The hotel only provides bed and breakfast and we expected to take excursions to the town, a couple of miles away, for restaurant dinners. The first night, tired from the journey, we walked to the Badgers pub at the end of the approach road, the former station hotel, of course, and dined there. It was a great meal and the menu looked so interesting that we went there on all three evenings for dinner, another benefit being that we could walk there and back and did not have to worry about being fit to drive. It seemed to us that it would be worth these two businesses getting together to drive custom to each other by encouraging hotel guests to dine at the inn.
|Four traditional Pullman cars converted to provide eight|
bedrooms at the Old Station Hotel, Petworth. Ours was
the far one on the left.
|Tornado preparing at Alresford station - the view from the|
As it happened the then brand-new A1 Pacific locomotive Tornado was a visitor at this railway (known as The Watercress Line) in the week we were there and we were able to see her working on the day we visited. This locomotive is a marvel: none has been preserved and so this new one was built from scratch using the original designs but without, of course, the original factory facilities, so each component had to be made especially for the job. I first saw it, unexpectedly, at Tallington while having my car washed and could not quite believe what I was seeing!
We arrived at Alresford in plenty of time and had a picnic lunch overlooking the station, then caught our train to Alton, where the preserved line meets end-to-end with the electrified line from London Waterloo, the two separate railways sharing a common station. The preserved line even carries a period advertising sign for electric trains to London! I wondered then about visiting this line by train all the way - we've never done it, but it did start a train of thought (sorry) which led us to some of our other adventures recorded here.
We browsed among the shops in Alton and caught the next train back to Alresford where, shower dodging, we had tea in a local tea shop and went for a walk following a town trail picked up in an information centre, something we often do when on adventures rather than just wandering at random and wondering what we are seeing. And so back to the car and to our static Pullman "caravan" and after other outings, home to Stamford.