‘Grand Duchess of luxury travel’ to make first visit to Boston on slap-up trip to Edinburgh

It has been described as ‘the Grand Duchess of luxury train travel’ (by Love Actually actor Billy Nighy, no less), and this summer, for the first time, it is due to visit Boston.

Historic steam loco Princess Elizabeth hauling the Northern Belle. Picture: Channel 5
Historic steam loco Princess Elizabeth hauling the Northern Belle. Picture: Channel 5

The Northern Belle will be pulling into town in August as part of a slap-up trip from Lincolnshire to Edinburgh.

The train – with its swanky 1930s-style umber and cream Pullman carriages – featured on Channel 5’s ‘World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys’ programme last year.

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It was during this show that Nighy hailed it as ‘the Grand Duchess of luxury train travel’, but also said that the railway experience ‘harks back to the halcyon days of travel’.

Inside the Northern Belle.

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 people to Scotland, but will also transport them back to the golden days of rail travel.

“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.”

The train will set out from Skegness at 6.40am on Thursday, August 4, before calling at Wainfleet, Boston (at 7.20am), Heckington, and Sleaford. It is due back at Boston at 10.20pm.

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

Then they will have the choice of spending the day in Edinburgh or taking a coach ride to nearby Leith to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia which is berthed there. Later they will rejoin the train for a champagne reception before tucking into a gourmet seven-course dinner prepared by on-board chef Matthew Green.

Mr Pitts said: “Although we have run several trips from Lincolnshire before, it’s great to be visiting stations like Boston for the first time and giving more people the opportunity to experience the ultimate in luxury train travel.”

There are also several more journeys during the year from Lincolnshire, including one to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Tatton Flower Show and a steam-hauled trip over the Settle-Carlisle line.

l For further details, phone 01270 899681 or see www.northernbelle.co.uk