Channel 5 competition sees West Sussex couple ride on Britain’s poshest train endorsed by Bill Nighy
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The first time it had to be cancelled because the country’s railwaymen were on strike. Then the trip was called off again because the steam engine had broken down.
On the third attempt, Barbara and Peter – who used to run a decorating business – nearly missed the 1930s-style Pullman train.
“But fortunately the staff kindly held the train until we arrived.”
Barbara entered the Channel 5 competition after watching the World’s Most Scenic Railway Journey programme.
Actor Bill Nighy, who narrates the show, described the train as ‘the Grand Dame of luxury travel’ as a steam engine hauled it over the picturesque Settle-Carlilse line.
And he wasn’t wrong, according to Barbara.
“We had a wonderful day,” she said. “[It was] everything we could ask for.
“The food was delicious – it was a proper culinary experience – and the journey through the Lake District was lovely with some breathtaking scenery.
“Peter even got to climb on the footplate of the steam locomotive, which was called Tangmere, to have a chat with the driver.”
The Channel 5 prize also included two nights in a hotel at Telford, Shropshire, where the couple caught the train.
The Northern Belle, once part of the Orient Express group, operates from stations all over Britain with fares starting at £295.