Castle Line 175th Anniversary

We celebrated the 175th anniversary of The Castle Line between 1 and 8 August this year. The Castle Line runs between Nottingham and Lincoln through towns and villages, providing a picturesque journey alongside the River Trent.

About the Castle Line

The line opened on the 4th August 1846 as a 33 mile extension to the Derby to Nottingham route. George Stephenson surveyed the area and avoided engineering difficulties simply by following the route of the River Trent.

A much-needed line to connect two large cities, there are now many opportunities to explore the connecting towns and villages and the hidden gems they have to offer; from RSPB nature reserves in Collingham to Newark Castle, Air Museum and Southwell Racecourse. Additionally, the line provides peaceful country walks and many places to eat and stay.

Our stations on the Castle Line

To celebrate this historical line turning 175 years old, we put together the ultimate guide of our favourite things to see and do. Click on a station below to learn more.

Food and drink

  • The Waggon & Horses is a traditional pub, with a contemporary twist, they offer a fine selection of award winning beers, wines and spirits as well as non-alcoholic drinks for drivers and younger customers. They serve barista style coffee and traditional pub food – including freshly baked pizzas, from their very own pizza oven. The Waggon welcomes passers-by, walkers with muddy boots and dogs with muddy paws.
  • Manor Farm Tea Shoppe was built in the 18th century as part of a Homestead by the Duke of Portland and is filled with history, which the owners have unquestionably preserved. It is now home to the Tea Shoppe, Function Room & Shepherds Hut Bed & Breakfast.

Places to stay

  • Boatlane Camping offers couples and families with touring caravans, motorhomes and tents the chance to enjoy the beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside. Established since the 50s, the site has facilities such as showers, toilets, and a laundrette. A friendly site on the edge of Bleasby village. Four legged friends also welcome.

Walks

Food and drink

  • Fox & Hounds is a traditional pub neighbouring Carlton Station, built in 1876 it was for many years a home ales house.
  • It’s Inn The Bank is an old bank converted into a small and friendly pub with bars both up and down stairs.

Places to visit

  • Colwick Country Park is a large and diverse Country Park offering fishing, marina, water sports, outdoor adventure centre and conservation areas.

Food and drink

  • The Royal Oak, Community Pub is a traditional pub owned by the community in the heart of Collingham. Serving food including Brunch, Lunch and Pizza.
  • Pearson’s Nursery and Tea Rooms is a traditional tea room attached the local nursery.

Places to visit

  • The Cross site is the remains of a large and visually impressive medieval standing cross, grade II listed. Standing crosses were used within settlements as places for preaching, public proclamation and penance, as well as defining rights of sanctuary.
  • Trent Vale Trail is 2 circular walks around the village of Collingham and surround. Main route 4.75 miles, alternative route 2.25 miles.
  • RSPB Langford Lowfields is a nature reserve with an abundance of wildlife approx. 1.3 miles from the train station. Facilitles include Visitor Centre, nature trails and picnic area. Langford Lowfields Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire - The RSPB
  • The Cat Asylum Brewery operates from Brook House, which was once a successful plough workshop, and parts of ploughs and repaired agricultural equipment lie around, pretty much undisturbed as they have been since Walter Bealby ceased trading in the 1930s. Since that time the buildings have been used as a part time farm and full-time cat sanctuary.

Walks

Food and drink

  • The Bromley is located next to the River Trent in the beautiful village of Fiskerton. A traditional country pub with a fabulous double sided log fire situated in the heart of the pub. Outdoor dining with a view of the River Trent is also available.
  • The Full Moon is set at the heart of the delightful village of Morton, near Southwell and a stones throw away from the river Trent, the Full Moon is a welcoming pub, restaurant and wedding venue with year round appeal: a charming garden and outside dining area in the summer and 2 roaring log fires and comfy arm chairs for the winter. The contemporary bar stocks a range of fine ales, wines and traditional beers from both local and national brewers.

Places to visit

  • Southwell Racecourse is conveniently situated right next to the station. You can have a great day or evening at the races. Southwell Racecourse offers a unique blend of charm, excitement and comfort, making it one of the premier sporting venues in the East Midlands. With racing on both All-Weather and Turf tracks taking place throughout the year, they are one of the country's busiest racecourses. Southwell Golf Club is also on site, with the front nine holes in the centre of the course.

Food and drink

Places to visit

  • Lincolnshire Road Transport Museum hosts a collection of road vehicles and associated street furniture memorabilia from across the decades, this museum is has a magnificent collection to see. Open Sundays 11 – 4 from 1 August.

Walks

  • Hartsholme Country Park is a short walk from the station one of the entrances is adjacent to The Swan Holme Tavern. Take a walk around the lakes, spotting wildlife as you go.

Food and drink

Places to visit

  • Lowdham Signal Box Until 2016, this was in use signalling trains through Lowdham, but was made redundant by the resignalling scheme. In October last year, it was moved 100 yards to the other end of the station where it will open for the first time as a signalling museum on Saturday 31 July . Come and see what it was like to be a railway signalman at a country station in the 1950s and have a go yourself. Why not come by train and combine it with a meal at one of the pubs in Lowdham. Book your visit to Lowdham Signal Box.

Walks

Food and drink

  • Carriages Café at the Station Serving a wide selection of food, drinks both soft and alcoholic, this delightful café take’s a step back in time to complement the station building it resides in. .
  • The Castle Barge is a converted barge moored on the River Trent a 5 min walk from the station.
  • Soup Dwagon is a small café on Chain Lane selling soup and artisan rolls as well as paninis and sandwiches. They are the only café in Newark to sell illy coffee.
  • The Riverside Parlour is tucked away on Tolney Lane. They sell wonderful handmade ice cream sourced locally as well as hand made cakes, made to order sandwiches and delicious toasties. They also have a fine selection of hot drinks including some very tasty coffee made by their professionally trained baristas.

Places to visit

  • Newark is full of history from the Civic Centre to the Castle and the Aviation Heritage Centre, take a look at the Visit Newark to see what there is to explore.
  • You can hop off the train on to a boat and join the Newark Crusader in the Summer months for a leisurely ride down the River Trent.

Walks

Food and drink

  • The Dapper Spaniel is a dog friendly gastro-pub in the heart of the village of Rolleston.

Places to visit​

  • Southwell Racecourse is conveniently situated right next to the station, have a great day or evening at the races. Southwell Racecourse offers a unique blend of charm, excitement and comfort, making it one of the premier sporting venues in the East Midlands. With racing on both All-Weather and Turf tracks taking place throughout the year, they are one of the country's busiest racecourses. Southwell Golf Club is also on site, with the front nine holes in the centre of the course.

Food and Drink

  • The Plough is a traditionally wooden beamed country pub, offering a range of beers and real ales. Food is served every lunch time with a traditional meal on Sundays (booking recommended).

Food and drink

  • The Red Lion. Once a 16th Century ale house, The Red Lion is a fine country pub, set in the charming village of Thurgarton.

Events to celebrate the Castle Line Anniversary

To celebrate the 175 year anniversary there were some special events happening along the route, with daily tours of Lowdham Signal Box, guided history walks of Lowdham and plenty of entertainment along the line. We stepped back in time with fantastic 1940s singers, wonderful reenactors in their period costumers and we also celebrated on the day with some Rock'n'Roll dancing at Lowdham Station.

Dancers at the Castle Line Anniversary