One of Britain's best-known steam locomotives, Royal Scot, will be heading through Suffolk next month on a special excursion to the East Midlands.

Royal Scot is no stranger to this region - it spent more than 30 years as an exhibit as an exhibit at the Bressingham Steam Museum on the Norfolk/Suffolk border before being restored to main-line condition a decade ago.

East Anglian Daily Times: Royal Scot at Bressingham before being returned to the main line.Royal Scot at Bressingham before being returned to the main line. (Image: Denise Bradley)

It did return to the region for a special steam gala at the Mid Norfolk Railway in 2016 - but its visits to the East Anglia are rare.

Royal Scot was built by the London Midland and Scottish in 1933 - but was not the first of its class to carry the name. 

The original Royal Scot was renamed so the new locomotive could be sent with the iconic name on a tour of the US shortly after it was built.

It is now based at Crewe and normally hauls excursions in the north west of England and in north Wales - but on May 8 it is pulling a special from Colchester to Chesterfield in Derbyshire.

That will give passengers the chance to visit Chatsworth House, Crich Tram Museum, or the Barrow Hill Roundhouse rail museum.

Photographers hoping to capture the train as it goes through Suffolk - it leaves Colchester at 7am, Ipswich at 7.25am and Bury St Edmunds at 8.05am. 

The best vantage points to get pictures are likely to be Cattawade, near Manningtree, Bourne Park or Gippeswyck Park in Ipswich, or Needham Lake at Needham Market.

Photography at stations is likely to be very difficult because they are likely to busy with commuters at that time.

The return from Derbyshire will be behind a diesel locomotive - so the only chance to see Royal Scot will be in the morning.

The trip is run by charter operator Steam Dreams who still have a limited number of  First Class and Pullman (full dining) tickets available. Standard class is sold out.

And for real rail fans: "The Royal Scot" was the name of the LMS top express that ran from London Euston to Glasgow Central. One of the locomotives that regularly pulled it was "Royal Scot" but unlike the train the engine has no "The".