. Lovingly converted from two former railway carriages, step right on to the pebble beach from the garden of this truly unique beach house.
Hayling Island lies just off the south coast of England, near to world renowned naval port of Portsmouth. Completely surrounded by sea, a road bridge connects the island to the mainland.
With historic remains dating back to the Iron Age, the island was an important centre of salt production fron the eleventh century until relatively recent times.
- The Signal Box, Loddiswell Station, nr. Kingsbridge, Devon.
Sleeps 4. Standing on the route of the former Great Western Railway ’Primrose Line’, the Signal Box has been extensively renovated and converted into a wonderful holiday property.
A single track branch of the Exeter to Plymouth railway, the ‘Primrose Line’ followed the scenic Avon Valley for more than 12 miles into Kingsbridge. The line opened on 19th December 1893, with a cost of construction recorded at £180,000.
- The Railway House, Burnham Market, Norfolk.
Converted from the former Station Master’s house, this small luxury hotel now offers seven stylish en suite bedrooms.
Set on the outskirts of the picturesque north Norfolk village of Burnham Market, the Railway House features memorabilia from the golden age of steam. Converted into a small hotel when the station closed in 1957, guests can relax and stroll along the former railway platform.
Sleeps 4. Set above the station and ticket office at the base of the longest funicular electric cliff railway in Britain, the apartment features very comfortable holiday accommodation with sea views to be enjoyed from one aspect and views over the railway from the other.
Originally powered via a water balance system, the Aberystwyth Cliff Railway was electrified in 1921. Apartment guests are offered free passes to travel at a stately four miles per hour to the summit of Constitution Hill. Once atop, visitors can take in the spectacular views of the town and Cardigan Bay from one of the world’s largest walk-in camera obscuras.
- Station Court, Hornsea, East Yorkshire.
Sleeps 3. Just a stroll away from the heart of this quintessential British seaside resort, this unusual holiday home has been converted from the waiting room of the town’s former railway station.
The Hull and Hornsea Railway officially opened on 28th March 1864, and provided easy access from the industrial city of Hull to the east coast seaside town of Hornsea. The line closed in 1964, a direct result of the Beeching Report.
- The Carriage, Bridge of Dee, nr. Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway.
Sleeps 6. Enjoying a peaceful setting on the site of an old siding in the former Bridge of Dee railway station, this carefully converted railway carriage now offers well-appointed holiday accommodation just 3 miles from Castle Douglas.
Dating from 1957, the carriage offers panoramic views over the surrounding Galloway countryside from its large lawned garden.
The station which closed in 1947, sat on the branch line that connected Castle Douglas with Kirkcudbright.
- The Old Railway Station, Petworth, West Sussex.
Guests at the Old Railway Station hotel can choose to stay in the Old Station House itself, or in one of the four beautifully restored Edwardian Pullman carriages. In the winter breakfast by a roaring log fire in the booking hall, during the summer months dine al fresco on the station platform.
Set on a branch line of the former London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, the main station building dates from 1892.
- Berwyn Stationmasters House, nr. Llangollen, North Wales Borders.
Sleeps 6. Guests at this beautifully renovated station master’s house enjoy unlimited travel on the trains that wind their way along the scenic tracks of the Llangollen Heritage Steam Railway. Set right on the station platform, there are stunning views over railway to the River Dee.
The 10 mile long Llangollen Railway is a volunteer-run heritage railway that runs on part of the former Ruabon to Barmouth Great Western Railway (GWR) route. The rolling stock includes a variety of ex-GWR steam locomotives, as well as several diesel engines.
- Wilby Halt, Brockford Siding, nr. Stowmarket, Suffolk.
Sleeps 5. Surrounded by the sleepy Suffolk countryside and farmland, the holiday accommodation at Wilby Halt is split between two restored railway carriages, linked by the station platform. One carriage provides the comfortable living space, whilst the other is the sleeping carriage.
Wilby Halt was a small station on the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, known locally as the ‘Middy’. Started in the early years of the 1900s, the Middy was a financial disaster and the line closed in 1952.
- The Station House, St Bees, Cumbria.
Sleeps 4. Dating back to 1849, this former station waiting room is a stop on the scenic Cumbrian Coast line. As the name suggests, the line itself hugs the coastline between the Cumbrian county town of Carlisle and the shipbuilding centre of Barrow-in-Furness.
The nearby St Bees Head is the starting point of Wainright’s Coast to Coast Walk, a long distance footpath that runs from the Irish Sea to the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay.
Disclaimer: The properties listed above are only suggestions from Historic UK, and Historic UK takes no responsibility for any facilities and descriptions that may have changed since the writing of this article.