Preparations are well under way for the Churnet Valley Railway’s first ever Gin Festival, as G&T prepares to take on a whole new meaning over the weekend of August 20/21.
The event is a unique opportunity to sample from a selection of over 40 different gins at the Railway’s three stations and onboard all of the day’s service trains. There will be a full timetable of heritage passenger trains over both the Saturday and Sunday, with additional live music on offer each day too.
Gins & Trains is being organised in conjunction with North Staffordshire’s very own Society Bar, which runs popular bars in Uttoxeter and Newcastle-under-Lyme. A high numbers of visitors are expected to descend on 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 compliment their tipple, all whilst being able to enjoy an 11 mile round trip on Staffordshire’s Premier heritage railway.
“Gins & Trains is to follow the same format as the hugely popular Rail Ale Trail, which this year broke all previous records. This new event though brings something slightly different to the railway, with Gin having seen a clear rise in popularity in recent times” said Anthony Hancock, Churnet Valley Railway director. “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 will hopefully capture visitors’ imagination just as it has done with the Rail Ale Festival, whether they visit solely for the Gin or the scenic train ride as well.”
The bars open for the main event at Cheddleton and Froghall stations on Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 21, with steam and diesel trains in action on both days plus a Saturday evening diesel service. Live bands will play acoustic music at Froghall over the weekend where there will also be the return of the breakfast barbecue in this very British summer event.
For those not interested in Gin, a small variety of craft ciders will be available – including some traditional Somerset scrumpy! – and the Churnet Valley Railway’s own in-house range of real ales will also be available across the railway
No booking is required, though a discount is offered on advance tickets online, and entrance to the station bars is free. Special prices will apply for train journeys. For more information call 01538 360522 or check the Railway’s website, www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk or Facebook page.