Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

19 Trains in 39 Hours

Last Sunday, Tim and I were lounging in bed having a lie-in and reading. I was in the middle of the first Hunger Games book, and without giving too much away I’ll say that the protagonist was on a train. This prompted me to say to Tim that I “wanted to ride on some trains”. Since we were in the middle of Tim’s long weekend and he didn’t have to be back at work until Wednesday AND since when we write a date on our priv passes it’s good as a 48-hour pass, AND since we had a few passes to burn before the end of June….we decided to do it.

Loads of ideas were flowing – what direction did we want to go in? Did we want to do something new or visit an old favourite? Did we want to ride steam trains, too? Did we want to pre-book accommodations? What about a sleeper train* or an International destination**? We finally pulled out an RPG 4-sider and tossed it giving each number a compass position (North-South-East-West). Our roll turned up South, but we had already agreed London was out (yes, I know there’s a lot of South that’s not London, but for a lot of it we’d have had to travel through London) and so Tim rolled it again and I think we wound up with “East” that time, but we kept tossing the ideas back and forth and finally Tim had a list of 8 different places for us to consider so we pulled out an 8-sider and it spit out the number we assigned Norfolk (which also happens to be South and East of here).

As it turned out, in order to make the most of our days, we needed to be on the 0520 train out of Lincoln on Monday morning. Ouch. Considering that I didn’t get to bed until past 2AM and Tim had to shake me awake at 4:30 with “We have to leave in 10 minutes”, I was not a happy camper. But the night before I had packed us both Breakfast and Lunch, so all I had to do was organize the cold stuff into a cooler bag and add an ice pack. I also had showered around midnight, so I didn’t need a morning shower. By the time we reached Norfolk, I was exhausted, but the weather was glorious and we were enjoying our time hopping around on various trains and riding up and down the same lines multiple times to get in multiple routes.

Tim booked us a B&B at in Sheringham. He found the place on a website called Direct Rooms. We’ve had great results every time we’ve used that site, so I highly recommend it! Our B&B host texted Tim to ask what time we were arriving, and when Tim wrote back that we were travelling by rail, he offered to come get us at the station! The room was gorgeous — all decked out in purple and mauve (they knew I was coming!) and they really went the extra mile for being just a spare room in someone’s home (seriously!). There was a carafe of water on the bedside table, all manner of hot drink options next to the kettle, packets of biscuits and chocolates, and even shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, and soap — things that I don’t usually expect from a Bed and Breakfast place! The following morning, our host cooked us made-to-order breakfasts, and then offered to drive us back into town for the train! This place gets 5 stars in my book, and we WILL be booking in again next time we go!

After we settled in on Monday evening, we walked back down into town and had dinner at a pub called the Robin Hood Inn. The food was good, and the décor wasn’t bad. We decided to walk around the town and I window shopped in some of the small shops. We made it down to the sea and stood less than a foot away from the water, trying to skip stones until I could no longer feel my fingers. We got back to our B&B at around 10PM and I had every intentions on having a cup of tea, relaxing, and then showering but I wound up dropping my Kindle and was fast asleep by 11.

for Tuesday, we decided to take in a little bit of steam railing and after a quick trip around the gift shops of Sheringham, we boarded the North Norfolk Railway. The trip up and down was lovely with lots of sea views and we even had our own compartment. When we got back to Sheringham, we headed on the regular train down a few stops to ride on the Bure Valley Railway, a 10-inch gauge line. 10-inches is about as small as I am willing to go on (even though you can ride 7-inch and 5-inch, I just don’t like them and find those a bit too small for my taste). And really, get your minds out of the gutter as I was talking about RAIL GAUGES!

After Bure Valley it was back on the train to Norwich, Norwich to Peterborough, Peterborough to Newark, and Newark to Lincoln. We arrived back at 2000.

What a lovely way to spend a few days!

Photos coming later!

*If we had wanted to, we could have ridden a sleeper train to Cornwall, provided we were ready to leave the house about 2 hours after this discovery (on Sunday night)…which we couldn’t do. It also would have cost us £70 extra to take a sleeper in addition to staying Monday night in a B&B.

**We also discovered it was quite possible to travel all the way to Köln and back in the two days time, but it wouldn’t have given us much time in Köln and we would have been paying full-price for European travel since we hadn’t pre-applied for European travel coupons (yes, I love my husband’s job and it’s perks!).

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3 Comments so far

  1. DaddyBear April 27th, 2012 19:43

    Sounds like you had quite an adventure! One of the things I miss about Europe is the ability to just go on a quick train trip somewhere for a day or two.

  2. Nikki-ann May 15th, 2012 17:02

    I’ve always fancied doing a train trip as I like to travel by train if I go off for a few days. However, it’s just so expensive from here to go anywhere.

  3. Rebecca May 18th, 2012 18:02

    It’s not so bad if you book in advance, and some areas have rover tickets good for x number of days for a flat rate.

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