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Whether you are settling down in a lush green field or dusting off a bench at your local station, it really is a thrill waiting for the first whistle of the day when out trainspotting. Not your usual hobby, trainspotting involves a lot of timing, patience and in my case, vast amounts of tea! Waiting all day for that one spectacular photo can be just as exciting as it is tiring, so here at Sykes Cottages we have decided to give you a few hints and tips on the best locations for trainspotting and the best attractions to visit for a more hands-on experience!

The Best Lookout Locations

You can view Britain’s locomotives from all most anywhere, but if you are looking for an exciting day out or even to take a trainspotting holiday there are few locations better than Doncaster and Clapham. Not only is Doncaster a fantastic location to view some of our best loved engines, it’s also one of the top spots to meet other enthusiasts. You’ll be able to discuss the day’s activities and compare notes with other spotters as well as observe a wide array of passenger and freight trains from the comfort of the station’s platform. If you plan on bypassing the chatter and are on a mission for the best train snaps then Clapham is the station for you; with an average of 120 trains passing through per hour Clapham has earned the title of Britain’s busiest station!

Ex-LMS Jubilee class No 45699 ''Galatea'' on loaded mainline test-run, on the incline at Hoghton, Lancashire.

Via. Flickr

Train Festivals

We Brits love a good festival and there are no shortages of colourful fairs where you can view a whole manner of rail-road vehicles.  Take a trip down south and visit the Dorset Steam Festival, where you can marvel at the history of the locomotive and oggle at the plethora of classic trains and rail carts on parade. Alternatively, if you are looking to train the next generation of trainspotters then why not head to The Kirklees Light Railway where a wonderful day out can be had by the whole family. Take a trip down memory lane by exploring the area with Thomas and Friends and rediscover the first little engine you fell in love with.

Kirklees Light Railway

Via. Flickr

Get Hands-On!

Admiring from afar is all well and good but to get a real feel for these machines you will need to get up close and personal with the engines. Two of our favourite railways to visit here at Sykes Cottages are The Helston Railway and The Somerset and Dorset Railway. The Helston railway is one of Cornwall’s hidden gems, with plenty of railway carriages to explore and a superb little buffet where you can fill your boots! Or why not visit The Somerset & Dorset Railway at Midsomer Norton, their track stretches for around a third of a mile and is a must see whilst in the area; we would highly recommend a tour of the museum and a trip to the gift shop too!


Via. Flickr

We have a lovely range of cottages near railway stations that would be perfect for any trainspotting holiday. After a tiring day at the track, you can head back to a cosy cottage, relax in front of a roaring open fire and re-fill the tea flask ready for the followings days adventure!

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