The West Somerset Railway is England’s longest “heritage” railway, running steam trains between Bishops Lydeard (near Somerset’s county town of Taunton. M5 Junction 25) and the Bristol Channel Coastal resort town of Minehead.
Along the 20 miles (32km) of route the trains pass through the Quantock Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and along the coast with distant views of South Wales and inland to the Exmoor National Park. There are ten station along the route including Crowcombe Heathfield where scenes for the Beatles’ film “A Hard Days Night” were shot and the ancient harbour town of Watchet whose history goes back to Saxon times.
Further along the route Washford Station serves Cleeve Abbey (now in the care of English Heritage) and Torre Cider Farm whilst Dunster is a medieval village overlooked by the 1000 year old Castle (National Trust).
Trains run on selected dates throughout the year and daily from late May to the start of October. Special events include “Meet and Greet” days with popular children’s characters, Gala events for railway enthusiasts and a Ladies Day in May.
For much more information see www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk or call 01643 704996.