Following its successful debut in 2016, preparations are well under way for the return of a popular event at the Churnet Valley Railway. G&T prepares to take on a whole new meaning once again over the bank holiday weekend 25th to 28th August, for the 4-day Gins & Trains festival.
A unique opportunity to sample from a selection of nearly 50 different gins whilst riding behind a heritage train, the journey will be stopping off at one of the Railway’s three stations to sample your chosen tipple. A full timetable of passenger trains will operate over all three days, with an additional discounted evening service on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Organised in conjunction with North Staffordshire’s very own Society Bar, which runs popular bars in Uttoxeter and Newcastle-under-Lyme, following the successful partnership last year. A high numbers of visitors are expected to descend upon the valley, where they will be able to select one of the various gins on offer and watch it mixed with their chosen tonic in front of them – whilst also deciding which fresh garnish to complement their tipple. All of this whilst being able to enjoy an 11-mile round trip on Staffordshire’s Premier heritage railway.
Jack Ilryzcyn, one of the event organisers, is excited for this second event. “Gins & Trains follows the same format as the hugely popular Rail Ale Trail, which this year broke all previous records once again. This younger event though brings something slightly different to the railway, with Gin having seen a clear rise in popularity in recent times – in 2016, Gin sales passed the £1 billion mark nationally for the first time ever.”
“Last year was a toe in the water, and the feedback was overall very positive with a number of visitors having enjoyed their visit. The prospect of catching a heritage train to move between bars at each of our stations, in order to try all the various styles we have on offer is not something that is offered elsewhere at present and does capture the imagination. Whilst Gin is unlikely to gain the following of Real Ale, this sort of event does open the railway up to people who may never have considered visiting us before.”
Both Cheddleton and Froghall stations will open their bars for the main event from 11am, and will remain open until the evening with Froghall’s last orders being 11pm. Each evening an onboard bar will be available from 5.45pm, with a reduced ticket price entry being available from 4pm. For those not interested in Gin, the Churnet Valley Railway’s own in-house range of real ales will be available across the railway and a small Prosecco bar will also be open at Froghall only.
No booking is required, though a discount is offered on advance tickets online, and entrance to the station bars is free. For more information call 01538 750755 or check the Railway’s website, www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk or Facebook page.