Calling all train enthusiasts and their families! If you're in the Midlands and searching for exciting days out that revolve around trains, look no further. I've compiled a list of the top 10 must-visit attractions that will delight young locomotive lovers. From thrilling theme parks to scenic steam railways, here are some fantastic destinations to explore with your train-mad kids. Let's hop aboard and discover the wonders that await!
1. Drayton Manor Resort
Drayton Manor is well-known for its dedicated section to everyone's favourite blue engine, Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas Land has over 25 themed rides and attractions perfect for children, including Toby's Tram Express, Blue Mountain Engines, Flynn's Fire Rescue, and new for 2023, Thomas and Percy's Submarine Splash. We actually visited Drayton Manor for the opening of the new flume ride a few months ago, check out my Instagram Reel if you'd like to see it in action!
In addition to the rides, your little ones can check out the Thomas Exhibition, Emily's Adventure Soft Play, and Spencer's Adventure Outdoor Play. There’s also lots of entertainment in Thomas Land throughout the day. Join Sir Topham Hatt and his station sweepers Rusty and Dusty who host interactive singalong shows throughout the day from the Knapford Station Balcony. After, you even have the chance to meet and greet them and take a photo together. If you’re looking for the best place to meet Thomas the Tank Engine and all his friends, look no further than Drayton Manor, the Home of Thomas Land.
Address: Drayton Manor Drive, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3TW
2. Severn Valley Railway
Severn Valley Railway offers a magical steam train journey through 16 miles of stunning countryside, running from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth. Along the way, children can experience the charm of a bygone era and enjoy the sights and sounds of a working steam railway.
If you purchase a freedom of the line ticket, you can stop at multiple stations and explore! At Highley, you can visit the Engine House Visitor Centre (free entry with SVR tickets) and get up close with different locomotives, check out the exhibits, grab a bite to eat, and your little ones can play on the outdoor playground.
If you stop at Bridgnorth Station, you could take a ride on the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway, discover Bridgnorth’s shops and restaurants, or take a walk alongside the river.
At Arley, you can walk into the beautiful countryside, where the Netflix film, Enola Holmes, was filmed, among others! It's also a perfect station to do a bit of transporting! We spent a whole day aboard Severn Valley Railway last year and filmed our day, click here if you would like to see the reel! It really was a first-class day out!
3. Churnet Valley Railway
Churnet Valley Railway, located near Froghall in Staffordshire, is a gem for train enthusiasts of all ages. This heritage railway takes you on a nostalgic journey through the picturesque Churnet Valley, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Step aboard the lovingly restored steam and diesel trains and experience the charm of the past.
The railway hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, such as themed train rides and dining experiences, making each visit a unique and memorable experience. Churnet Valley Railway's Polar Express Train Ride is always a firm favourite with families at Christmas. The whole experience looks absolutely magical!
Address: Kingsley and Froghall Station, Froghall, Staffordshire, ST10 2HA
4. Telford Steam Railway
Step back in time at the Telford Steam Railway, where you can ride on heritage steam trains. Take a leisurely trip through the beautiful Shropshire countryside and explore the model railways in the Railway House.
The railway often hosts themed train rides and activities for children including Telford Steam Railway's popular The Polar Express Train Ride Event.
Address: The Old Loco Shed, Bridge Road, Horsehay, Telford, Shropshire, TF4 3UH
6. Statfold Barn Railway
Statfold is a privately owned steam railway and museum, showcasing a remarkable collection of historic locomotives and rolling stock. Visitors can take a ride on vintage trains and explore the museum's exhibits. Please note that Statfold often operates on specific event dates, so it's advisable to check their website for opening times, ticket prices, and upcoming events.
Address: Statfold Barn Farm, Ashby Road, Tamworth, B79 0BU
6. The Chasewater Railway
The Chasewater Railway is a heritage railway offering steam and diesel train rides along a scenic route near Chasewater Country Park. Enjoy a nostalgic journey on vintage trains while taking in the picturesque surroundings.
Address: Pool Lane, Brownhills, Walsall, West Midlands, WS8 7NL
7. Amerton Railway
As you step aboard the beautifully restored locomotives at Amerton Railway, the magic of the railway comes to life. The scenic journey takes you through picturesque countryside, chugging along a narrow-gauge track. But the adventure doesn't end with the train ride alone!
In 2018, Amerton Railway volunteers began building a new Picnic Area at Chartley Halt. The picnic area features several comfortable tables, lots of space on the grass, and amazing views of the passing train. Amerton Railway has also changed their tickets after the introduction of the new picnic area to include two full return trips from their main station, which means you can pick up a bite to eat from Amerton Farm, whose food offerings include the Ice Cream Parlour and Finney’s Tea Room, and bring it to the railway to watch the trains pass by. What a perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon!
Address: Amerton Farm, Stowe-by-Chartley, Stafford, ST18 0LA
8. Evesham Vale Light Railway
Evesham Vale Light Railway offers breathtaking views of the picturesque Vale of Evesham. Embark on a captivating ride spanning over a mile, as you pass by the scenic old apple orchards and meander through the serene country park. You can make a brief stop at Evesham Vale Station, where you can take a well-deserved break from your journey. Indulge in a delightful picnic, explore the playfort, take a leisurely walk to the River Avon, or simply bask in the awe-inspiring views that showcase the natural splendor of the Vale of Evesham.
Address: Evesham Vale Light Railway (EVLR), The Valley, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 4DS
9. Echills Wood Railway
Although not a day out, Echills Wood Railway is a 7+1⁄4 in miniature hobbyist railway in Kingsbury Water Park. Kids can experience the joy of riding a miniature steam train while surrounded by beautiful parkland. The railway operates on selected dates, so it's advisable to check their website for the schedule, ticket prices, and other relevant details.
Address: Kingsbury Water Park, Bodymoor Heath Lane, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B76 0DY
10. Bridgnorth Cliff Railway
Although not really a day out, Bridgnorth Cliff Railway is always a big hit with train lovers. It's not a traditional train ride, but it's a unique funicular railway that transports passengers up and down the steep cliffs of Bridgnorth. Offering stunning views of the town and River Severn, this historic railway provides a memorable experience.
Address: 6 Castle Terrace, Bridgnorth WV16 4AH
Other Things To Do With Train-Mad Kids
Trainmaster is a haven for young train enthusiasts! The franchise has multiple pop-up locations across the UK, and offers an incredible array of trains, an enormous track, and multiple train playsets. During the hour long sessions, your little ones can play with all of the trains and playsets.
Train Time is another great stay and play group for train loving children! The play session features lots of trains and a train track of over 200 feet long with lots of track features. Regular sessions are organised at different locations across the West Midlands, Worcestershire and Wilstshire. Head to their website to find a location near you!
Remember to check each attraction's website for the latest information on opening times, prices, and any additional activities or events they may offer. Get ready to embark on train-tastic adventures in the Midlands that will create cherished memories for your family and thrill your train-loving little ones!
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