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East Somerset Railway: Family Fun

Date: 25th January 2017
Author: Sarah Twist
Publisher: Darwin Escapes
Park: Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa
Local Area

The East Somerset Railway is a fantastic day out for all the family in Cranmore, Somerset

Our own beautiful location in Somerset, Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa is a wonderful family destination and only a short drive away from the East Somerset Railway


The railway has a rich history and was originally used for cargo and passengers back in 1855, but ceased to transport people in 1963. By 1967 artist David Shepard had bought two steam trains and was looking for somewhere to store them. Having looked at 31 sites, David Shepard realised the huge potential at Cranmore, and along with friends purchased the site. By the end of 1973 the East Somerset Railway was opened to the general public.

What’s On

You can enjoy a fantastic steam engine train ride and watch the Mendip Hills speed past the window in a classic form of transportation. There is also an Engine Shed Walk through tour available and a small museum where you can learn all about the evolution of the stream engine locomotive. Have a look at the charming signal box and miniature railway, both of which are only open on selected days so make sure to check the website if these are what you are looking for.

There is also a shop on-site where you can purchase or just browse through a range of books, DVDs, toys and souvenirs. Make sure to grab a bite to eat at the onside café, or bring your own and settle in the grass picnic area next to the outdoor children’s play area; the perfect place for your little ones can climb to their hearts content, as well as there being additional picnic tables by the miniature railway.

Train Journeys

There are many events and special train journeys throughout the year at the East Somerset Railway, from delicious dining trains such as the Sunday Lunch Train, to the perfectly delectable High Tea Train, where you can even have a glass of Prossecco. You can even book a fun Driver Experience day, where you will experience the thrills of driving and firing a steam locomotive, this is a particularly physical day but oh so rewarding when you’re steaming through the Mendip Hills. Be sure to check with the East Somerset Railway to make sure it’s right for you.

For the festive season East Somerset Railway have a whole month planned with a Santa’s Grotto Train, where all the little ones can meet Father Christmas, and the adults can indulge in a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. There will be additional entertainers, including face painters, to help keep everyone busy while waiting to see the jolly fellow himself!

So whatever the time of year the East Somerset Railway will be a fun-filled family day out!

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Photo Credits: Justin Foulger, Robin Webster, Robin Webster, Martin Bodman

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We’ve now reopened all of our holiday resorts. Find out more.