There isn’t a better place to celebrate a Ruby Wedding Anniversary than on the Llangollen steam railway. Which is precisely where we had our family day out to celebrate with my parents for theirs. You didn’t think it was for me and Jit, did you? (kidding!)
Last year when Jit and I were visiting Llangollen, we decided that we would go on the Llangollen steam railway eminently. You know how that goes though, don’t you? Luckily Mum won a local competition for a family trip which meant that it was actually going to happen! Fast forward many months to when we were all free at the same time. So we gathered together and off we went. To our surprise, Mum had planned a little bit extra. Afternoon tea and Prosecco to celebrate their ruby wedding anniversary.
Llangollen Steam Railway
The Llangollen steam railway is the only heritage railway in Wales and runs through the gorgeous Dee Valley to Corwen. The journey is 10 mile each way and you’d be hard pushed not to enjoy the scenery from the chugging train. The carriages are still in near original condition (obviously with some wear, tear and repair over the years) and gives you a real sense of travel in days gone by.
Our train was leaving at 1315 so we arrived with plenty of time to get our bearings and to have a browse around the station and facilities. This gave us the opportunity to have a look around and also have a browse of the shop.
The train chuffed its way into the station and you could feel the buzz of the people waiting to board. We were just as eager to get on there as well. A short wait for the other passengers to disembark and for the food and drinks to be replenished and we were getting onto the train.
To be honest, I expected the train to have that old musty smell. You know the kind of whiff that you get when the oldest bus in town comes to collect you or you’re at an old museum of transport. But this was surprisingly fresh. The seats and furniture were in great old condition, but nothing like I imagined. We settled into the grooves in our seats and admired the delicious spread before us.
It wasn’t long before our tummies were grumbling and go the best of us. We poured ourselves some tea and coffee as the train set off and then allowed ourselves to break into the stand of sandwiches, salad and cakes. It was great that we were able to get a vegetarian version too.
Have you ever tried to take a selfie on a train and get five people, into view? It’s a challenge, but I’m pleased to say that we just about managed it! (who needs a whole face in a picture, anyway!)
Dee Valley scenery
As you will know from my previous train trip posts, one of the best things about a train ride is being able to relax and watch the scenery from the window. Usually some stunning countryside too. And the Dee Valley is no exception. Plenty of greenery, running water and cute small stations to keep you glimpsing from side to side and you move along the rails.
To make things even better, we were watching the scenery with a Prosecco in hand! Snazzy, huh? A bit of a change to our flask of tea, you must admit!
Having overcome the fact that the train didn’t have the musty smell I was expecting (I was quite looking forward to it) I was curious about the features and designs. The seats, made from wood and upholstered, were so symmetrically placed down the train that it was quite mesmerising to look at. The window locks and doors equally interesting and fascinating that they lasted so long. In such great condition!
It was lovely having time to spend with the family in such a lovely setting and for a great celebration too. Delicious food (although we were a little tentative about the macarons…), tasty drinks, company and views. It was a completely relaxed journey filled with laughs and giggles too. To remember the day, I made a video to show even more of what it was like!
Back to Llangollen
As we sipped the remain of our tea, coffee and Prosecco, we pulled back into the station to children and adults waving us in. Excited for their trip too, I imagined. We gathered our belongings and made our way onto the platform again. Smiles firmly on our faces.
The final part of our trip was walking up to the bridge to enjoy the views, a swift wander through the town and then heading home.
And as we headed back up the hill with a photo stop, of course, we left with our memories of a gloriously sunny day (between very wet ones!) and fun with the family.
Not only do I love Llangollen, I now also love the Llangollen steam railway too! And you’d e hard pushed not to love views like this!!
I’m certainly looking forward to my next visit now. We’re planning on hiring a day boat and going over the viaduct next time!
Have you ever been on the Llangollen Steam Railway? Or another heritage steam train? What did you enjoy most about it?
Let me know in the comments below 🙂