Luxury steam train experience setting off from Sleaford this summer

They will be laying out the red carpet at Sleaford railway station this summer when one of the world’s poshest trains pays its first ever visit to the town for what promises to be a “blooming” lovely day out.

Historic steam locomotive Princess Elizabeth hauling the Northern Belle over the Settle-Carlisle line. Photo: Channel 5 EMN-220222-172225001
Historic steam locomotive Princess Elizabeth hauling the Northern Belle over the Settle-Carlisle line. Photo: Channel 5 EMN-220222-172225001

The Northern Belle – described by actor Bill Nighy as “the Grand Duchess of luxury train travel” – will head to Chester for the Royal Horticultural Society’s Tatton Park Flower Show, stopping off in Sleaford on the way.

It will be champagne all the way for passengers from the moment they step on board the swanky 1930s-style umber and cream Pullman carriages.

Businessman David Pitts, who bought the train from the iconic Orient Express group for an undisclosed sum, said: “We like to think we’ll not only be taking our guests to Cheshire, but will also transport them back to the golden days of rail travel.

Archive photo: Britain's newest main line steam locomotive, the A1 class No 60163 Tornado, could be the locomotive pulling the Northern Belle through Sleaford this summer. PHOTO PAUL DAVIES

“Our carriages, with their luxuriously-upholstered chairs, hand-woven tapestries, marquetry, mosaics and murals, really are a throwback to the time when nothing was too good for passengers.

“And we like to add those unique special touches like laying down the red carpet on the station platform to show how important our guests are to us.

“So it’s great to be visiting stations like Sleaford for the first time and giving more people the opportunity to experience the ultimate in luxury train travel.”

Passengers will be served a slap-up three-course brunch during the Northern Belle’s outward journey from Sleaford.

The luxurious interior of one of the Northern Belle carriages. EMN-220222-164033001

Then they will have the choice of spending the day exploring the historic city of Chester or taking a short coach journey to the flower show at Tatton Park,

Later they will be welcomed back on board with a champagne reception before tucking into a gourmet seven-course dinner prepared by onboard chef Matthew Green.

The Northern Belle will set out from Peterborough at 9.05am on Friday, July 22, before picking up passengers at Spalding at 9.40am, Sleaford at 10.15am and Lincoln at 10.45am.

It is scheduled to arrive back at Lincoln at 7.45pm, Sleaford at 8.15pm, Spalding at 8.50pm and Peterborough at 9.20pm.

The train will pay a second visit to Sleaford just a fortnight later on Thursday, August 4, when it will take passengers to Edinburgh, with the chance to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia at nearby Leith.

There are also several journeys during the year from Lincoln, including a steam-hauled trip over the spectacular Settle-Carlisle line through the Yorkshire Dales.

Fares start at £265. For further details, phone 01270 899681 or see www.northernbelle.co.uk.