You might look at me and think I don’t look like the sort of person who is interested in steam trains. And you’d be 100% correct – I’m not. But last year, I enjoyed my weekend on the Severn Valley Railway during their Autumn Steam Gala in September so much that I knew I wanted to go again this year, for their Spring weekend. Spring it was not as we were inundated with snow and icy temperatures for two of the days but it was a lovely weekend nevertheless. Although the engines are pretty impressive and yes, you feel like you’re on the Hogwarts express, I just think it’s a really nice, relaxing weekend and a chance to get away from the norm.
I’m most certainly not a travel blogger: I don’t go on nowhere near enough holidays or trips for that to be a reality unfortunately. As much as I wish I could book a dozen small getaways a year, that’s not realistic for me… And probably for a lot of other people too. However, over the last few months I have thoroughly enjoyed talking about holiday type things a bit more. I recently wrote a post about what holidays mean to me and I have a post coming up next month about my favourite Disneyland Paris attractions. These are a nice addition to my blog, I absolutely love writing them and it’s always lovely to look back on wonderful holidays you’ve taken. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do today! I’m dipping my toes in the nostalgia pond today and talking about some of my favourite holidays; both near and far.
Also, apologies for the quality of some of these photos. Some were taken way before a decent camera ever entered my hand!
I’ve been really enjoying writing more personal posts recently and it’s something I want to continue to incorporate into my blog. I wrote about my smear test, what I got my mum for her birthday and about my birthday day out at Paradise Wildlife Park. I like injecting a bit of my personal life into my blog because I love reading those types of posts too! So today, I want to tell you about a trip away I had in September to the Severn Valley Railway! It was a new experience for me but one that I really enjoyed.
First of all, it was a spur of the moment decision to go. My boyfriend’s grandparents were supposed to be going but didn’t so there was some spare space so I decided why the heck not! We drove to Bridgnorth from Lincolnshire on Thursday morning for the beginning of the Autumn Steam Gala, which runs along the line from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster and uses various different steam engines – some of which are over 100 years old. I’ve never actually been on a steam train before myself but I quickly found out that they’re really quite nice – a lot like the Hogwarts Express and the scenery along the route is to die for.
Bridgnorth to Kidderminster takes roughly an hour and a quarter on the train so it really was a slow, relaxing holiday. Plenty of time to listen to music, read, chat, think and just look out of the window at the lovely scenery. You’d think it would be boring, spending the majority of 4 days on and off of trains but it really wasn’t, there is so much to look at and so many people to meet that it’s impossible to get bored. The stop off times vary and you can always get off at each individual station and have a look around. They’re super cute and quaint, most of which had little book sales (which I took advantage of) and were plastered with old school advertising posters as they would have been back in the day.
We stopped for dinner each night, my favourite being a pub meal at The Ship Inn and my burger and chips was to die for. The trains also ran throughout the entire night on Friday and Saturday so I stayed on well until it got dark (and until I got too tired) and it’s a whole different experience, being on the trains in the dark. It’s really eerie but I loved it. My boyfriend’s family have taken these holidays his whole life but this was my first one and not something I ever thought I would enjoy. But even if you’re not that interested in trains (like me), it’s definitely not all about that.
Have you ever been on the Severn Valley Railway? Would you like to go? Where’s your favourite staycation destination?
My definition of a staycation is a holiday in which you take in your home country. I’m guessing that’s most people’s definition but I just want to clarify for anyone reading this thinking, “huh?”. I am a huge lover of the staycation. As much as I hate where I live, I adore the United Kingdom as a whole and I think us U.K folk can certainly sometimes forget how beautiful our country is. I’ve posted about a few of my own staycations like when I went to Snowdonia in Wales, The Lake District, boating on the Norfolk Broads and my most recent staycation, Shropshire on the Severn Valley Railway (post coming up soon about that one!). My boyfriend’s family also live in the countryside in Lincolnshire, a good 2 and a half hours drive from us down in Essex so I always highly look forward to staying with them because again, that feels like a mini staycation to me!
Having been on a boating holiday a whopping 2 whole times now, I feel qualified to call myself an expert on all things boating (I’m not). For the past 2 years, my boyfriend and I have taken our holiday with Barnes Brinkcraft, a boat hire company in the Norfolk Broads and spent just short of a week chugging up and down the broads on rivers of all shapes and sizes, encountering an array of wildlife and living a very restricted and self-sufficient life in the confines of a small boat. I’m a huge fan of the staycation but don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you’re not leaving the country, your holiday is going to come and go problem free. It won’t.
In May, my boyfriend and I went to Cumbria and The Lake District on holiday. We live in the UK, so some would call this a “staycation”. A vacation but one which takes place in your own country.
I, for one, am a huge fan of staycations. I live in the South East, just outside of London and I love exploring other parts of the UK I know will be wildly different from my home turf. The UK really is a wonderful place and we really can underestimate it’s beauty.
However, don’t let staycations fool you. Just because you’re not taking a giant suitcase or going on a plane or jetting off to far and distant lands doesn’t mean they’re not stressful and take a lot of planning. They do and here are some tips of things I’ve learnt from various staycations over the years. Continue reading