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Top 5 Railway Trips for Kids in the West Country

30 June 2023

If you're looking for a fun and exciting way to spend a day with your children, why not take them on a train trip? Plenty of railways in the West Country offer family-friendly excursions, and below are five of the best.

South Devon Railway

The South Devon Railway is a great railway trip for children in the West Country. The railway runs for 7 miles through the Devon countryside alongside the River Dart and is the longest established steam railway in the southwest. There are also many activities to keep them amused at stations along the route, including an otter and butterfly centre and rare breeds farm, play area and riverside walks. If you want to learn more about the railway, there’s a museum, plus of course a gift shop with books and model trains for sale. 

East Somerset Railway

The East Somerset Railway is another excellent railway trip for children in the West Country. The steam train railway attraction has special events throughout the season and includes a play area and cafe. The 2 1⁄2 mile heritage railway line is a great way to see the countryside and learn about the area's history. The railway also has various locomotives and cars that children can ride on, making it a great day out for all the family.

Yeovil Railway Centre

A trip to the Yeovil Railway Centre is a must for children in the West Country. This popular attraction features steam-hauled train rides, a miniature railway, character events including Paw Patrol, Santa specials, and tea with Santa. There's something for everyone at the Yeovil Railway Centre, making it the perfect day out for the whole family. And with its convenient location just off the A30, it's easy to get to from anywhere in the West Country. So if you're looking for a great day out for your kids, check out the Yeovil Railway Centre.

Dartmouth Steam Railway

The Dartmouth Steam Railway has steam trains, boat trips, and paddle steamers based on the South Devon coastline, making it a great place to explore for kids. Paignton and Torquay are two of the many family favourites you can visit on the Dartmouth Steam Railway. There is also a lot to discover for kids regarding history and culture. It is one of Devon's most popular tourist attractions, receiving over 500,000 visitors each year. Whether you're looking for a fun day out for the family or a way to learn about the area's history, the Dartmouth Steam Railway is a great choice.

Tamar Valley Line

This scenic route crosses from Devon into Cornwall, starting in Plymouth, famous for its maritime history, and runs through to Gunnislake. The stunning views from the Calstock Viaduct when the train crosses between the two counties is the highlight of the trip. There are a number of walks through picturesque villages along the River Tamar which can be accessed from stops on the route. The line is run by Great Western Railway and is part of the National Rail network, meaning off peak fares are reasonably cheap and railcard and child discounts are available.

There are lots of great railway trips for children in the West Country. These five options are just a few of the many that are available. Each offers something unique and is sure to create lasting memories for the whole family. 

Photo by Andrew Jones

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