All aboard the Routemaster Bus!
On Saturday 9th December 2017 we embarked on a Bus journey to Winchester Christmas market to soak up the Christmas atmosphere, enjoy some lovely food and drink and generally just to have a good day out together.
The trip was planned earlier this year by our very good colleague who privately operates the beautiful 57 seat Routemaster Bus – a traditional old Red London Bus! The idea was to transport families and friends from the Reading & Basingstoke areas to Winchester for the aforementioned xmas market and to be able to have a fun and festive journey en route – we were not disappointed.
Upon boarding the Bus we were warmly greeted by the owner and conductor and introduced to our fellow passengers. The Bus was seasonally decorated and festive music was being played, a choice of drinks and nibbles were made available to us and were gratefully accepted, especially the lovely warm Mulled Wine which went down a treat and set us up for when we departed the Bus as it was rather cold outside.
THE ROUTEMASTER BUS JOURNEY
The bus takes 57 passengers and was around 3/4 full and so a great, feel good, seasonal atmosphere was produced and the journey to Winchester was smooth, comfortable and most pleasing of all a scenic route was taken as opposed to driving on the motorway.
The driver took great care and attention (we didn’t want our drinks to be spilled) and when the Bus stopped at junctions in villages everybody was looking at the bus with big smiles on their faces, to see such an old traditional London Bus on the country lanes of Hampshire is a rare sight indeed.
Although an thoroughly enjoyable journey, it did seem to go quite quick which was probably down to the excellent care and attention we received from the crew in terms of ensuring we were well watered and fed, all the passengers we saw were also very friendly which really made the experience even more enjoyable.
BUS ARRIVES IN WINCHESTER
On arrival in the lovely historic city of Winchester, the Routemaster bus managed to drop all of us passengers very close to the city centre (literally a 2 minute walk) and everybody was looking forward to food, drink and the Christmas market.
After being persuaded into one of the local establishments for a beverage we then had a lovely walk through the centre of Winchester, the Christmas feel was very abundant with lots of little stalls, carol singers, excited children and stressed out parents everywhere!
We then made our way to the traditional Christmas market which was buzzing with excitement and packed to the rafters, there we met some of the other passengers from the bus who were perusing the wonderful array of unique Christmas gifts and paraphernalia that were on show.
BACK ON BOARD THE BUS
It was organised so that the Bus would collect as from the same point as the drop off which was perfect as it was only a ten minute walk from the Christmas market. The Bus was waiting for us on time all nicely warmed up and all the passengers were back on board within minutes.
The host again did a wonderful job on the return journey making sure everybody was comfortable and serving tea, coffee and more mulled wine. Despite being on an open ended classic double deck bus (no rear doors) surprisingly it did not feel cold at all even though it was the middle of the Winter.
After a smooth and pleasant journey back home we grabbed our bags, said goodbye to everyone and vowed to be back on the Bus at the same time in 2018. All in all, what a great experience it was to travel on this iconic and traditional classic London Bus, I would recommend it to anyone whatever the occasion.