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Spotlight on a Tamar Valley Tourism Member : Railholiday

Railholiday wins multiple awards

Railholiday, the family business of David and Lizzy Stroud, have been offering holidays in converted Victorian railway carriages in St Germans and Hayle since 1998. This year they are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a bang by winning 4 prizes in the Cornwall Tourism Awards, including the coveted Winner of Winners Trophy. The Awards organisers commended Railholiday for “their commitment to excellence and to constant improvement and development.”
           
Railholiday also won Golds for Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism, and Glamping and Alternative Accommodation, a bronze for Access and Inclusivity and were highly commended for Wildlife Friendly Tourism.             
Having bought St Germans Railway station as a derelict wreck in the early ‘90s, agricultural engineer Dave and musician Lizzy looked for a carriage to put in the siding, with the idea of creating a space for visiting friends to stay. Thus the Old Luggage Van was born. After letting it, to recoup some of the costs, they discovered meeting new friends and providing holidays for rail enthusiasts and train travellers was to be their life’s mission.

 Their second venture was a 1950’s compartment coach, which they sited in the West Cornwall coastal town of Hayle. Set in a half acre garden, this has proved very popular with families.                      

 

 Since then Dave and Lizzy have focused their business on restoring Victorian GWR carriages in St Germans. They now have 4 carriages to let in St Germans. In addition to the Old Luggage Van are a Travelling Post Office that was featured in Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys programme, a sumptuous slip coach with velvet panelled walls, and most recently a GWR brake third carriage that is fully accessible for wheelchair users.
            
However there’s still plenty of work to be done. Railholiday have a further 4 carriages awaiting restoration, including a carriage built for Queen Victoria.
            
Accessibility and sustainability is at the heart of Railholiday’s community rooted business. Guests are encouraged to travel by train, and Railholiday endeavours to encompass the needs of all guests; with calming light installations, a deaf alarm system and free mobility aids including a hoist and mobility scooter. As well as their more recent success, Railholiday were the winners of the Visit England Gold Award for Sustainable Tourism in 2016 and earlier this year they won Best Eco Garden in South East Cornwall in Bloom.
          
Guests have access to 10 acres of private woodland, beautiful wildlife friendly gardens, a local welcome pack, and bespoke furniture and fittings. Behind the scenes, heat is provided by a biomass boiler and electricity through Good Energy.
 

In their spare time Dave and Lizzy also add live soundtracks to silent films with their band Wurlitza.

 

For more information please visit www.railholiday.co.uk, or look for @Railholiday on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo and Pinterest.