For the past ten years, a group of coaching enthusiasts have been following old stage coach routes through England that still have the old coaching inns. They follow different routes every year, usually covering approximately 100 miles. This year Oundle was lucky to see two four-in-hand coaches passing through town on their journey.
The group band together for the maintenance of the coaches, which are exact reproductions of the originals, and meet up annually for a one week tour. This year their tour along the ‘northern route’ took them from The George in Stamford to The Bell in Stilton.
Stage coaches are pulled by a team of four horses, and were traditionally used to transport passengers and goods between stations. Stage coaches were hugely popular before the introduction of railway transport, which resulted in a huge decline of coaches on the roads. The act of journeying in coaches was originally known as staging, which is exactly what this group of enthusiasts does.
During their journey across the country, the group are keeping history alive and reminding us all of a world before high-speed technology.
In fact, with Oundle’s historic, well preserved old buildings and rich history, the coach and horses blended seamlessly into their surroundings by The Talbot Hotel.