Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line, Hampshire
Nicknamed the Watercress Line due to its past use transporting watercress from Alresford to London, why not experience the golden age of steam on this charming day out. With some familiar faces making an appearance at special events, it’s always a day out that the kids will love.
Make sure to stop off at Alresford’s charming Georgian town centre with lots of great boutique shops, a picturesque riverside walk and local landmarks. Top tip: A trip to nearby National Trust property Hinton Ampner is an absolute must.
Walk in Harry Potter’s footsteps over the iron footbridge where he received his ticket for the Hogwarts Express, or visit the Loco Yard where you can take a sneaky peek behind the scenes in the impressive engineering workshops and get up close to the locomotives. A day out here is certain to have your mini-train enthusiasts jumping up and down with excitement!
Open weekends from March to October, plus most school holidays. Special events include Wizard weekends, walking the line, Days Out With Thomas, plus special Santa steam train rides.
South Devon Railway, Devon
Get ready to ride the longest established steam railway in the South West, with the South Devon Railway running along the stunning valley of the River Dart. Pay once and ride all day on the steam-hauled locomotives as you journey between Buckfastleigh and Totnes, taking in some pretty impressive views from your carriage.
Why not make a day of it? At the stops you’ll find a play area, museum, gardens, a picnic area, and a model and gift shop with a model railway. Dartmoor Otters, Buckfast Butterflies and Totnes Rare Breeds Farm can be found at Buckfastleigh station. You could also combine your train journey with a visit to see the local wildlife and educate your family on supporting the local conservation efforts.
Open April to October, plus selected dates from November to March. Special events include Carols down the Line and Santa by Steam train rides.