One of the world’s most luxurious trains will call at Stevenage and Hitchin next month to take top champagne-sipping punters to Ladies’ Day at Newmarket Racecourse.

The Northern Belle – seven ornately-decorated Pullman carriages hauled by a vintage diesel locomotive – is Britain’s equivalent to the famous Orient Express.

Organisers describe it as “recapturing a bygone era of rail travel at its most glamorous” and say passengers “can expect glamour, fun and a dash of adventure”.

The train will leave London King’s Cross at 9.30am on Thursday, July 12, before calling at the two Hertfordshire stations – and for those who don’t fancy a day’s racing, there will be an alternative excursion to the Royal Sandringham Estate and Gardens, the Queen’s favourite Norfolk retreat.

Every one of the 297 seats was snapped up weeks ahead of a recent trip from London to Aintree for the Grand National, and general manager Jeanette Snape said: “Places are already booking up fast for the Newmarket train too. It’s odds-on they will all be gone soon!

“Many of the men on board will dress up specially for the occasion in top hat and tails, while most of the women will be wearing fancy hats and fascinators.”

Punter Michael Davies, who travelled on the train from London to the Grand National earlier this year, said: “I don’t always win at the races but I know when I book on the Northern Belle that a fun and memorable day is a dead cert.

“Every detail is taken care of, from a copy of Racing Post placed on my train seat in the morning to the fabulous meal on the return.”

Train manager Sandra Jones said: “The atmosphere for our sporting specials is always fantastic. The buzz of excitement begins as we roll out the red carpets. The laughter, chat and fun flows all day – just like the champagne!”

Fares on the Newmarket/Sandringham trip start at £295 per person.

The Northern Belle will also pick up passengers at Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage on August 11 en route to Harrogate, Fountains Abbey and York, on August 23 to Ladies Day at the York Ebor Race Festival and Castle Howard, and then on Sepember 15 to the St Leger at Doncaster Racecourse.

For more about these and other trips, see or phone 0844 8404525.