There’s something undeniably romantic about train travel. There are trains that get you places, then there are trains that get you places in style. In 1829, Englishman George Stephenson brought to life the first steam-powered locomotive named ‘Rocket’ and marked the birth of train travel. Fast-forward 184 years and we can hurtle ourselves from A to B at break-neck speed to just about anywhere in the world. Why rush? Here are our top 5 luxury train journeys, featuring some of the most iconic locomotive designs ever created. Sit back, relax and enjoy every second of the journey.
1. The Royal Scotsman: Regarded by many as one of the greatest and most romantic travel experiences in the world, The Royal Scotsman is a spectacular train journey and is the ultimate in luxury and indulgence.
Carrying just 36 passengers at a time, travelling abroad The Royal Scotsman through some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery is a tranquil and beautiful experience. Gliding past historic castles and picturesque glens, passengers are able to disembark the train at regular intervals to experience Scotland first hand and take part in activities such as woodland walks and boat trips.
The Royal Scotsman offers journeys from two to seven nights, and prices start at £2350 per person for a twin room, inclusive of all meals and drinks and onboard entertainment. (Visit the Royal Scotsman Website)2. Venice Simplon-Orient Express: Travel to one of Europe’s most romantic cities aboard a vintage cabin on the Venice Simplon-Orient Express. Departing from London, the train passes through some of Europe’s most elegant scenery, including Paris and the beautiful Swiss Alps. French chefs are also on board to prepare your meals, which are served as you sit back and enjoy the views (whilst sipping a glass or two of champagne, if you desire!).
For a return journey to Venice, where you spend two nights at a hotel of your choice (not included), prices start at £2880 per person for a double cabin, including meals. (Visit the Orient Express Website)
The train offers four different routes to choose from, including a 4 day journey throughout central Europe which departs from Budapest and arrives in Prague. The journey passes through some of the continent’s most beautiful sights, including Bratislava’s stunning castle that overlooks the river, before dining aboard the Danube Express as the train heads towards the Czech border.
Prices for the Central European route aboard the Danube Express start at £2790 per person, including all accommodation and meals. (Visit the Danube Express Website)4. Glacier Express: Travelling from St. Moritz to Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, the Glacier Express is far from an express train as its name may suggest. In fact, the Glacier Express is the world’s slowest express train – allowing you to take in the spectacular alpine scenery at a calming and leisurely pace through the huge panoramic windows.
The 180 mile route takes around seven hours to complete, and passes through several beautiful world heritage sights, as well as travelling over 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels!
A first class ticket on the Glacier Express starts at just £162 one way. (Visit the Glacier Express Website)
5. The Golden Age of Travel by Steam on the British Pullman: Departing from London Victoria, this journey is a great way to explore some of the countries fabulous countryside by rail, whilst enjoying fine food and wine.
The four hour round trip travels through the South of England, and entertainment on board is provided by musicians strolling through the carriages, as well as a magician. Dinner is served as a wonderful five course meal, along with champagne and half a bottle of wine per person.
The journey is perfect for birthdays and Valentines, but who says there has to be a special occasion to spoil your loved one?
Prices start from £395 per person, including meals. (Visit the British Pullman Website)
‘We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfilment’ – Hilaire Belloc
Yvette- The Fabulous Times Beauty + Travel Contributor