On Sunday we decided to visit Didcot Railway Centre for their 50th birthday gala event.
The entrance is wonderful: you have to go through Didcot Parkway Station: lots more excitement for my little train addicts! (Please note there are steps to reach the centre. If I’d been on my own with the pushchair, it would have been very difficult to access).
We had never been before and were super excited to see the trains! Our friends that we went with had a membership but we paid at the gate, £39 for a standard family ticket, £43 including gift aid. Whilst in the queue, we could see and hear the steam engines!
All train rides around the site are included in your ticket price. We rode in different types of carriage. Pushchairs had to be placed in the luggage compartment so poor Zach was in and out of the buggy MANY times that day!
The centre is huge! Lots of space for exhibits as well as for the kids to run around without being too annoying 🙂 We were serenaded over our picnic lunch with Beatles songs. It was only then that I figured out why there were so many hippies there: to celebrate the 1967 opening, duh!
There are lots of paths as well as plenty of places to cross the lines but I think some of it was a bit bumpy for Zach. Matthew and Anya loved the freedom of the place but it was important to remember that this is a working museum so train lines must still be treated with respect and caution.
Inside the engine shed there were many fine examples of Great Western engines, both steam and diesel.
My own personal highlight of the day was seeing King Edward II in magnificent British Rail blue.
We had a ride on a miniature version of City of Truro, the first engine to reach a verified 100mph.
Of course, no trip anywhere is complete without a playground and the children love playing on the train apparatus.
Matthew loved watching the modern high speed trains race past Didcot modern station and was thrilled to see a Virgin Cross Country power through.
We were absolutely exhausted when we decided to leave. Our friends said they had never spent so long there before! Didcot Railway Centre was a great place to visit and I think a membership may be something we seriously consider in the future. My train obsessed Dad was also very jealous of our outing so we may be visiting with my parents 🙂
Congratulations Didcot Railway Centre for an amazing 50 years of protecting our train heritage.