As part of our week of Family Fun from home we decided to take our girls on their first train ride. Willow has been pestering us for quite some time for a ‘train ride’ and having the week to ourselves it felt like the perfect opportunity to finally fulfil her dream. We decided to head to South Devon Railway, a seven mile strip of the former Great Western Railway branch line running from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. Having only been to Buckfastleigh a few weeks before to visit the Otters, Butterflies and an Abbey I knew this would be the perfect location for our girls’ first ride on a train.
They have ample parking on site at the Buckfastleigh station, with access to the station either over the (steep) footbridge or by walking around under the rail bridge. Willow was squealing with excitement from the moment she saw the train and really struggled to stand in line whilst waiting to purchase our tickets. Throughout the year the train times vary so its well worth checking the times before embarking on a day out here, we had decided to catch the earliest train from Buckfastleigh to give us plenty of time in Totnes and more options for our return journey.
There were so many staff around to help and as we approached the train to climb on board they were straight over to help with the pushchair and littles. There was a large open carriage just behind the food carriage (yes, you heard right, a food carriage… and they served cake!!) where we could safely leave the pushchair for the duration of the journey before walking through to a seating carriage. We were lucky to find four seats and a table straight away and Willow couldn’t have got to the window fast enough. It wasn’t long before the whistle was blown and the conductor announced we were leaving the station.
She was so chuffed to have her very own ticket and quite happily passed it to the ticket inspector on his rounds. Unfortunately they didn’t give us two children tickets, which wasn’t a problem on the train as under three’s ride for free but I would have liked to have a ticket for Allana too as a keepsake. Willow insisted on regularly shouting ‘Train Ride’ to the fellow passengers and saying ‘choo choo’ to everyone that walked past to the food carriage. She was definitely one very excited toddler for the whole journey and was completely mesmerised looking outside at the passing countryside.
We arrived in Totnes at just gone 11.00am, quickly got our stuff together (well actually we didn’t quite grab everything and Hubby had to make a mad dash back to the train for our changing bag before it left the station!!) and headed into Town for a bite to eat and a wander round Hubby’s old stomping ground. The walk from the station to town is a pretty flat walk and probably took us around 25 minutes, which with a pushchair and wild toddler was pretty good going. We enjoyed a lunch in the sunshine before taking a walk up the (again very steep) high street for a little ganders around the wonderfully unique shops Totnes has to offer.
After a bit of shopping both girls were asleep, so we decided to take the beautiful walk back to the station at a nice leisurely pace. When we reached the station I decided to take the opportunity whilst both littles were still napping to wander the platform, take in the wonderful surroundings and snap a few photos.
On our return journey the train was a heck of a lot busier so the train conductor was kind enough to point us in the direction of a compartment for us to sit in. We were joined by a wonderful lady and her adorable daughter who happily entertained both our littles for the duration of the journey back to the car.
The train also stops at Staverton Station along the route which is apparently a gorgeous spot for a walk and picnic or pub lunch. I was the crazy lady at the Station hanging out of the window attempting to get some photos of the cute and quaint station.
Back at Buckfastleigh we discovered the small ice cream shop open in the car park, and who I am to deny a Toddler an ice cream?!? So we ended our wonderful day with an ice cream and a wave at the passengers on the train as they headed back to Totnes again.
We decided to film our day out on the Trains, I’d love to know what you think of our first attempt at vlogging! We’ll definitely be heading back for another train ride in the future, Willow has been talking about the trains almost daily and I think we would visit the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm on our next trip as this is situated at the Totnes Train Station.
Have you taken your littles on a Train Ride? What did they think of it?