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Beautiful Britain

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 19, 2012

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Britain offers some of the most striking countryside in the world with its rolling hills, meandering rivers, picturesque lakes and towering mountains.

Forever green and vibrant with the colour of flowers in spring and summer months, you can truly get lost in your surroundings. A selection of great cruise and steam holidays has been chosen as they will allow you to experience this scenery from a different perspective.

The Kent and East Sussex Railway has been used as a location for various productions, from popular TV programmes including The Darling Buds of May and more recently Downton Abbey to documentaries and photo shoots. Chatham's historic dockyard is the starting point for the leisurely 1½-hour cruise on the River Medway aboard the UK's only coal-fired paddle steamer Kingswear Castle.

The Bure Valley Steam Railway crosses 17 bridges and passes through the idyllic villages of Buxton, Brampton and Coltishall to Wroxham. The Broads cruise on the Southern Comfort Mississippi Paddle Boat will pass thatched cottages, windmills and Norfolk reed beds and provides an excellent commentary on points of interest and birdlife.

From Skipton, known as the gateway to the Dales and home to one of the most complete, medieval castles in England, board a traditional canal boat for a cruise along one of the most scenic waterways in Yorkshire and travel on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in the land of The Bronte sisters' Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

Finally travel in opulently upholstered saloons on board the National Trust Steam Yacht Gondola, a superb way to appreciate the magnificent scenery of Coniston Water. The rail journey will begin on the southern shores of Lake Windermere on board the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway for a memorable 3.5 miles journey through the beautiful Leven Valley.

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