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Leave London for a ride on a very fancy, timewarp steam train

Written by
James Manning

You probably spend a fair bit of time on trains – squished up against a commuter you wish had remembered deodorant. So how about a journey that’s a little more swish?

Photograph: Northern Belle

The Northern Belle is a super-deluxe train-to-end-all-trains, taking passengers on old-school day trips to racecourses, castles and seaside towns. Decked out with ornate wood panelling, plush armchairs, an onboard wine cellar and very posh food, it is, essentially, Downton on wheels.

Photograph: Northern Belle

It’s also amazingly relaxing. As it gently rattles past England's back gardens and woods, the landscape seems bigger and more human than from a speeding Pendolino. Okay, so a ticket will cost you considerably more than your entire monthly Travelcard. But for anyone even remotely susceptible to the idea of the golden age of rail travel, a trip on this beauty is well worth it. All aboard!

The Northern Belle departs from London Paddington on Dec 13, and Mar 13 and 14 2020. From £260. Find out more here

Like the idea of swapping the Central Line for something fancier? Try one of these beautiful European train journeys from London

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