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Our own Northern Belle!


by Jacqueline Ahmed Manager Stockton Heath Travel

In January this year we were extremely pleased to welcome Diane, who many of you will know from the Village.

Diane has 18 years of travel experience and will be a great asset to our team. Diane celebrated her ‘big’ birthday on the Belmond Northern Belle with her family and we thought you may like to hear a about it….

Our journey on the Belmond Northern Belle started in Chester Railway Station at 11.30 am for a circular tour through the British countryside (including the Lake District) and ending at 6.30 pm. There are various trips and departure points to choose from and the round trip we chose included strolling musicians and a table magician, which was so much fun!

The train dates back to the 1930s with six carriages, each with it’s own bathroom. Our carriage was named Alnwick, which was cosy and the dining table arrangement is for two or four people. All the staff are professional but friendly. Large parties can make a group reservation and enjoy exclusive use of the whole train or an entire carriage. This is an ideal way to host parties or corporate events. Disabled passengers are very welcome and despite being unable to board the carriage in wheelchairs; the staff are available to assist passengers to their seats and folding wheelchairs can be be stored.

On Saturday morning we arrived on the station dressed in our finery (smart casual attire is recommended on board) and we were welcomed with a glass of Champagne. Lunch was a sumptuous affair of Canapes, Salmon, Soup, Welsh Lamb, Cheese & biscuits, Cheesecake, then Tea and Coffee with hand made chocolates. Our meal was completed with a half bottle of wine. The best local produce is sourced, including meat from remote Welsh farms, apple juice from Cheshire orchards. The table magician was amazing, which the whole family enjoyed. When booking a trip special dietary requirements can be noted at the time.

The shop on board is definitely worth a visit, selling memorabilia. Surprises can be arrange for travelling companions, or you can treat yourself, with a gift or momento. The staff can arrange for any of their items to be presented on board with a gift card containing a personal message.

We know how important it is to take time out from our day-to-day lives to spend with those closest to us, so why not bring all the generations of the family together, which is what we did and it was one of the best days of my life and I would urge you to try it?

If my blog has inspired you, please call in to see us, where a warm welcome awaits….

Call 01925 269400 or email stocktonheath@hays-travel.co.uk


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

1 Comment

  1. “Disabled passengers are very welcome and despite being unable to board the carriage in wheelchairs; the staff are available to assist passengers to their seats and folding wheelchairs can be be stored”. Forgive me but this is infuriating. Disabled passengers don’t seem very welcome to me. Only those who can walk. I love that a local agent is thinking about disabled clients. I love that we have the Belle in our area, it looks great fun. I understand that sometimes access is totally impossible and tho I suspect many venues and attractions use “old” as a way of avoiding basic responsibilities to better consider disability access. But the Belle really is old….I get it. But please can someone explain how this is welcoming to disabled people. It isn’t, just to those who can get out of their wheelchair which must fold etc etc. Sigh.

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