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West Somerset Railway

Type:Railway

The Railway Station, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5BG
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Tel01643 704996

West Somerset Railway

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About

The West Somerset Railway is the longest heritage railway in the UK,  based in Somerset just 4 miles outside the county town of Taunton in Bishops Lydeard or from central Minehead.   The 20 mile journey from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead has 10 idyllic stations along the way. Each station has its own charm, all upkept by groups of hard working, dedicated volunteers, who take great pride in what they do.

West Somerset Railway runs Steam and Diesel locomotives daily from May until early November, with most services being hauled by great Steam Locomotives.  Dogs are welcome on all trains at a charge of £2 and they are also welcome at the stations.  Throughout the year there are Steam Galas, there's Santa's Specials in December and a variety of catering specials throughout the season when you can enjoy Murder Mysteries, Fish & Chip Specials and Cheese & Cider Specials.

All of the stations are worth exploring and there are several points of interest along the line which make for a memorable visit. For example, Watchet is roughly half way down the line giving you a great journey through the Quantocks to the quaint harbour town. Several shops, cafes and bars reside in the town which are well worth exploring.  Minehead, too, has lots to see and do.  A level stroll from the station takes you along the beachfront to the working harbour, where there's a cafe, the RNLI and a lovely pub, The Old Ship Aground.

At Minehead station there are the engine sheds which you can tour to see all the hard work that goes into keeping the steam locomotives running. There's a working turntable where you can gasp at the strength needed by the volunteers who push the turntable by hand, to turn hundreds of tons of steam loco into the right direction.  Next to this is a lovely cafe that serves light snacks, sandwiches and assorted drinks.  And on the station platform there's an expansive bookshop where you can purchase publications about trains as well as novels, DVD's and paintings.

Dunster is a beautiful medieval village which is home to the National Trust’s Dunster Castle, Dolls museum, shops cafes and much more. Step back in time and explore the cobbled street and what it has to offer.  

It's a perfect day out for all the family, with children’s activity sheets introducing the character of Brunel to keep the kids entertained whilst they travel along the line. There's an on-board buffet car serving teas, coffees, alcohol and light snacks to keep you going for a full-on day.

 

Events

There are many special events throughout the year and have a full event listing on our website.

There's  children specific events with meet and greet days where children get the opportunity to meet their favourite characters.   On these days, we have a Bouncy Castle, Helter Skelter, Crafts, Face Painting and an entertainer at Minehead station and you will get the opportunity to meet WSR's very own character Brunel.

Calling all amateur sleuths! Do you see yourself as a Miss Marple or a Jessica Fletcher, Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes? Well, the West Somerset Railway's Murder Mystery season is a must for all you amateur crime fighters. As you go peacefully about your train journey to and from the seaside the actors will be staging a murderous tale for you to try to solve. Apart from the dastardly doings your steam train ride will also include the following menu choices served to you at your seat as the train leaves Bishops Lydeard at 19.00 plus of course the mystery unfolding before your eyes.

 

Catering Specials

The Railway has lots of Catering specials throughout the year such as the popular Cheese and Cider Specials. This lunchtime Special Train supports local producers with Somerset cheese with garnish and freshly made local breads washed down by a pint of Somerset Cider or fresh apple juice drink. Cheeses are supplied by local cheese makers such as The Exmoor Blue Cheese Company who are based just a short distance from Bishops Lydeard Station. The Cider is made by Harry's cider. You will be provided with a brief information sheet on your journey about the cheeses and details of where you can buy them.

Enjoy an enchanting ride on a steam train through the delightful Somerset coast and countryside whilst enjoying a traditional West Country Cream Tea served to your table by buying your ticket to enjoy a Steam and Cream Special. Steam and Cream seats are pre-booked in a specially reserved carriage on the 16:30 departure from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard.

The Steam and Cream Special ticket includes return travel, so why not make a day of it and spend some time in Minehead

Join the West Somerset Railway for a lunchtime steam train excursion from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and back. Sit back and relax whilst enjoying your Fish & Chips meal, accompanied by a complimentary glass of wine or fruit juice.

The Buffet Car and Bar will also be open serving hot beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

The Quantock Belle operates on the scenic West Somerset Railway between Bishops Lydeard (near Taunton) and Minehead, recreating that wonderful, nostalgic atmosphere of the great days of steam.  Our diners enjoy good food and excellent company as the train wends its way through the beautiful Quantock Hills, past the ancient port of Watchet and along the coast to Blue Anchor Bay.

Whatever the occasion may be – a special anniversary or birthday celebration, a cosy dinner for two, or a Sunday lunch out – we are sure you will find dining on the Quantock Belle a delightful and memorable experience.

The Quantock Belle operates on a limited number of dates each year and is extremely popular.  Advance booking is therefore mandatory.  Your fare includes:

· Return travel at your reserved dining table;

· A four-course meal with tea or coffee served during the journey;

 

The festive programme is one not to be missed, with transport laid on to and from the wonderful Dunster by Candlelight festivities.  The ancient medieval village turns its back on modern times and sees the streets lit with candlelight, shops stay open and there are festive activities to entertain everyone throughout the village centre and castle grounds.

Carol Trains are a sell out every year and fill all those that attend the evenings with Christmas cheer. Travel from either Bishops Lydeard or Minehead and stop at the stations to Williton and back,  singing carols accompanied by a band on each night. Tickets go on sale in the summer.

The family specific Santa services are the best way to make festive memories. Catch the Santa Special from either Bishops Lydeard to Crowcombe return or Minehead to Blue Anchor return and visit Santa in his grotto where the children line up and receive a special gift.

WSR's Santa Express enables you to spend more time on the train and travel from either Bishops Lydeard to Williton return or Minehead to Williton return. Santa visits each child at their seat and each child receives a special gift.

For more details, please visit our website www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors

Attraction Facilities

  • Shop

Catering

  • On-Site café/restaurant

Establishment Features

  • Toilets

Parking & Transport

  • On site parking

Directions

Road Directions

M5 to Taunton (Junction 25). Follow the A358 signposted for Minehead. Bishops Lydeard station is situated off the village bye-pass. Free parking at Bishops Lydeard station. By rail and bus. Trains to Taunton from where Buses of Somerset service 28 runs directly to Bishops Lydeard station (exchange stop at the London end of platform 2).

Opening Times

Seasonal Opening (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)

* Please check website for train times.

Video

  • Welcome to the West Somerset Railway

What's Nearby

What's Nearby

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