Dear Mummy, recently we went to a Day Out with Thomas where we met the REAL Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. I’ve been watching Thomas since I was a baby so when Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line asked if we’d like to visit their Day Out with Thomas, we couldn’t resist!
There’s something so magical about riding on steam engines, smelling the coal and hearing the chugging and whistling. It’s sensory overload and a great way to create lasting memories. Last time we visited it was glorious picnic weather, however this time it was a bit dreary, but that didn’t dampen our spirits. When I arrived I was handed a ‘Day Out with Thomas’ passport with activities to complete at the railway in order to obtain a sticker and Thomas junior engineer certificate. I was so excited as I could hear the trains from the car park!
Mid Hants Railway runs from Alresford to Alton in Hampshire, where it connects with the mainline service to London. It is known as the Watercress Line because in the olden days it was used to transport watercress from Alresford to London. This heritage railway is not-for-profit and the staff running the railway are passionate volunteers who are super helpful and friendly encouraging a new generation of train enthusiasts.
As soon as we walked through the entrance we were transported back to the age of steam with staff dressed in period clothing and bunting flying. I loved that the stations were so authentic as it really added to the feel of the day, like something from a pretty postcard with beautiful flower beds and manicured hedges.
The staff were wonderful and were all kitted out in traditional uniforms. They are obviously very proud and knowledgable about both the line and the trains and were more than happy to share their knowledge with us while on the platform in between trains.
There are four stations; Alresford, Ropley, Medstead & Four Marks and Alton. We decided to travel all the way to Alton then back to the beginning of the line in the opposite direction while it was raining. However on the way back the sky cleared so we took advantage of the brief sunshine and stopped at Ropley to see the magic show with Rusty and the Fat Controller.
Ropley is where Thomas was running from and where the majority of attractions were held, like the vintage fairground rides and food stalls, the magic show and the miniature railway. Alresford is a little hub of activity too being in a village setting and Ropley is set in beautiful countryside surroundings with the famous Kings Cross footbridge that featured in the Harry Potter films.
Thomas was the main attraction at this event and we got plenty of opportunities to ride in his carriages and take photos. Tickets to the event cost £18 for an adult, £12 for a child and £54 for the whole family. For that price you get unlimited access to the whole of the Watercress line with train rides and unlimited rides on Thomas with themed activities thrown in.
At Ropley, there was Thomas themed entertainment in a big tent and a vintage fairground included. At Alresford, Bertie the bus and a steam roller were outside the front of the station entrance for photo opportunities too. Everything was spread out across the four different stations which meant that they didn’t feel busy and at one point we had all the fairground rides to ourselves!
We brought a picnic to the event but you can also buy food from both Alresford and Ropley stations, with a posh burger van at Ropley and snacks available from Alresford. There are plenty of places to have a picnic and you can also eat on the steam trains.
We definitely made a full day of it and where there for over 6 hours and even though it was raining it was a very enjoyable day. If you’re looking for something unusual to do with the kids in Hampshire, we’d recommend a Day Out with Thomas this year.
Love Bella x
Disclosure: We were offered a family ticket to the Watercress Line in order to conduct our review. All ‘Choo Choos’ (see video) and train antics are our own.
23 thoughts on “Day Out With Thomas at The Watercress Line 2018”
My daughter T also loved Thomas the Tank Engine when she was your age. I think even at seven, she would enjoy this as much as you obviously did! 🙂
Such great photos, it looked like you had an amazing day out. I remember doing one of these when my boys were small and it is a brilliant experience.
My youngest is obsessed with Thomas and he would love this. SO much fun!
We went to this event last summer when it was in Newcastle, this event looks so much better than the one we went too! xx
Ieuan used to adore Thomas The Tank Engine when he was younger. That train looks so realistic – they’ve done a fabulous job.
We love The Watercress Line it’s such a nice steam train station and the events they put on are fantastic. This one looks great too
My godson adores Thomas the Tank Engine so this sounds like a decent place to bring him to! He’d be so chuffed!
I think we did this on the only sunny day on the track. Like you we spent a full day trundling up and down the lines, but most of the time on the swing boats – the kids loved them
We’ve been to Days out with Thomas twice now & my younger son love this.i wish i could go there again.
Oh how much fun does this sound, there is no one quite like Thomas is there! Definitely a favourite of so many.
I think I’d like to go! Getting to ride the train and spend the day with a bunch of eager well-informed trainspotters is quite exciting. It appears a lot of fun was had by all 🙂
I love that people get the chance to meet Thomas and just spend some time there! I’m pretty sure it’s worth it and it’s going to be so much fun too!
this sounds like so much fun, I think my friend took her kids as they’re obsessed with Thomas x
I still can’t believe we’ve not done this yet!!! I really do need to make sure I do it with William!
This looks amazing, we went to a Thonas day at our local steam railway and Lucas loved it
This looks like so much fun! My kids are obsessed with Thomas! They would go nuts for it!
What a fab day out, we love trains and Thomas the tank engine was a firm fav of mine as a child! 🙂 x
My nephew loves Thomas the engine, I do too as I grew up watching it on TV. I love that the staff still donne the traditional uniforms
What a fun day out! It was just amazing as the rain didn’t bother and stop your enjoyment.
What a brilliant day out. I love that these stea, trains are still running, what a great way to get the whole family enjoying them.
I loved Thomas the Tank engine as a kid – still do! This must’ve been such a fun day out for you and the kiddies.
this looks a fantastic day and wow what smiles they’re showing there y children would have loved this also
Ahhh, what a lovely day out for you all 😊 my brothers would have loved to have done something like this when they were younger x