Waking up on Friday morning to the radio alarm clock reporting record highs and glorious weather for the day ahead but a complete washout for Saturday. Not wanting to waste this opportunity to go exploring we headed out for a big adventure to the smallest county in England.
Our first step was of course figuring out how to get there ?
No matter which route we chose it would involve going though Nottingham so we decided to head up to Ilson market and jumped on-board the “TWO” and made our way to Nottingham.
Our first option for heading out to the town Oakham was from Nottingham Broadmarsh via the centrebus “five counties” service (Route 19). While was the cheapest and direct option at £6.30 for a return and taking nearly one and half hours to get there but the only down side was the last bus back leaves Oakham at 17:15 and if we missed that we would be in trouble….
So we decided to take the second option which although more expensive at £18.50 for a Anytime Day return. which for some reason was actually 40p cheaper then an Off peak day return ?
There is no direct train from Nottingham to Oakham but there are two ways to get there both of which would involve a change of train today we would use both the first route saw us jump onto the East Midlands Train service to Norwich which like our adventure to Newark was served by the workhorse of East midland’s regional services the class 158.
Soon we were on our way and just like our Newark adventure we passed the class 158’s home of Eastcroft Depot but soon we started to travel on new lines and after passing Netherfeild the city landscape soon dissolved into the delightful rolling Nottinghamshire countryside and the towns and villages of south Nottinghamshire.
Soon the Rolling countryside started to give way to urban sprawl and industrial buildings and with the arrival of Electrical wires above us we had arrived on the East Coast mainline and Grantham where I (Alan) took possibly the worst photo ever on our travels of the station.
After our departure from Grantham we were properly now travelling south bound on the mighty East Coast Mainline which runs from London’s Kings Cross along the East side of Great Britain to Scotland’s Capital city of Edinburgh. shortly after leaving Grantham the Rolling views of the countryside soon returned and travelling along this grand and historical four track railway is indeed a pleasure although very short lived as soon we had arrived at our change point.
Our station change was at the Historical city of Peterborough in Northamptonshire although sometimes it is classed as Cambridgeshire (we will have to explore the city at some point to found out why ?). Here we said goodbye to our EMT Class 158 as it made its way south to Norwich.
Peterborough Station is very modern and light and indeed is very artistic in its design. It is also a very busy station with Virgin East coast’s InterCity 125’s and there younger electric brothers the InterCity 225’ss passing though on there way up and down the country as well as many local & regional services coming and going.
The station is also served by an hourly cross country service running from Standsted Airport to Birmingham (New Street). Normally run with its fleet of class 170 (turbostars) rather then there voyager sets used on there long distance services. This was our connecting service to Oakham and the county of Rutland.
The services was very busy and crowded but with the luxury of leg room which is almost non existent on there voyager trains a bit of a busy train was easy to endure. Soon we were heading back north along the mighty East Coast mainline before we turned onto the historic Syston and Peterborough Railway which offers the traveller to experience of stunning country side views and delightful village hamlets but also a line that is still controlled by the traditional blood and custard Midland railway signal boxes. After one intermediate station at Stamford we passed though a tunnel and as we came out to our right just over the tree line was the stunning Rutland water glimmering in the sunlight. we were now in Rutland and coming up to our destination of Oakham.
We finally made it to Oakham in the heart of England’s Smallest county of Rutland and were greeted by its beautiful Victorian station which was opened 1 May 1848 by the Midlands counties Railway.
Oakham Station as well as being a stunning example of a countryside railway station also holds a claim to fame with its signal box being used as the template for Airfix’s classic model signal box.
Soon it was time to head out of Oakham’s stunning station and explore what this historical market town had to offer but that’s to come in Pt.2 of our big adventure in a little county but untill then remember to…..
Get outdoors and Keep Exploring
and please don’t forget to share your adventures with us for a chance to become an #OswaldExplorer