Avon Valley Railway steam train rides are a great day out. I recently took my son Jonah to a Day Out with Thomas event at the Railway. Jonah loved Thomas the train, The Fat Controller, Sir Topham Hatt, Toad, Daisy, Troublesome Trucks and Bulgy the Bus. The day lasted from 10.30am to 5.30pm, and our tickets included a train ride behind Thomas, fairground rides, face painting and the miniature railway. Jonah got his Junior Engineer Certificate and a Thomas Badge, and we both enjoyed the children's Magic Show and the Punch & Judy Show. The ticket price even includes the bus ride to and from the Thomas Park and Ride Car Park.
Preserved railways have their own special heritage and seeing the old steam trains brought back my own memories of journeys on steam trains with my parents. For Jonah it was new and exciting. The Avon Valley Railway is based at Bitton, an original Midland Railway station. Trains follow the Avon Valley south-east from Oldland Common, through Bitton and along the River Avon towards Kelston and Bath. The station has been lovingly restored by volunteers, and like so many old stations Bitton has its own goods shed which is used as a maintenance depot and loco shed.
The Booking Hall and Booking Office have the atmosphere of an old country station in the heyday of the steam train. The station has a shop and a buffet, and the entire site is fully accessible with disabled toilets located in the buffet building. Even the family dog is welcome at the Avon Valley Railway.
Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to visit the Avon Valley Railway. Children can have their birthday party on one of the trains, or bring their Teddy Bears to the teddy bears picnic when they can travel free of charge on the trains. Or, for that really special occasion dine on the Bitton Bistro, or fulfil a childhood dream and learn to drive a steam locomotive. There are river trips, murder mystery evenings, real ale festivals, the annual Vintage Bus Rally, and don't forget to visit Santa at Christmas.
The Avon Valley Railway is not just a train ride, or even a day out. On Thomas Tank Days Out young visitors learn a lot and will still be talking about it months, or even years later. It's a real family day out.
Day Out with Thomas at the Avon Valley Railway video
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