BlogEventsWartime in the Cotswolds - 27th & 28th April 2019

Wartime in the Cotswolds - 27th & 28th April 2019



We invite you to join us


Come and visit our nostalgic 1940's weekend at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. 2019'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 Institute had been requested by the Government to grow in this County 25 ton of onions and 15 ton of outdoor tomatoes. The Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, WVS, 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.


Page Quick-links

Use these links to navigate around the Wartime page:

Tickets Timetable What's Happening
Getting to us Opening Times Saturday Dance


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. At stations 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, Churchill and Monty will be with us throughout the weekend, visiting Winchcombe Town and Broadway Village.


In addition to a large collection of military vehicles and jeeps, a "Star Attraction" attending this year's Wartime in the Cotswold event will be the Replica Spitfire. It will be positioned in the car park at Toddington Station. This is a unique experience as this Spitfire, EN398, is the only full size replica Spitfire in the world. It is transported by road to events and has a full original cockpit and working Merlin engine. THE MACHINE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO SIT IN, either with the engine running or not. Details for booking your turn for the Spitfire Experience are coming soon.


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).




A special wartime timetable will be in operation on both days. Please note that trains will not stop at Hayles Abbey Halt during this event.



Tickets for the event include all-day-long "rover travel" along the full length of the GWSR, short trips on the narrow gauge railway at Toddington and all entertainment except the Saturday evening dance. On-line sales will close 7 days before the event; sales of daily tickets will be available on the day from the stations.


Ticket Types and Prices


Type of Ticket

One Day On the Day

One Day In Advance Online

Two Day in Advance Online

Adults £26 £22 £40
Senior (aged 60+) £24 £20 £36
Children (aged 5-15) £11 £10 £18
Family Ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £63 £54 £98
  • You can save money and avoid the queues at the booking office on the day by buying your tickets online in advance.
  • Please note a booking fee of £1 will be added to your order when you purchase your Wartime in the Cotswolds tickets online in advance.
  • TWO DAY TICKETS are ONLY AVAILABLE in ADVANCE and ONLINE. They cannot be purchased on the day.
  • Dogs will be charged at £3.00 each for each day. Tickets for dogs will be available for purchase in advance online soon (see the Day Dated Rover tickets) or at the booking office on the day.


Buy Event Tickets Now


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

Visitors will be issued with an ID card, which could be asked for at any time and place - don't forget there is a war on.


Follow Us

Facebook Icon Please follow us on FACEBOOK by clicking on the logo for the latest information on the event.

The Quirky Parent Blog Icon Also, read what author and blogger Claire Potter wrote following her visit in 2015 by clicking on the logo. Claire is a freelance writer for The Guardian, specialising in writing about unusual and quirky places to go, with things to do with kids.




Telephone           01242 621405                     lines open 10:00am - 4:00pm



What's happening where



Located at Toddington will be the main exhibits, the entertainment marquee, traders, WW2 memorabilia, 1940's hair and beauty salon, and narrow gauge railway. 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.



The GWSR shop on the platform will be open with lots of gifts for all ages.  Light refreshments will be available. Modern toilets, with baby changing facilities, are available on the platform.  There is extensive free parking at Cheltenham Race Course Station.



Gotherington Station will be open for this special event by kind permission of Bryan Nicholls. Exhibits, ride the pump trolley. There will be light refreshments on sale and portaloos available. The station is accessible only by GWSR train. 



Although there is no car parking at Winchcombe Station, it will be possible for visitors arriving on foot to buy a ticket and enter the event there. Refreshments will be available at the Coffee Pot café on Platform 1 and in the Tin Hat Club on Platform 2. Toilets, with baby changing facilities, are available on Platform 1. There will be exhibits, including the RAF plotting room on Platform 1 in the Tim Mitchell Building.



After last year's success, Winchcombe Town will again be joining us in this event. There are Council operated pay and display car parks available. There will be a regular free bus service, Saturday only, to and from Winchcombe Station and Winchcombe Town, and The King, Churchill, and Monty will be giving rousing speeches - God Save the King!



There will be a free vintage bus service running to the village from Broadway Station. The King, Churchill and Monty will visit Broadway Village on Sunday. There are Council pay and display car parks near the Station and at Childswickham Road. 


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), situated on the western edge of the village has limited paid car parking near the Station.


Public Transport

There are some great alternatives for getting to the four GWSR main stations using public transport.  As always, you are advised to check with the transport operator before planning your journey.


Marchant's Coaches, for enquiries call 01242 257585 or 01242 257714.


Stagecoach, for enquiries telephone 0871 200 22 33


Johnsons Coaches, for enquiries telephone 01564 797 070


NN Cresswell, for enquiries call 01386 48655 (8am - 5pm Mon-Fri)


Cheltenham Race Course Station GL50 4SH

The nearest mainline railway station to the GWSR is Cheltenham Spa. Stagecoach services D and E operate from Monday to Saturday from the forecourt of Cheltenham Spa railway station to Cheltenham Race Course Park & Ride, with a bus every 10 minutes.


The Park & Ride is about a half a mile walk to the GWSR Cheltenham Race Course station. The walk is along the racecourse internal road, and is sign-posted. Our booking office is at road level, whilst the platforms and main station buildings are reached by a slope. Visitors who prefer not to walk are advised to either use a taxi or to use Winchcombe or Toddington station instead.


On Sundays and Bank Holidays, Stagecoach service D operates half-hourly.


Winchcombe Station GL54 5LD

Winchcombe Station is situated in the village of Greet and is served by the Marchant's Coaches 606 bus service Monday to Sundays, as well as their W1 and W2 services Mondays to Saturdays. See the timetables here. The buses depart from the Royal Well bus station, Cheltenham Spa. Passengers should get off the bus stop opposite Winchcombe Station.


Toddington Station GL54 5DT

Toddington is served by the Marchant's Coaches 606 bus service from the Royal Well bus station, Cheltenham Spa, Mondays to Saturdays and the 606S on Sundays. See the timetables here. Passengers should get off at Toddington Roundabout. There are about six buses a day to Toddington. You may need to change buses from the W1 or W2 to the 606 at Winchcombe.


Broadway Station

Broadway station is located on the western edge of the village, a 15 minute walk from the centre. Broadway is served by the NN Cresswell’s Rural 4 bus service from Evesham Bus Station (Stand E), Mondays to Saturdays, Johnsons Excelbus Service 1, and Marchants Coaches 606S Service from Stratford-Upon-Avon and Chipping Campden. Further details of bus services in Broadway are available on the Visit Broadway Bus Services web page. Please check the bus companies’ timetables for details.


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. They are not, however, allowed in First Class or in the buffet cars, and must not sit on any seats or tables in the carriages (even on owners' blankets). Assistance dogs travel free of charge and may travel First Class. 


Saturday Evening Dancedance

In the heated Entertainment Marquee on Saturday 27th April 2019, start time 19:30 to 23:00.


Dance the night away to JB Swing Band.


Tickets for the dance are £11:00 available on a first-come, first-served basis only through the GWSR web site.



Buy Dance Tickets Now


Application Forms

Conditions of Entry




Vehicle Owners

Public Camping

Wartime in the Cotswolds - 27th & 28th April 2019