Great Central Railway

184 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

June, 2016

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

We stayed at the Ramada Hotel in Loughborough for the weekend so we could visit the heritage Great Central Railway. The hotel was reasonably priced, clean and comfortable. The breakfasts were quite expensive so we chose to eat at nearby Wetherspoon’s. For the evening meals there were plenty of places to eat and drink in this pleasant town.

The heritage railway station was difficult to locate owing to the lack of brown signs or finger posts. However, by using google maps on my Iphone, we managed to find it via a nice canal side path.

We chose to visit on the 1940’s Wartime Weekend. As well as the genuine steam trains there were re-enactors in authentic costumes and the whole effect felt quite realistic. Loughborough Central Station became the British Home Front where there was speeches by dignitaries such as Winston Churchill, the King and Queen, a wedding dress display,a ladies hair salon to obtain the vintage look, a Home Guard display, an unexploded bomb and various singers.

The British and American Military Base was at Quorn & Woodhouse station. Here we saw the military display of guns and uniforms, the Anderson shelter, an agricultural display of vintage vehicles, the land army with working equipment, an air raid with pyrotechnics and fire engine, a Spitfire, a wedding ceremony, stage performances and a Hurricane flypast. Of course while we were there we had to partake of tea and cakes in the vintage tearoom.

Leicester North became Le Birstall, a French themed station. There was a skirmish between the Germans, the British Paratroopers and the French Resistance. We were entertained here by a singer Maddie Brown (Edith Piaf) and there was French bread, wine and cheese on sale.

The most unsettling experience was at Rothley station, which was German Occupied Territory. As well as being authentic it showed the horrors of war, a particularly graphic field hospital with a “surgeon” removing shrapnel from an injured soldier. There was a burlesque singer Liberty Pink (Lily Marlene), a beer bar, a bratwurst cart, military vehicle display, signals equipment, field kitchen, anti-tank guns, officer’s map table and mortar sections. When a train came into the station the re-enactors in German infantry uniform lined up and kept a stern expression, which was quite unnerving. There was a battle re-enactment between the Wehmacht and the 82nd Airborne Division,

A remembrance service and poppy drop from a vintage aircraft took place on the Sunday. It was an evocative commemoration of life in wartime Britain and we found it an interesting experience.


Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.