This is one of the most scenic preserved railways in Great Britain. It was the Victorian writer Clement Scott who coined the name Poppyland for the glorious stretch of the North Norfolk coast from Weybourne down to Mundesley. The Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway opened up the beauty of Poppyland to generations of holidaymakers. Today the North Norfolk Poppy Line heritage railway still runs on M&GN tracks for five and a half miles from Sheringham via Weybourne to Holt, taking in wonderful views of sea, coast and heathland.
Steam trains run most days from beginning of April to end of October, with Santa Specials at weekends in December. Three original Victorian stations at Holt, Weybourne and Sheringham provide facilities on the line and you can disembark and rejoin the trains at any stage in your journey taking in many other attractions in the area.
Sheringham Station was built in 1887 and retains all the atmospheric charm of its steam railway days, with luggage piled high on the platform and a working replica water crane. Weybourne Station, in more rural surroundings, is the intermediate stop and next to the station are the line´s Locomotive Depot and Carriage and Wagon Workshops. You can begin or end your journey at Holt, which has spacious car parking facilities. It is also home to the William Marriott Railway Museum that tells the story of the line, located in the rebuilt goods shed.
The line was originally opened in June 1887 by the Eastern & Midlands Railway, later to become the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway. It was built and run by William Marriott, engineer and manager of the M&GN for 40 years. The M&GN was formerly much more extensive serving many villages and towns in Norfolk, becoming known with affection as "The Muddle and Get Nowhere Line". The line was nationalised in 1948 and eventually closed by British Railways in 1959. However, enthusiasts formed the North Norfolk Railway company in 1967 and were able to secure a section of line for future operations. Much had already been dismantled including the section through to Melton Constable where the M&GN has its headquarters.
The M&GN built Melton Constable in 1881 as a workers settlement and railway works. It is worth making the detour. The locomotive and carriage shed still exist, together with housing for workers and foremen, school, Mission Hall, Public House and a Railway Institute for further education.