We have visited the Watercress Line a couple of times already as both daddy and son are big train enthusiasts. However, we never attended a Meet Thomas Day.
For those whose never been there, the Watercress Line is located in Alresford, Hampshire. It’s a heritage railway which was saved by enthusiastic volunteers in 1973, and Watercress Line was re-open as a tourist attraction four years later. A 10 mile line is operating currently with steam locomotives between Alresford and Alton. They regularly do Meet Thomas The Tank Engine days, in every few months.
Visiting the Watercress Line is great fun every time, we especially like stopping at Ropley, where all the engineering works are being done, and can be watched too. Fascinating for train enthusiasts. There’s a playground for small children (I’d say from 3 years up) and picnic area. Snacks and drinks are also available in the station gift shop. The King’s Cross bridge from one of the Harry Potter episode is moved down to Ropley, so even Harry Potter fans will find something exciting.
Visiting the restored ticket office and the station masters lounge makes you feel, that you stepped back in time. Even the toilets are made to look vintage. Another times we also stop at Medstead and go for a picturesque walk to Alton, visiting the Jane Austen House in Chawton village.
This April we booked tickets (£18 for adults and £12 for children) to see Bobcat’s favourite character Thomas The Tank Engine. We arrived early to make the most of the day, as you’re entitled to unlimited travel on the day, so we stopped at every station, marvelled the engineering works, watched the character trains pulling into Ropley station. The trains were running up and down between the stations in every half an hour.
We went for a few rides on the miniature train, which was one of the top favourites of the day. We packed lunch and had picnic, whilst the little guy spent some time on the playground and went for teacup rides – he was way too excited to eat. Outside of the station we even met with Bertie the bus, his second favourite character from the show. Apart from Thomas, some other tank engines are present (don’t ask me names, all I know that, they all have a name and a number) and running between the stations. He also shook the Fat Controller’s hand – the organisers really paid attention to the smallest details.
There was a tent with story corner where they did daily story time and DVD shows. Also some tables and chairs with Thomas themed coloring sheets and play sets. Bobcat received a certificate and some Thomas stickers too. The only thing we didn’t try was the big bouncy slide, it said from 3 years+, but Bobcat was too small for that, we thought. But he didn’t mind, he was perfectly happy with all the other fun things. Naturally, fell asleep on the way home and had an unusual long nap which resulted him bouncing around till 11pm that night. Oh well.
This looks fab, my little girl loves trains so think she would get a big kick out of this!
WOW! You are so lucky!
I also want to join in this Thomas The Tank Engine days and The Thomas Trains is really very interesting!
Thanks for your great share!
We love the Watercress Line: all of us are steam train enthusiasts plus my Grandad used to work at Alresford shop. We wet to Thomas day a couple of years ago an the kids had a great time
This looks brilliant, my little boy would absolutely love this x
This looks fabulous! Yes, it’s always a problem when they have long naps, but at least it was after a great timw out.
I need to head to one of these, this looks absolutely amazing.
The price is fabulous too!
This looks brilliant. My little one would love this! Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging
This looks fab. There are so many events that just seem to have a cardboard cut out stuck on the front of the engine, instead of the actual Thomas. What a fabulous authentic Thomas experience.#daysoutwithatoddler
It’s fantastic and they do it a few times a year.
Oh wow! This is amazing! J would love it. I will be looking into booking this straight away – thank you so much! I wonder if they do a Christmas Thomas train… off to look now ?
This looks like great fun – and sunshine to boot! #stayclassymama
I always wanted to take the kids. It just looks so much fun. Maybe next time we are in the uk. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama
It looks like a great place to visit – who doesn’t love Thomas the Tank? Su #totstravel
Thanks for the heads up on the Meet Thomas Day.
We will make sure we are there for the next opportunity.