BlogEventsWartime in the Cotswolds - 23rd/24th April 2022

Wartime in the Cotswolds - 23rd/24th April 2022






Come and visit our nostalgic 1940's weekend at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway.  2022's event will have an emphasis on the Home Front. Transport yourself back to September 1940 and imagine you are waiting for a train at a small station on the Great Western Railway. Children are being evacuated, soldiers are going back to barracks and aircrew are heading off to airfields in the South and West. "Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and smile, smile, smile."


Life in a typical Cotswold village would have seen the Women's Land Army working on the farms. Men joining the Local Defence Volunteers, becoming  Air Raid Wardens or joining the Auxiliary Fire Service. The Women's Institute, very much part of village life, saw the women knitting and making jam. The Gloucestershire Federation of the Women's Institutes was requested by the Government to grow 25 ton of onions and 15 ton of outdoor tomatoes in this County. The Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Women's Voluntary Services and the Red Cross all did their bit for the war effort.


Members of the public are encouraged to attend the weekend in British 1940's period dress, either military or civilian.


Firearms of any sort, replica or de-activated will NOT be allowed on site unless authorised in advance by the organisers.


The name of our event  "Wartime in the Cotswolds" was determined by the Railway from its inception as an event to depict the local atmosphere and conditions. Therefore we do not hold mock battles, and German uniforms, Nazi insignia or any other depiction of enemy forces will not be allowed on site.


Travel on a train between Cheltenham Race Course Station and Broadway on this beautiful heritage railway line, stopping to look at the exhibits and entertainment on offer at Gotherington, Winchcombe and Toddington stations.


Camping for this event is available adjacent to Toddington Station. First come first served. There will be Drinking Water, Camping Rubbish Disposal, (please keep this to a minimum) and Toilet rinse and emptying available in the field but there is no electricity. This is a greenfield camping location and there is no outdoor lighting. Members of the general public wishing to camp are asked to please complete the camping form. Traders and Vehicle owners please complete a camping form and send it with your event application form and submit it all to your organiser in the usual way.


Page Quick-links

Use these links to navigate around the Wartime page:

Tickets What's Happening Where Getting to Us
Opening Times Saturday Evening Dance Application Forms


What to expect

A light-hearted look at life on a Railway in the West of England. As you travel the line, you will be transported back to wartime Britain by Re-Enactors and Entertainers in period costume.  There will be vintage vehicle displays, trade stands, music and dancing with a 1940's theme. Meet the LDV (Home Guard) and glimpse life on the Home Front during 1940. King George VI, and Monty will be with us throughout the weekend.


It is even possible that you will see one of Britain's historic world war two wartime aircraft overhead at some time during the weekend (subject to weather conditions and availability).


Trains will not be stopping at Hayles Abbey Halt during the weekend.



Please note that entry to all stations and associated facilities (shops, cafés etc) on the GWSR for this event will be by ticket only. There will be no free site entry.


Tickets for the event include all-day-long "rover travel" along the full length of the GWSR  and all entertainment except the Saturday evening dance. On-line ticket sales will close 7 days before the event.



One Day tickets will be available on the day from Cheltenham Racecourse,  Winchcombe  Station (limited car parking) Toddington Station and Broadway Station.



Adults £30

Children (aged 5 -15 inclusive) £15

Family (2 adults, 3 children) £80

Dogs £3 each - maximum 2 per group of people




You can save money and avoid the queues at the booking office on the day by buying your tickets online in advance.



Adults £27

Children £13.50

Family £72

Dogs £3 each - maximum 2 per group of people


Adults £54

Children £27

Family £144

Dogs £6 - maximum 2 per group of people


Please note £1 postage will be added to your order when you purchase your Wartime in the Cotswolds tickets online in advance.


Buy Your Event Tickets Here


Reminder - entry to all stations and associated facilities (shops, cafés etc) on the GWSR for this event will be by ticket only. There will be no free site entry.


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Telephone:   01242 621405    lines open 10:00am - 4:00pm (except Sundays)


What's Happening Where


Once again there is a full schedule of activities happening at key locations along the railway this year.   WARNING - WATCH OUT FOR THE SPIVS AND SPIES. They may be anywhere at any time.



Located at Toddington will be the main exhibits, the entertainment marquee, traders, WW2 memorabilia, and Military and Civilian Vehicles. The Gardeners' Arms will be on hand for the supply of liquid refreshments. Hot food, drinks and light refreshments will be available at The Flag and Whistle café. The station has modern toilets, with baby changing facilities and a children's play area.



Hot and cold drinks along with crisps, cake and chocolate snacks will be available from our 'Snacks By Tracks' cabin on Platform 1 at Cheltenham Race Course station. Modern toilets, with baby changing facilities, are available on the platform.  There is extensive free parking at Cheltenham Race Course Station.



Gotherington Station is only accessible by train.


Gotherington Station is not accessible to wheelchair users.


Gotherington Station will be open for this special event by kind permission of Bryan and Savita. Ride the pump trolley and see the Northampton Home Guard. and Royal Warwickshire Regiment. There will be hot and cold food and refreshments in the 1940's tea tent. Portable toilets available.



IMPORTANT: Winchcombe Station has very limietd parking. 


See the Army Field Hospital with Dentist Exhibition, the RAF Operations Room and demonstrations and the Police Station on Platform 2 run by The Welsh Bobbies on the Beat. Refreshments will be available at the Coffee Pot café on Platform 1 from about 10.00am to 4.45pm. Toilets, with baby changing facilities, are available on Platform 1.


Getting to Wartime in the Cotswolds

By Car

Free car parking is only available at Cheltenham Race Course (GL50 4SH) and Toddington Stations (GL54 5DT). There is no parking at Winchcombe or Gotherington Stations. Special provision will be made to accommodate disabled visitors in our car parks.


Toddington Station is an ideal joining point for visitors from the Midlands, being just 15 minutes from Junction 9 of the M5. Parking will be signed in the field off Stow Road on the east side of the train station, with direct access to the booking office and platforms.


Cheltenham Race Course Station is the southern terminus of the GWSR, and is the most convenient joining point for visitors from Cheltenham, Gloucester and the south. The station and car park are within the grounds of the racecourse and are signposted from the roundabout at the main entrance to the racecourse. There is ample free car parking. 


Broadway Station (WR12 7DF) is situated on the western edge of the village. There is NO parking at the station itself (other than a small number of Blue Badge disabled spaces) but there is a recently built council-owned Pay & Display car park near the station just off Station Road with 89 places - £5 for the day - however visitors will get £3 off one of their tickets if buying on the same day (please note, this does not include tickets purchased in advance as they are already discounted).


Public Transport

See options available here. Don't forget to check with the public transport operator in advance for and recent changes to services.


Opening Times

Broadway, Toddington, Winchcombe, Gotherington and Cheltenham Race Course Stations will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 to 17:30.



With the large increase in passenger numbers, as well as unfamiliar sounds, movement and smells, we are finding that dogs are becoming distressed. We therefore advise you to leave them at home wherever possible. Dogs that do come need a ticket costing £3 each. Dogs may travel in standard class carriages and compartments. A maximum of 2 dogs can accompany any single group of people. Dogs to be kept on a lead (preferably a short lead) at all times whilst on railway premises and trains. Dogs are not allowed in carpeted areas on the trains, and especially not in first class or in our restaurant or buffet cars. They are only allowed on the floor and not seats, tables or laps, even if you have a rug. and must not sit on any seats or tables in the carriages. For safety reasons, please do not allow your dog to block walkways.


Assistance dogs travel free of charge and may travel First Class. 


Saturday Evening Dance

In the heated Entertainment Marquee on Saturday 23rd April 2022 19:30 to 23:00.


Dance the night away to the Kalamazoo Dance Band.


Tickets for the dance are £12:00 available on a first-come, first-served basis only through the GWSR web site.

Buy Your Dance Tickets Now


Application Forms


Conditions of Entry



Vehicle Owners

Wartime in the Cotswolds - 23rd/24th April 2022