Gift-giving is difficult, especially if you’re trying to genuinely surprise someone. But this Christmas, we’ve found the perfect present for any train enthusiasts in the family. (And it’s pretty cool even if they’re not!) Because you can learn to drive a steam train near Birmingham.
Leicestershire’s Great Central Railway offers all sorts of packages, from first-class dining to murder mysteries and afternoon tea, there’s something unique for everyone to enjoy, all year round. But GCR’S Drive a Loco experience days are an offer that truly stands out – guaranteed to create some big grins on Christmas day.
Leaving from Loughborough, choose between an 8-, 16-, 32- or 64-mile drive around the West Midlands – ranging from £450 to £3,600, depending on length, type of train and whether or not you want to bring guests along for the drive. There are a variety of packages available, but all include a welcome briefing, a lunch, a guided tour of the Loco Works, a visit to Loughborough’s Signal Box, a presentation certificate and a 12-month membership of Friends of Great Central Mainline.
“Our Drive a Loco experience is one of the of the most unique gifts you can purchase and offers the opportunity for people to create the most wonderful memories,” said Simon Bracewell, Head of Marketing & Communications of the Great Central Railway. “Our line features double tracks, signals and stations, creating an environment straight from the pages of childhood dreams. It’s always a joy to see how people react when they’re at the controls and starting their journey for the first time!”
To find out more about the Drive a Loco experiences head here.
What else can you do at Leicestershire’s Great Central Railway?
If you (or your giftee) would rather sit back and enjoy the journey, rather than drive the train themselves, there are plenty of other experiences too. The First-Class Dining Train invites guests to step into a world of vintage luxury on board Great Central Railway’s historic mainline steam locomotives. Where you can tuck into a delicious multi-course dinner, as you’re whisked through the picturesque Leicestershire countryside.
There are also special themed experiences to enjoy, including thrilling Murder Mystery evenings; indulgent Fish & Chip specials; afternoon tea and new for 2024, their Great Central Champagne Brunch. (Which can learn about here.)
Or if you’re still booking up ideas for Christmas, there’s still time to book the Great Central Santa Express – for a festive adventure for families and a special appearance from Santa Claus himself! Learn more here.