Bure Valley Railway
Published date: May 2020
Hop on board Norfolk’s longest narrow-gauge railway which runs between the historic market town of Aylsham and popular tourist destination of Wroxham and experience a nostalgic trip by steam, in the heart of the Norfolk Broads.
This 18-mile round trip runs through the beautiful Bure Valley countryside following the winding River Bure through ancient pasture and stunning meadowland. Stop off at pretty Broadland villages - Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall, where you can explore on foot before hopping back on and continuing your journey.
Attracting over 100,000 visitors each year, the Bure Valley Railway is a popular Norfolk tourist attraction suitable for all ages. Operated by a small team of dedicated staff and volunteers on a not for profit basis, husband and wife, Andrew and Susan head up the management team. It was in July 1990 that the Bure Valley Railway was opened by journalist and TV presenter Miles Kington, with its fleet of purpose built and well-appointed coaches and one locomotive, that was the diesel locomotive built to construct the line. In the early years it did not own any steam locomotives of its own and was loaned locomotives and drivers by the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway in Kent.
Today Bure Valley Railway’s collection includes some of the largest and most powerful 15-inch gauge steam locomotives ever built, that have been specifically designed to work on the demanding 9-mile route between Aylsham and Wroxham.
Volunteers are very welcome at the Bure Valley Railway, it’s a great way to get involved with the local community, learn new skills and make new friends. They are a friendly team and welcome new faces to carry out a wide variety of tasks, both railway and non-railway related.
There is a footpath and cycle path that runs alongside the nine-mile length of the railway, from Aylsham to Wroxham, popular with locals and those visiting the region. Walkers can join any of the Bure Valley Railway’s scheduled services, with intermediate stations at Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall.
Throughout the year the Bure Valley Railway organises many events including the popular steam trains to see Santa, children’s parties and steam driver experience days, for those who have always dreampt of driving a steam train.
Enjoy the best of both worlds by booking a combined train and Norfolk Broads cruise ticket from Aylsham Station. This incorporates a journey by steam train through the picturesque Norfolk countryside to Wroxham and a 15-20-minute walk from the station to Wroxham Bridge, the starting point of the cruise. The tour boats provide interesting commentary on the outward journey and the return trip to Wroxham Bridge allows passengers to quietly take in the beauty of the Norfolk Broads. Then it’s a walk back to the station in Wroxham for the return journey by steam to Aylsham.
Whistlestop Café at Aylsham Station is a great place to stop off and refuel, whether you are using the train or just wandering through the picturesque market town of Aylsham. Discover a delicious selection of freshly baked cakes and sweet treats, hot and cold drinks, light snacks and homemade hot meals.
There are shops at both Aylsham and Wroxham stations, stocking a wide range of own branded items such as retro sweets, fudge and biscuits, children’s toys, railway souvenirs, gifts and books. The shop in Aylsham is also the home of Bure Valley Models, selling a large range of model railway items.
To find out more about the Bure Valley Railway, including ticket prices and timetables, volunteering, events and facilities, please visit their website.
Tel: 01263 733858