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“Lovely experience with afternoon tea”
Review of Strathspey Railway

Strathspey Railway
Ranked #10 of 23 things to do in Aviemore
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Steam through the stunning Scottish Highlands in style.Our steam engines take you on a very special trip through the Cairngorms National Park as you travel between Aviemore, Boat of Garten and Broomhill.Why not make your trip extra special with one of our dining on board options: Light Lunch offers soup, sandwiches, tea and coffee; Afternoon Tea has some sandwiches, scones with jam and cream followed by some delicious cakes; or enjoy a full three course Sunday Lunch or Dinner. Why not upgrade to First Class to enjoy a meal in one of our compartments, finely decorated in it's own tartan, with vintage British Rail mirrors and luggage racks inside. Split your trip up with a visit to Boat of Garten to explore some fantastic walk trails or bring your bike on board to explore the great cycle routes in the area. See if you can beat the train back from Broomhill on your bike!We are also taking part in the Great Railway Treasure Hunt 2013, so there's plenty for the kids to do on the trip!
Useful Information: Food available for purchase
Reviewed 12 October 2017 via mobile

Visited on Saturday for my mums 70th birthday. There were 7 of us. The steam train was brilliant, and the scenery beautiful. Our afternoon tea was better than I expected seeing as it was on a train! I don’t drink hot drinks so liked having the option of having a soft drink. Liked the fact that you chose your sandwich too, the smoked salmon and cream cheese was delicious! When we stopped at the station half way through the journey you could go and talk to the driver and even get into the drivers compartment. My mum pulled the rope to blow the whistle which was a real highlight!

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank cherub85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"afternoon tea"
in 129 reviews
"steam engine"
in 88 reviews
"santa express"
in 86 reviews
"first class"
in 125 reviews
"mince pies"
in 49 reviews
"sunday lunch"
in 44 reviews
"light lunch"
in 41 reviews
"broomhill station"
in 21 reviews
"buffet car"
in 19 reviews
"run by volunteers"
in 19 reviews
"rolling stock"
in 19 reviews
"step back in time"
in 18 reviews
"return journey"
in 40 reviews
"dining car"
in 16 reviews
"santa train"
in 14 reviews
"waiting room"
in 15 reviews
"tv series"
in 13 reviews

140 - 144 of 1,219 reviews

Reviewed 10 October 2017

We took this train as part of a day trip from Invergordon. We were looking forward to some great views of the Spey Valley and Cairngorms. We were very disappointed as the train travels below grade in many places or through forests. We were suppose to be served tea on the train, but the service did not arrive in our car until the train had stopped at Broomhill - where we were to disembark. There are good opportunities to get up close to the steam engine when it is in the stations.

Date of experience: August 2017
1  Thank Cruise281
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2017

We booked as a family of 4 on the First Class 12.30 light lunch trip and were very disappointment with the experience.

First of all, the booking process was somewhat more complicated than you would expect. We encountered difficulties with the online booking section of the website, and after attempting a booking 3 times, which failed at the payment stage, we managed to make a reservation over the phone. However after realising that I had not been asked whether we would like a first class compartment, this resulted in a second phone call. I had to go through the process of giving payment details a second time, as the original booking had to be cancelled and then re-booked for first class.

Both times I was advised that we would receive a confirmation email. None of these emails ever arrived. Thankfully there was no trouble collecting our tickets at the station when we got there.

Our experience of the train journey itself, which we were all looking forward to, was a huge letdown.

We were not given clear instructions on which carriage to board, or how to find our compartment (apparently the reserved one was ours, but all 4 cabins had reserved signs on the tables!) We were finally assisted by one of the attendants - but overall this was very poorly managed.

Further dissatisfaction was due to the extremely poor standards of cleanliness within our 'first class' compartment.

The carpet underneath our table was filthy, strewn with old food debris, and hadn't been vacuumed in quite some time! Disgusting. The sugar bowl was dirty, with the remains of old tea or coffee around the rim of the dish and hardened sugar in the bowl itself - extremely unhygienic. There was a hair on one of the saucers, underneath the cup. The glasses (when drinks were ordered from the bar) were not clean - covered in greasy fingerprints.

The table setting for first class dining was unacceptable - paper tablecloth, paper napkins, and dessert spoons instead of soup spoons.

The quality of food and drink was also unsatisfactory.

The tea and coffee served was warm, not hot. One of our chosen sandwich fillings (peri peri chicken) was unavailable. The sandwiches themselves were not filled very well (one slice of ham with a thin spreading of mustard / coronation chicken with very little chicken - mostly raisins!) Homemade soup? This is questionable, the chicken soup tasted and looked like the tinned variety. White wine - served at room temperature (so warm that it contained bubbles). Apparently chilled drinks were not available. Serving warm white wine at £5 per glass is appalling.

The service throughout the journey was quite poor.

No table service for drinks - it would be expected to at least be offered one round of drinks at the table. The dishes were not cleared until 5 minutes or so into the return journey, meaning that we sat for quite sometime with dirty plates and cups. When an attempt was made to clear the table, the girl did not return for the last teapot or the milk jug. The paper tablecloth should also have been removed.

Taking everything into account, and having paid over £100 for our tickets, this did not represent value for money. We expected a far more enjoyable experience!

Despite such a negative outcome, I have given 3 stars instead of 1, as the company director did eventually give us a full refund. This was a rather lengthy process that took almost two months to receive, due to the long delays in between emails, which there was never any explanation for. Thankfully I kept pursuing the matter and the outcome was satisfactory in the end. The director did explain that they were looking into a number of improvements and a complete overhaul of their catering operation, which will hopefully result in a change in direction!

Date of experience: January 2017
Thank LRH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Graham S, Public Relations Manager at Strathspey Railway, responded to this reviewResponded 19 October 2017

The Strathspey Railway is disappointed that despite our recent correspondence requesting your date of travel, (which you appear to have omitted from this review but not others which you posted on the same date), we have, to date, not received a reply from you. Therefore, from the description in your review of the paper tablecloth covering and the food (chicken peri peri), we have determined that this review relates to our service in 2015, which was provided by an external caterer.

Today the Strathspey Railway manages its catering in-house. Our Trip Advisor reviews reflect the excellent service our catering team provides which is much admired by our passengers, many of whom return for the unique experience of Light Lunch or Traditional Afternoon Tea on our Steam trains.

A recent example,

“the quality of the food, the lovely laid out tables, drinks choices and the service of the enthusiastic and professional staff (including chef who we thanked having cooked and prepared everything in an adjoining carriage!) was so good!”

16th October, 2017

Many of our passengers will post an accurate review of their positive and memorable experience, travelling on Scotland’s Highland Steam Railway. If we do get it wrong, we encourage passengers to talk to us at Aviemore station, not wait two years from the date of travel and half a world away to broadcast materially wrong information about our current catering service, which our staff and volunteers work hard to maintain to a very high standard. You are welcome to visit again and experience the catering service as it is served to our passengers today.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2017

This was booked as a special treat. An under 2 year old who had never seen and certainly never been on a train was thrilled by this experience. We were a party of 8 ladies taking afternoon tea and enjoying the sights and sounds of a beautiful train journey on a glorious day. Creating lovely memories

Date of experience: October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 October 2017 via mobile

A great way to experience the old British Railway. Very interesting and experiential. Staff is amazing. Get to see a real steam locomotive. Ask questions and get great insights.

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank BT00001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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