Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) is a heritage railway running through beautiful Cotswold countryside.
In recent years, the GWSR has upgraded track to open up Broadway Station and therefore now connects Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway, ie a round trip of 28 miles (45km). We’re thrilled to have this completely charming addition to the range of local attractions. Our guests love the railway and there’s a pleasing connection with a previous owner of our hotel, Mr Ian Allen, the much-loved publisher. It was he who coined the phrase ‘trainspotter’ and published a sequence of rail and transport booklets and books that sold in huge quantities from 1947 onwards.
The GWSR route uses an old section of the original Birmingham to Cheltenham line, lovingly and painstakingly restored. Managed by volunteers, the railway is always innovating.
Services run on certain days from March to January and this year, 2020, the railway opens on March 7th for the season. Do check the timetable on the GWSR website before planning your journey – and we recommend booking ahead, especially for event days.
Rail fans should note that the railway offers both heritage steam, and diesel services. There are special events, from wartime nostalgia weekends INTERNAL LINK through to Fish and Chip specials dotted through the annual calendar.
A journey on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is a delightful experience, a trip with views of the Cotswold and Malvern Hills on either side. The nostalgic appeal is obvious – whether you’re imagining a rail journey to Hogwarts, or Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard in Brief Encounter – all ages seem to love it. GWSR is one of the very best Cotswold experiences.
Broadway station is 20 minutes walk from the hotel. With a little planning, you can time your day to give you time in Cheltenham (there’s a park and ride service from the Racecourse into the town centre). You could also plan to explore Winchcombe and nearby Sudeley Castle. If you’re looking to combine your rail trip with some Cotswold walking, the smaller, local stop at Gotherington is ideal.
If you prefer to spend your time watching the engines in action, there are charming and atmospheric station tea rooms to visit too. And, if you’re marking a significant birthday or celebration at The Broadway Hotel, how about combining that with a day learning to drive the train? Diesel and Steam Experience courses are offered from time to time (book early).
Tip: The first train of the day tends to be the busiest (Broadway to Cheltenham) and, whilst you can usually find a seat, later trains are a little more relaxed.
The GWSR hosts special events through the season. For 2020, there are Santa Specials, ‘Cheltenham Fryer’ fish and chip specials, a Steam and Real Ale festival, classic vehicle days, ever-popular ‘Teddy Bear Tuesdays’ in August or a Hallowe’en ‘Steam and Scream’ excursion. Visit the website to find out more.
Prices for 2020 are £20 for an All-Day Rover ticket, with reductions for children and a family ticket for £52. There are various single and return options also available. A small charge is made for dogs. Please note that you can save a few pounds by pre-booking online.
Tip: First Class seating (no dogs here) is available on a first-come-first-served basis. It’s another good reason to take a later train.