Railway enthusiasts or young fans of Thomas The Tank Engine can live the dream at a new holiday home in Worcestershire.
Platform Three, in Malvern Link, is part the former station master’s house and our two children loved playing the ‘Fat Controller’ as the trains pulled up right outside.
During our weekend stay, they never tired of waving to the drivers, conductors and passengers from the garden and the floating balcony – and they even managed to procure a few toots!
Dating from the 1800s, the building is the only survivor from the demolition of the old station and was gifted to the station master, Mark Lambert, in the 1960s. He and his wife Ruby lived in the property for around 50 years before they both passed away.
The building, with its distinctive Malvern Stone facade, was put on the market in 2016 for around £260,000, and local builder Lee Bone immediately saw its potential. Lee, who is married to Chloe, said: “We fell in love with the property as soon as we laid eyes on it, and put an offer in on a whim following our first viewing.”
The couple, together with a four-week-old baby and a toddler (the ‘Railway Children’), moved in and set about dividing the property into three separate units. The middle section became their family home and following a complete renovation the first holiday let, Platform Three, is now available.
Lee, who has been involved in a number of award winning building projects in Malvern with his dad Steve, is thrilled the property has been given a five-star rating from the letting agency cottages.com
”We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved and have had lovely feedback from the community,” says Lee, who spent so many months working the exterior, sometimes from the first train in the morning to the last train at night, that he got to know all the train drivers (some 200 he estimates).
Lee painstakingly re-pointed the stonework in the traditional ‘snake’ style, using a dinner fork with the middle two prongs removed to hand work the lime mortar.
The upside-down property, with two double bedrooms on the ground floor and living space above, has a new floating balcony enabling guests to get a good view of the comings and goings of station life.
The first floor is open plan with beams, Victorian light switches, industrial light fittings and French doors leading to the balcony, where there is garden furniture. The kitchen has a dishwasher and washer/dryer.
Although the property offers the modern luxury it also displays more than a hint of its railway heritage with London Underground Metro tiles in the en suites and hallway, plus several Great Western Railway references.
Chloe’s eye for the decoration resulted in some quirky additions, including the wall-mounted stationary engine, the roll top Victorian bath bench on the balcony, and the hallway floor made from 19,000 two pence pieces.
The three smart TVs all show Netflix and Amazon Prime, plus they have Ketchup TV so in between trains pulling into the station our children were able to watch Thomas The Tank Engine on demand.
Outside there is a reconditioned gas lamp, converted to electricity, in traditional Malvern style to light the way to the front door.
Britain’s two biggest cities are on your doorstep with direct trains to London Paddington and Birmingham New Street. Closer to home, on the same lines, are the cathedral cities of Worcester and Hereford.
Platform Three is less than five minutes’ walk from Malvern Link’s many amenities including shops, banks, supermarkets, restaurants and pubs. The wide open spaces of Malvern Link Common are just across the road.
And it is only a quarter of a mile to the centre of the spa town of Malvern. We could have walked there but it would have been rude not to catch a train, and just two minutes later we were at Great Malvern station.
A short walk from this station, we discovered an indoor swimming pool, the renowned Malvern Theatre, the historic Malvern Priory and the lovely Priory Park Gardens, all grouped together.
Just beyond is the start of trails up to the highest point of the Malvern Hills, the Worcestershire Beacon (425m), from where we enjoyed magnificent views of the town and surrounding countryside.
So for a unique break that will live long in the memory, make tracks for Platform Three.
Adrian Caffery and family stayed at Platform Three as guests of cottages.com
, part of Wyndham Vacation Rentals, the world’s largest professionally managed holiday rental business, providing access to more than 100,000 properties in over 600 destinations worldwide. Seven nights’ self-catered accommodation arriving July 6, 2018 costs £888 (was £1,100). Wifi and a welcome pack are included. The public car park adjacent to the property charges £1 per day. To book, visit cottages.com
or call 0345 498 6900.
Lee and Chloe are hoping to have the other end section of Station House available to let by the end of the year, once its height has been doubled and a matching balcony added. They will then move out, freeing up the middle section. The three lets have connecting doors making them ideal for large families / groups.