World’s Most Unusual Hotels: A Restored Pullman Train Car

Jan 7, 2017

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Many of us have loved trains since we could say, “Choo choo!” And though the majority of adults have put their “Thomas the Tank Engines” into the toy chest for good, there are still plenty of young souls who have stayed on track. For them, it’s time to book passage to the UK, where they can center their next trip around their fondness for the rails, to which we say, all aboard!

Next stop: the Sidings Train hotel. Image courtesy of the hotel.
Next stop: The Sidings Hotel. Image courtesy of the hotel.

The ultimate accommodation option for train enthusiasts, The Sidings Hotel was created from five vintage Pullman train cars. Located about 70 miles northeast of Manchester in the charming Yorkshire countryside of the UK, the property was founded in 1985 and offers visitors the chance to sleep, dine or do both in early 20th-century train carriages. The hotel allows guests to overlook real working trains, too, as it’s built alongside the York to Thirsk line.

A train-car room at the Sidings Hotel. Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint not included. Image courtesy of the hotel.
A train-car room at The Sidings Hotel — Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint not included. Image courtesy of the hotel.

Sleeping in the old cars is truly a unique experience. Don’t expect loads of space, as the rooms are long and thin, being that they’re actual train cars. Still, the hotel has done an excellent job making each of the eight rooms as comfortable as possible, offering in-room tea- and coffee-making facilities, televisions, Wi-Fi, bath amenities, a hairdryer and en suite bathrooms in each room. Guests can choose between a single, twin, double or four-poster-bed double room.

No need to rush your drinks. The bar car's not going anywhere. Image courtesy of the hotel.
No need to rush your drinks, the bar car’s not going anywhere. Image courtesy of the hotel.

Each of the rooms are named after famous trains or train routes, and are artfully decorated to reflect the appropriate time period. There’s the Flying Scotsman, which ran from London’s Kings Cross to Edinburgh — delightfully outfitted in plaid — as well as the Yorkshire Pullman and the Oriental Express. Prices for a one-night stay include a continental buffet breakfast and start at about 59.95 British pounds (~$73) per room.

Railway memorabilia and art are scattered throughout, and guests who can’t manage a stay here can at least stop for a bite at the on-site Mediterranean restaurant, where they can dine in the outside garden (weather permitting) or in the dining-car portion of the restaurant, giving them a real feel for the old Pullman experience.

A view of the real train tracks and the English countryside from the restaurant car. Image courtesy of the hotel.
A view of the real train tracks and the English countryside from the restaurant car. Image courtesy of the hotel.

Getting There

Fly nonstop into Manchester Airport (MAN) from Chicago (ORD) on American Airlines, British Airways or Finnair or from New York (JFK) on Virgin Atlantic, Delta or United, among other carriers.

Once you’re in Manchester, make it a train extravaganza and take the TransPennine Express from Manchester Victoria Station to York Station. From there, it’s just a 10-minute drive to The Sidings Hotel. Alternatively, driving directly to the hotel from Manchester should take just under two hours.

A Final Tip

Although it may seem like there isn’t much to do in the misty Yorkshire countryside besides relax, it’s a true haven for history buffs and anyone who adores trains (obviously). The nearby town of York features the National Railway Museum and one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in northern Europe, while nearby Beningbrough Hall is home to vast amounts of art and antiques.

Would you stay in this wacky hotel? Have you stayed there before? Sound off below!

Featured image courtesy of The Sidings Hotel.

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