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Festival of steam

Published: 25 Jul 2012 11:200 comments

THE Cathedrals Express will be charging full-steam ahead into Reading this summer, offering local residents the chance to see Britain's historic towns and some of its cathedral cities.

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THE Cathedrals Express will be charging full-steam ahead into Berkshire this summer, offering local residents the chance to see Britain's historic towns and some of its cathedral cities.

This well-known steam-hauled train, which usually runs from London, will be coming to Reading Station at the end of August, transforming the otherwise bustling commuter hub into a relaxed route for railway breaks.

On Monday, August 13, travellers can take a trip via the scenic Berks and Hants route, past the White Horse at Pewsey, to either the regency city of Bath, or the historic maritime city of Bristol. In either destination, visitors will have three hours to explore the area.

While, on Wednesday, August 15, there is a rare chance to enjoy Weymouth Carnival by steam - featuring aerobatic displays, parades and live music.

Alternatively, Berkshire residents have the opportunity to enjoy one of Britain's truly great railway journeys with a trip to Lydney, where a ride on the Dean Forest Railway and a visit to Tintern Abbey will be on the cards for Monday, August 20.

Later that week, on August 23, passengers can travel through the scenic Cotswolds to either the historic university city of Oxford or the cathedral city of Worcester.

The four travel options are:

f Pullman Style Dining - passengers are seated in restored 1950s wood-panelled carriages and comfortable seats, with individual table lamps and curtains at the window. Welcome glasses of champagne accompany the delicious brunch on the outward journey and, on the return, passengers will be welcomed with canapés before being served a four-course meal, accompanied by half a bottle of wine per person.

f Premier Dining - a champagne brunch on the outward journey and a four-course dinner on the return.

f First Class - in compartments of up to six people or at tables for four. Champagne and orange juice is served shortly after boarding, along with teas and coffees throughout the day, while waiting staff will serve home-baked cakes or biscuits on the outward journey and take orders from the licensed buffet.

f Premium Standard - passengers are seated at tables for four with dedicated waiting staff bringing unlimited complimentary tea and coffee, along with any items bought from the on-board menu of snacks.

Prices for this wonderful, nostalgic day trip range from £89-£239 per person. Call 01483 209888 or visit www.steamdreams.com

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