We recreate one of the great holiday trains of the golden age of railway travel for a steam hauled journey through Somerset and around the beautiful Devon coast with time available to discover the many charms of the pretty ‘English Riviera’ resort of Dartmouth.
Travelling through the remote Blackdown hills and along the Exe Valley to Exeter, before heading beside the estuary with its pretty fishing boats and stunning views across to Exmouth and the Jurassic coast. Continuing past Powderham Castle and along the famous sea wall line we race through tunnels and cuttings of red rock and beside beaches and coves with the sea keeping company with the train.
At Paignton we join the steeply graded heritage line and travel alongside the beautiful River Dart with views of HMS Britannia – not a ship but the college that has trained generations of naval officers. We soon arrive at the riverside terminus at Kingswear, where it is a short crossing on the ferry (price included) to the historic and romantic port of Dartmouth – there are antique shops, galleries, and cafes to explore or perhaps take a leisurely cruise on the river Dart. There should be around four hours at leisure before we return in the late afternoon.
The train is steam hauled from Taunton by one of our immaculately restored pool of engines including: the world famous LMS Royal Scot Class, No.46100 ‘Royal Scot’ – West Country Class, No. 34046 ‘Braunton’ – Britannia Pacific Class, No 70000 ‘Britannia’
PLEASE NOTE *
All timings shown above are approximate and may be subject to change.
Classes of Travel
Pullman Dining - £350
Seating at a guaranteed window table for two available at a supplement of £40 per person.
Seating is in our beautifully restored wood panelled vintage carriages at tables of 4 or 2 laid with crisp linen and fully dressed in fine crockery, fresh flowers, and glassware. The day starts as you settle into your seat with a glass of chilled bucks’ fizz, followed by a full English breakfast and late morning tea/coffee service with pastries prior to the arrival at our destination. Following an afternoon sightseeing break you will be welcomed aboard by your attentive liveried steward and offered a refreshing glass of chilled champagne and selection of canapes as you relax in anticipation of the gastronomic journey ahead. A sumptuous five course seasonal dinner, created by our Executive Chef, will be served including the Great British cheese board, biscuits, and chutneys – all accompanied by our Sommelier’s choice of a half-bottle of wine per person. The memorable journey concludes with a service of coffee and homemade petits fours.
First Class (non-dining) - £185
Seating at a guaranteed window table for two available at a supplement of £40 per person.
Seating is at tables of 4 or 2 with additional legroom, wide seats, and panoramic windows. Includes complimentary tea/coffee and light snacks, accompanied with a morning glass of Bucks Fizz and afternoon glass of sparkling wine. There is a buffet bar available for the purchase of light refreshments and you may bring on board your own picnic hamper for consumption during the journey.
Standard Class (non-dining) - £165
Seating is around a table of four with bookings for two persons seated side by side with one window and one aisle seat, whilst bookings for one person are normally allocated an aisle seat. Enjoy complimentary tea and coffee throughout your journey as well as additional items that may be purchased from our buffet bar offering a choice of refreshments, light snack items, wines, beers and spirits.
The Cotswold Express
Wow what a wonderful experience, we booked to travel on the Steam Train from Maidenhead to Worcester and we took the full package Premier Dining Experience, the standard of service was excellent from the boarding when the train mats were laid down and you were individually greeted and shown to your table, the Train Manager and staff were introduced the table laid for full service, all staff polite and efficient and professional in their manner, supervisors checking all was well, the food was high standard and a compliment to the catering team working in cramped conditions, A pre - order of a single rose and Champagne was delivered to the table the breakfast and the dinner were of a high standard, I cannot fault any part of the whole preparation from booking to the mats being laid at the end on the platform when we returned we will be back thank you for a wonderful experience
Loved it, the nostalgia through to the quality
September 12, 2020
The White Rose
Well done to all at Saphos Trains for a wonderful trip on The White Rose, hauled by Royal Scot. This was our second trip with Saphos and as before, everything was well organised and the attention to detail on the day regarding customer service was still there even with all Covid restrictions in place. We felt very safe whilst travelling and hardly noticed the perspex screens between seats. We were well looked after by the friendly helpful staff and travelled in a very comfortable carriage. The locomotive performed brilliantly throughout and the scenery through the Peak District was lovely. All in all, couldn't fault it. Will look forward to next year's trips being released as will definitely travel again with Saphos.
Wonderful day out
August 22, 2020
Welsh Marches Express
I booked this trip back in December 2019. Since then we have all seen changes to our lives. I have not been to a shop since 10th March this year. Anyway, yesterday we went on the Express to Cardiff. Window seat for two in Premier Dinning. The train approached and it was the ''Royal Scot'' what a sight! As I made my way along the platform with a mask that I had never worn before I was approached at least two or three time by Saphos staff offering me guidance to my coach and seat. There was actually a carpet to step on as you entered the train. Let's start with the staff. Everyone made us feel special. Everyone contributed to making our day out a special one. Thank you to all the staff on the train, it's you that makes it special. The social distancing requirements were fully met. So, we had no need to worry. Breakfast was truly excellent, served with professionalism and expertise that ticked all the right boxes. When we got to Cardiff, we went for a walk in Bute Park (Recommended). We felt we needed to cover a couple of miles to prepare for dinner and that turned out to be a gastronomical extravaganza. Back on the train the food began to flow, Canapés, then smoked Trout then Gunniea fowl then cheese and crackers then Blackberry Monmouthshire pudding!! Then chocolates and coffee! Wow, that was one of the best meals we have ever had. Served again by attentive and friendly staff. The wine list would complement any restaurant. My wife said that my choice of Chateau Milon was the best wine she had ever tasted. I can't argue with that statement. Someone at Saphos knows a thing or two about fine dining. To sum up this was my first journey with Saphos and it was unforgettable. We are both so much looking forward to our next trip. A saying springs to mind, ''You get what you pay for.''
The Welsh Marches Express 5th September 2020
September 5, 2020
I originally booked this trip on the Fellsman railtour for my mother's 70th birthday to travel earlier in the year, but with the COVID lockdown we weren't able to travel until September. This was obviously well beyond the company's control and Saphos kept us informed as the dates were moved. Their COVID safe procedures were very comprehensive while not being intrusive and explained in advance in a booklet sent out with the tickets. They were particularly helpful when I asked if we could transfer to a later tour as my Mother had had to shield over lockdown and was concerned about it being too much for her to manage at the time, having not left the house for the best part of 3 months. The day itself was nothing short of magical. Hauled by Royal Scot from Crewe over the Settle to Carlisle line to Carlisle in beautifully restored and immaculately clean heritage carriages and as part of the Premiere Dining package the food was plentiful and absolutely delicious. Helpful and friendly staff completed the picture, Erica and Amy our stewardesses for the day ensuring that we never ran out of tea and coffee! All in all, a day out I would recommend (and have been recommending) to anyone. Even if you don't particularly have a keen interest in railways the outstanding food, comfortable surroundings and ever changing scenery makes it a day out that everyone can enjoy. Certainly my Mother enjoyed it immensely and beamed from ear to ear all day. I will very likely be travelling again with Saphos very soon as when I showed my photographs of the day to my partner - she wanted to go too. And I wouldn't miss it for the world.
Faultless From Start to Finish – Volvo Joe
September 2, 2020
English Riviera Express
My partner and I travelled on Sunday 26th July from Bristol Temple Meads station, hauled by the steam train 'Royal Scot' with Premier dinning. Prior to commencing our journey in the weeks before, I was very impressed with the information provided on you web site with regards to the safety measures for Covid 19 which where put in place within the coach, and through out the train as this gave us both peace of mind for the journey ahead.
Before stepping onto the train we were greeted by staff who where most courteous, and professional in their duties explaining everything we needed to know with regards our boarding. Once on board we where introduced to the train managers James and Sandra, settling us into our table along came the stewardesses Emma and Joanna who looked after our needs serving at table throughout the journey to a very high standard.
Nothing was to much trouble, for all the staff that we came in touch with.
After our fantastic journey with the footplate staff doing their bit in getting us there and back, a big thank you to them goes without saying. Our compliments which we asked to be passed onto the Chef Nick Allen for the suburb meal that he and his staff conjured up. It was a most enjoyable experience and one that we will defiantly be doing in the near future. I cannot thank you enough for making a perfect day trouble free especially in these troubled times, may you continue to strive to keeping an excellent service even better.
Fantastic Journey – Colin & Trish Bristol
July 26, 2020
My wife and I had the pleasure of travelling on "The Fellsman" on the 15th July 2020. This was the first outing for Saphos trains after the COVID-19 lockdown, and if I'm honest I was a little apprehensive about social distancing and the knock on to the steam experience, especially as this was my wife's treat to me for a significant birthday. We needn't have worried. All of the measures Saphos Trains have put in place are both discreet, effective and did not affect the outing. The day was an absolute delight. As the BR Standard Pacific "Britannia" rolled into Crewe station with a floral arrangement for a head plate we knew we were info a great day. Travelling in Premier Dining the Train Manager's and Stewards provided a service second to none and were full of information about the trip, the train itself and the company ethos. They were clearly delighted to be back to work after having been furloughed. It was also an excuse to dress smartly for the day and that added to the class the whole day took on. The dining on the train was exceptional. The full English breakfast was the best I've had in ages and I'd love to know who supplies their black pudding as it was the best I've ever tasted. The route included the internationally renowned Settle to Carlisle line. I've walked in the Yorkshire Peaks a number of time, so was interesting for me to get a different perspective of the area, particularly through Ribblehead. The time in Carlisle was judged nicely with enough time for a leisurely visit to the attractions the city has to offer. Again dining on the return was superb - a four course dinner dinner to savour - those working in the Kitchen carriage are culinary masters! The wine list also needs a mention. The company has a very good wine buyer and we've subsequently gone to find where we can purchase more bottles of the Shiraz and Rose they had on offer. A very nice touch was a complimentary glass of champagne from the company to celebrate this being their first train in 2020. I must mention the rolling stock which was of a very high standard. A fellow traveller commented that you won't find better restored carriages anywhere in the UK. So whether you are a steam enthusiast, a foodie or just like a fine day out, The Fellsman had it all. How good was it? We're now looking for the next Saphos Train we want to travel on. Enough said!
Don C – Steam and Dining at its best!
July 15, 2020
The White Rose
Yesterday six of us went on a Premier Dining experience from Crewe to York on the White Rose Steam Train. This is an experience that you must put on your to-do list!
The Company operates to a very high standard and the both the coaches and the locomotive looked as if they had left the works, new just days ago.
We were welcomed aboard by lovely hostesses who looked after us throughout the day with coffee. Breakfast was served an hour into our journey and it was perfect.
The real white rose on our table just added to the feeling that Saphos wanted our day to be perfect. The booklet gave details of the staff looking after us and gave a detailed description of our journey with minute by minute timings. Such was the precision of the trip that I could check our location just by looking in the booklet and a look out of the window would then confirm the station name we were flying through.
Our afternoon in York was lovely as always with a visit to our all time favourite tea shop Bettys. The sun shone and the crowds were out but York never disappoints.
Back on the train and the warmth of our welcome matched the warmth of the carriage as we sped back across the snow capped Pennines. Dinner was exquisite and matched by a lovely bottle of Malbec wine. When I marveled at the beautiful way the silver service table was laid with napkins folded like a starched white shirt our hostess showed me the secret to folding it and at my request showed me how to fold a napkin like an opera house or a lily. Such friendly service is rare today and the whole experience from stepping aboard until saying 'Good Night' back in Crewe was just wonderful. I can't wait to book again with some more of my friends so that they too can share this experience.
Loved every minute of it, and now it's my favourite UK restaurant.
Gerald – The Best Restaurant in The UK
March 7, 2020
Pennine Moors Christmas Explorer
We took the Royal Scot from Crewe and were in first class carriage with amazing service from Sandra and James and their excellent team. Great singers for entertainment and the train was immaculate and fascinating to see all the train spotters watching as we chugged through the countryside. I would highly recommend this for a special experience.
December 7, 2019
North Wales Coast Express
Celebrity service, really tasty food and comfy chairs! Completely exceeded my expectations, a really special day. Thanks Saphos Trains
February 1, 2020
The White Rose
What a tremendous day out. We used premier dining and paid for a table for two. The carriage was class and so comfortable. I did note the cheapest accommodation was similar bit without food!
We went from Warrington to York via the Peak District and returned via Calderdale. On boarding the train manager presented with a booklet about the places were going through. There were timings for each place mentioned so it was most informative. The food was fine dining which included breakfast and five course dinner on return including £19 towards drinks. The management and staff were excellent - pleasant and efficient. We loved this journey and will repeat it despite the cost.