Norfolk is the proud host of a number of Steam Railways
Norfolk offers the perfect medium to soak up the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in style in a gorgeous restored steam or diesel locomotive. Diner trains, murder mystery evenings, film and big screen locations: step, or chug, into another world via Norfolk’s trains.
The North Norfolk Railway
The North Norfolk Railway offers an immersive experience, given the fine attention to detail in each of its lovingly restored stations. Running along the Cromer line at just over five miles in length, the railway spans some coastal and countryside views certainly worth writing about home about.
Hop on at the seaside town of Sheringham, which appears (with Weybourne) in the Doomsday Book of 1086, with its vibrant boats and fisherman’s flint cottages like sweets. Weybourne Station sits a mile from its quaint namesake village. Gaze up at the high timbered ceiling in the ticket office or pick up a page-turner for your journey at the old station master’s office-turned-bookshop. For those visitors with a penchant for the smaller things in life, and perhaps those toeing with them small people, a model railway museum can usually be found in one of the historic good vehicles.
The Mid Norfolk Railway
Much more than a means of getting from A to B, visiting the headquarters of The Mid Norfolk Railway at Dereham Station may feel like time travel, as one collects a ticket from the period reception and a warming drink in the vintage tearoom, or consults the historical railway artefacts on display. Those visiting in spring will struggle to miss the wildflowers radiantly on display along the line. Not surprisingly, given its richly restored Edwardian chic, it has been used in a number of other television and movie productions, and also boasts its own railways museum. Why not your plan you stay to coincide with one of the exclusive behind the scenes tours of the line’s workshops situated on the seaward side of the station, where trains are prepared in the early hours and routinely serviced.
The Bure Valley Railway
At nine miles, The Bure Valley Railway offers the longest narrow-gauge steam railway in the county. Those who have cherished dreams to encounter the helm of a locomotive can book one of the Driver Experience Courses in the off-peak season, while the route will also appeal to those simply wanting to encounter Bure Valley rural wonders and the charm of the small country village stops. The line is bookended by the evocative market town Aylsham, known for its fourteenth-century linens and textiles trade, and Wroxham village perched on the River Bure, where a network of vintage dayboats and vessels for hire pass by. Wroxham belies its small size given its status as capital of the Norfolk Broads and its ample visitor attractions, including the Wroxham Miniature Worlds, the UK’s largest indoor modelling museum, with its cornucopia of train and Scalextric sets. And why not vary your means of transportation with the combined Bure Valley train and tour boat ticket from Wroxham Bridge that sees you cruise by The Norfolk Broads National Park, while a commentary keeps you informed along the way.
Wells & Walsingham Light Railway
From the largest miniature collection in the country to the smallest train in the world: the Wells & Walsingham Light Railway ambles from the picturesque port town Wells-next-the Sea to the Saxon Abbey with its long history of religious (and now locomotive) pilgrimage. The trip promises multiple bridges under which to glide, the chance to spot raptors and deer, and two trains unique to the railway, the Norfolk Heroine and the Norfolk Hero.