The Steam & Cream Experience: Swindon and Cricklade Railway
Tuesday 13th August: Right then, here we are with Born again Swindonian’s first guest blog: a delightful write-up of an afternoon at Swindon and Cricklade railway. Friends of mine were visiting it on Sunday and, as I was unable to go, I saw a great opportunity for a guest blog. I’d still love to visit this myself, but for the moment I can at least live it vicariously through this lovely write up by Pam Jones. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I have. All aboard and tickets please! Thar she blows…………..!
NB: Pam took a lovely selection of photographs which were intended to be a visual portrayal of the visit. Unfortunately I’m having trouble with the technology – I can’t find a way to present them as I’d hoped so they will appear throughout the post instead. Sorry about that Pam! Best laid plans and all that … 😦
The Steam and Cream Experience Tucked away in the North of Swindon is a gem of a day out – the delightful Swindon and Cricklade Railway: Wiltshire’s only standard gauge heritage railway. 35 years ago, a volunteer organisation took the empty track bed between Swindon and Cricklade and rebuilt the railway. Today, the railway continues to be run by volunteers. We started at Blunsdon station, home of the main visitor centre with its restaurant, shop and museums.
What’s special about the event is that it’s not just another steam train ride – oh no. You board the train and can then tuck into a cream tea. Scone with clotted cream and jam? Slice of cake with a cuppa? The choice is yours. No need to pre-book; you just pay on arrival. Ticket prices vary depending on what’s happening on the day.
As we visited when it was the Steam and Vintage weekend, our £9 ticket gave us unlimited travel on the train (the cream tea costs extra). It’s a short ride up and down the track so you can stay on board for as long as you like or until you’ve finished your cuppa and cake.
If you don’t fancy the train ride, there’s a picnic area beside the track where you can relax and watch the train go by. We also visited the two railway museums – one displaying a variety of railway memorabilia and the Wartime museum. All in all, we had a very relaxing afternoon with friends.