Cornwall LivingIssue #75
Full steam ahead
We discover a fun-filled day out for all the family at Bodmin and Wenford Railway.
It’s no coincidence that some of our most famous children’s literature features the golden age of the steam train. Edith Nesbit’s The Railway Children remains one of my nostalgic favourite and platform 9¾ on King’s Cross station will be forever in our hearts thanks to J.K. Rowling. And so it was that we decided to journey back in time to create our very own family steam train adventure with a day out at Bodmin and Wenford railway.
“the staff were all really friendly and helped to make the experience a much more enjoyable one than any online booking system!”
The Bodmin branch line opened way back in 1887 and ran steam hauled passenger services until 1963. It is now Cornwall’s only full size railway still operated by steam locomotives. On arrival at the station both of our children were wide-eyed at the size and stature of the impressive locomotive waiting for us on the platform. For me, it was the smell of the steam trains that evoked a bygone era. We opted for the full 13 mile round trip from Bodmin Parkway to Boscarne Junction and back and even buying our tickets caused much excitement – the staff were all really friendly and helped to make the experience a much more enjoyable one than any online booking system! We had time before our train departed to browse the informative displays and the children even discovered a dressing up and toy box.
We climbed aboard and settled down for our trip, but not before picking up a free colouring set from the shop for extra entertainment on
the journey that takes you through some
stunning Cornish countryside. The children loved looking out of the window watching the world go by. The end of the line is Boscarne Junction, where you can alight for access to the Camel Trail and a cycle into Padstow – something we will definitely be back to do at a later date. Thirsts can be quenched and hungry tummies satisfied either at the newly refurbished café before departure or at the on-board buffet.
No day out can happen in our family without a visit to the gift shop for souvenirs to take home, and today was no exception. Happy with their purchases our two little ones chatted animatedly about their train ride proving that, in a high-speed world of all things digital, it’s good to take things at a slightly slower pace now and again. Bodmin and Wenford offer special events for families, grandparents (and well-behaved dogs!) throughout the year as well as dining experiences and the event that is now firmly on our family calendar, ‘Santa by Steam’.
"the staff were all really friendly and helped to make the experience a much more enjoyable one than any online booking system!"