Throughout December, the British Pullman and Northern Belle trains offer a host of seasonal journeys that include trips to some of Britain’s finest Christmas markets, carols at historic cathedrals, unique and exclusive shopping events and delicious festive fare.
Back by popular demand and for the second year running, Christmas Shopping on the Rails will depart on 6th December. Avoid the hassle of the high-street by travelling on the British Pullman where a hand-picked selection of luxury British brands will be showcasing their top seasonal gifts and products throughout the various carriages. Experts from each of the brands, including beauty line, ESPA, luxury leather goods maker, Ettinger and celebrity make-up artist Daniel Sandler will be on hand to offer advice on the best gifts for loved ones and provide top tips on this season’s must-haves.
In between browsing through the wide selection of gifts and shopping time, a delicious four-course Christmas lunch, prepared by the onboard team of chefs will be served with champagne and wine. This unique day out is an ideal way to start the often arduous task of Christmas shopping in exquisite surroundings and away from the throngs of crowds.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without carols and nowhere better are they sung and heard than in one off Britain’s most famous Cathedrals. Head to historical Canterbury Cathedral, on the vintage carriages of the British Pullman on 11th or 18th December and watch the Cathedral choir perform in a candle-lit crypt. Guests sing their favourite carols before heading down the cobbled streets of Canterbury for some Christmas shopping and returning to the train to indulge in a four-course dinner served with champagne and wine as they are leisurely taken back to London.
The beautiful surroundings of the historic city of Bath are popular all year-round and this is no exception at Christmas. The market is filled with stalls brimming with gifts and festive treats, the British Pullman will depart from London Victoria on 5th December.
On 7th December, the British Pullman will head to Lincoln Christmas Market, the first in the UK and steeped in history. Since the beginning, the market has increased from 11 to 250 stalls, so there is plenty to see and do whilst strolling along the streets with the backdrop of the impressive Norman Castle in the distance.
The Northern Belle will head south from Birmingham, Macclesfield, Manchester and Stoke on Trent on 1st December taking guests to the heart of the capital and a chance to soak up the Christmas atmosphere on the streets of London. London Christmas Shopping offers the chance to get immersed into the festive spirit and explore Harrods and other stores decked with decorations and Christmas-inspired window displays. Later in the month, departing from Crewe, Liverpool, Preston and Warrington on 15th December, Edinburgh Christmas Shopping is a more traditional shopping experience with streets lined with boutiques, museums and historical sites to visit during the day. However, if shopping is not the order of the day, take a trip to the impressive Royal Yacht Britannia.
The Northern Belle will host a Christmas Dinner, departing on 6th December from Edinburgh and on 12th December from Ipswich and Norwich, offering a perfect alternative for a festive evening out.
Adding to the festive trips in the schedule, a selection of Christmas Lunches aboard the British Pullman and Northern Belle are also available during December. Guests will be served truly festive fare with a chance to sit back, relax and journey back to the Golden Age of Travel whilst the train wends its way through the British countryside.
If the festive season is already booked to the hilt with parties and family get-togethers, treat a loved one to an Orient-Express Gift Certificate. Set at a monetary amount of your choice the gift certificate allows the lucky recipient to choose a rail experience on either the Northern Belle or British Pullman. Alternatively, the Orient-Express British Pullman Golden Age of Travel Gift Box (£700), which includes two tickets for the signature journey - ‘The Golden Age of Travel’ and specially selected keepsake items from the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Signature Boutique including, a pair of Venice Simplon-Orient-Express silver-plated napkin rings, a British Pullman teddy bear and a Venice Simplon-Orient-Express silver plated and leather photo frame. The Golden Age of Travel Gift Box can also be added to any journey on the British Pullman or Northern Belle, which will feature memorable keepsake items, at an additional supplement.