The Steam Dreams Rail Co cream tea on board 61306 Mayflower to Windsor

Have you ever taken a ride on a steam train before? Well even if you have or haven’t I highly recommend booking a seat on the 61306 Mayflower steam train in where you can take in stunning views upon your journey as well as tuck into a delicious brunch, tasty cream tea or even a luxurious dinner onboard. So if your looking for that something nostalgic and extra special be it for a romantic date, a treat for a friend or even to celebrate a birthday the 61306 Mayflower will be a memory which will stay with you and your loved ones forever.

Steam Dreams Rail Co. is renowned for giving memorable days out and holidays across the UK and Europe. This summer they are providing a vast array of trips across beautiful the British countryside, whether you choose to travel in non-dining or treat yourself to a delicious on board dining experience their journey will be a moment in your life which you will never forget.

I was invited down on a PR basis courtesy of Steam Dreams to enjoy an afternoon cream tea experience on board their 61306 Mayflower steam train which is one of their series of summer tours which leaves from London Victoria station.

The Steam Dreams Rail Co.

The Steam Dreams Rail Co. is renowned for memorable days out and holidays across the UK and Europe. Select from a vast array of trips and take a steam train journey across the beautiful British countryside and treasure the memory forever.

Under new management, having been acquired in December 2018 by locomotive owner David Buck, Steam Dreams Rail Co are delighted to have celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2019. Since its inception in 1999, Steam Dreams Rail Co has gone from strength to strength and now welcomes over 19,000 passengers on board each year on over 50 trips and stop at 100 stations across the UK.

David has a passion for steam trains and brings new trips to experience on board these nostalgic steam trains. He has spent the last 3 years fully restoring the 61306 Mayflower and is is delighted she will be heading up the majority of Steam Dreams trips along with old favourites such as the Black Fives and Jubilee Class engines and the Flying Scotsman.

In addition to their extremely popular day trips Steam Dreams also offers a number of UK Holidays by steam including The Highlands and Islands with Flying Scotsman and the Flying Scotsman to Edinburgh. In 2021 they will be embarking on their most adventurous steam hauled trip of modern times as they head by steam across the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

Discover more click here.

To find out more about all the 2021 tours leaving from London Victoria check out the below:

The Royal Windsor Steam Express

Tuesday 1 June – Tuesday 14 September 2021
Travel to one of the UK’s best loved destinations in style by steam train leaving from London Victoria on Tuesdays during the summer. 

Step aboard The Royal Windsor Steam Express at London Victoria and let the train take the strain as you make your way to the historic town of Windsor, famous for the castle, riverside and Royal weddings.

Treat yourself to luxurious Pullman Style Dining, with a Champagne Brunch or Cream Tea served in elegant carriages, which will transport all to the golden age of steam travel. Alternatively travel in First Class or a Standard Class carriage and enjoy a range of delicious snacks or hot and cold drinks or even take your own picnic.

The Sunset Steam Express

Tuesday 1 June – Tuesday 14 September 2021
Enjoy an evening tour through the Surrey Hills from London Victoria. Bring along your own picnic or treat yourself to a 3 course meal on board. 

Enjoy a sunset journey through the Surrey Hills, which is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Treat yourself to a sumptuous three course meal on board or bring along your own picnic to enjoy whilst admiring the stunning views of the rolling Surrey Hills, bathed in the golden glow of evening sunshine.

Choo choo down to Windsor

Arriving into Victoria getting off a modern style train I was excited about boarding a traditional steam train. First things first check in at their stand within Victoria as currently their shop is closed due to Covid restrictions.

Upon waiting on platform 2 for the 61306 Mayflower at London Victoria I decided to read up about some facts about the 61306 Mayflower from the booklet I was provided.

Did you know that:

  • Mayflower was built in 1948 by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow
  • the Mayflower acquired the number 61306 by British Railways
  • was designed as mixed traffic locomotives which was capable of hauling express passenger trains as well as freight traffic
  • she has two cylinders, 6 driving wheels, a firebox grate area of 30 square feet and can operate at 75mph
  • since 1967 the 61306 Mayflower has been out of service residing at Carnforth until the 1970’s in which she was then fully restored for mainline operation taking passengers on a number of rail tours
  • in 2015 she was withdrawn for an extensive overhaul returning for a full mainline operation early 2019

It was so exciting seeing the Mayflower coming round the corner into Victoria, tooting away and huffing and puffing with steam. Steam trains are very nostalgic indeed and far prettier than our modern electric run trains which are far less exciting.

There are several different types of carriages on board the Mayflower from the Pullman Style Dining, Premier, and Premium Standard each styled differently. The Pullman Style Dining and Premier carriages provides a la carte dining where as the Premium Standard there isn’t an a la carte option but you can still purchase, plus complimentary coffee and tea throughout your journey and there is hot and cold food available to order from the cart. Alternatively you can always pack and take on your own picnic for your journey in a Premium Standard carriage.

As I was there to enjoy one of their summer of a cream tea from London Victoria to Windsor I boarded the Pullman Dining carriage which really was nostalgic making me feel like I had been transported back to the 1950s/60s era. Spacious these vintage Pullman Style Dining carriages with wood panelled walls, table lamps, curtains, large picture windows and comfy chairs provided for a very nostalgic journey.

On the left hand side of the carriage there is seating which is designed for two people and on the other for four people. Allocated ticket numbers I soon found my seat however unfortunately it was right next to the drinks station and so it was quite noisy and busy with a group of waiters clinking glasses and chatting. I kindly asked how long they would be there for as it was a little distracting with them chatting away and standing practically right next to where I was seated. The main waiter explained they were training up a few new members of staff but she had a word with her boss and eventually they then disbursed which I then could relax.

First things first champagne to celebrate this momentous occasion, followed on by salmon in a brioche roll, fresh scones with cream and jam, macaroons and of course a cup of tea or two. Alternatively you can have coffee if you are not a tea lover.

All the food was fresh and tasty and the tea was great, but I was surprised to learn that they use PG Tips as it tasted so good and I am not normally a lover of PG Tips to be honest.

Whilst dining and sipping away don’t forget to look out of the window and take in the beautiful views from towns to the countryside.

The map within the booklet also helped a lot to pin point where we were travelling past. Starting out from London Victoria we passed many of London famous landmarks including Chelsea Bridge, The Royal Hospital and Battersea Power Station. As we headed down the track we crossed the Thames and passed reservoirs and lakes before reaching Windsor & Eton Riverside Station, which did you know was designed by William Tite for London & South Western Railway as a royal station. 

Arriving at the station and saying bye to the 61306 Mayflower as it pulled away from the station it made me quite emotional seeing such a pretty old fashioned steam train next to a boring modern style train of today.

Seriously nothing can ever beat an old fashioned steam train, from its chuffs and puffs to the hoot of its horn.

To get back home it was back onto one of our modern day trains which is no where as near as exciting. Regular services (two services per hour at 23 minutes and 53 minutes past each hour) depart from Windsor & Eton Riverside back to London Waterloo and the journey time takes just under an hour. Return tickets can be purchased from the main ticket office at Windsor & Eton Riverside station on the day.

However before leaving to head back into London from Windsor be sure to have a walk around the cobbled streets and view the Tudor building, and enjoy the many cafes, shops and of course Windsor Castle.

Here are some interesting facts about Windsor Castle which you may not know:

  • Windsor Castle was built nearly 1000 years ago and is a proper fortress.
  • The castle is the oldest and the largest inhabited castle in the world. 
  • It withstood a two month siege during the Barons War in the 1200s.
  • The Queen lives at Windsor Castle which is said to be her favourite London residence (you can tell when she is home by looking at the flag pole above the famous Round Tower plus the Royal Standard is raised as soon as she gets there and lowered once she leaves to be replaced by the Union Jack).
  • The Long Walk towards Windsor Castle is 3 miles long and was commenced by Charles II from 1680-1685 by planting a double avenue of elm trees.
  • King George III loved Windsor Castle and cared about the people living nearby and as he regularly checked the area he got the nickname Farmer George.
  • 2005 Prince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles in the registry office in the town of Windsor.
  • St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle is the spiritual home of the Order of The Garter. Created in 1348 by Edward III it is England’s oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry.
  • Ten Kings are buried in Windsor Castle.
  • Queen Mary’s Dolls House is on display in the State Apartments at Windsor Castle.
  • Windsor Castle is guarded by a detachment of Guards in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats. The Changing of the Guard can be seen at Windsor Castle at 11am every day in April, May, June and July.

Note: Windsor castle is NOT open on Tuesdays for admission. Plus scheduled trips on The Long Walk are available only once a week.

Also whilst at Windsor you might want to take another ride of a different kind on Duck Tours or even a boat ride.

Check out my minute video for a glimpse of my journey on board the 61306 Mayflower steam train.

The afternoon cream tea which I enjoyed via Steam Dreams aboard The Royal Windsor Steam Express 61306 Mayflower runs out of London Victoria to Windsor every Tuesday from the 1 June to 14 September.

Estimated TimingsOutwardReturn
London Victoria1423NA

Costs £89 for the Pullman Style Cream Tea experience. For a non dining a la carte experience you can enjoy a ride down to Windsor in either their First Class carriage at £59 or Standard Class carriage at £39

Check out all the other summer tours which Steam Dreams Rail Co are providing click here.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I and my husband had such an exceptional time on board the 61306 Mayflower munching on scones and sipping on tea. Even though this afternoon tea type dining is a little more expensive than your traditional afternoon tea at say a hotel or restaurant for me it was much more magical and very nostalgic as I sat within a 1950s style carriage and took in some beautiful views on the way to Windsor.

As much as I loved travelling on this very pretty steam train the only disappointing thing about travelling into Windsor on a Tuesday is that Windsor Castle is closed on Tuesdays to the public so unfortunately I could not enter the grounds or castle. However saying that there is plenty to do in Windsor from boat rides to shopping.

So if you are looking for something special and nostalgic then I highly recommend taking a journey on any of the Windsor Steam Express and Sunset Steam Express steam trains.

Steam Dreams onboard Royal Windsor Steam Express are running out of London Victoria every Tuesday from the 1 June to 14 September.

Steam Dreams steam train adventures book your journey

Discover all tours and book your steam train journey with Steam Dreams

For all summer tours leaving from London Victoria check them out via

I and my partner we were invited courtesy of Steam Dreams Rail Co to board the 61306 Mayflower for an Afternoon Cream Tea tour from London Victoria to Windsor. All views are my own honest opinion.

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