With the summer just around the corner, April is being its usual indecisive self with blazing sunshine, freezing north-easterly gales and torrential rain. It makes it difficult to know where to go for a day out. Indoors or outdoors is the main question. The Watercress Line provides a bit of both, so this weekend that’s where we headed.
The Watercress Line runs between Alton and Alresford and is staffed by volunteers keen on locomotives and preserving our social history. We’ve visited this stretch of railway on several occasion and it’s usually a steam engine affair, but this Saturday it was the Heritage Diesel Gala. The one weekend of the year where they show off the old diesel engines and give them a trip out.
It was Beany’s first ride on a train and she wasn’t sure what to make of it at first but as soon as the train got going she loved it. Perhaps a little too much as she threw a full-scale tantrum every time it stopped! My girl knows what she likes, that’s all I’ll say.
Although not quite walking on her own yet, with the aid of a lovely new pair of shoes, she was very keen to walk up and down the station with daddy, in between getting on and off the trains.
We stopped for lunch in Alton and had a wander around the town and found a lovely little second hand bookshop, not far from the station. They had a whole section of Agatha Christie and in the childrens’ section I found a little bit of nostalgia in the form of a Little Grey Rabbit storybook, which I just had to take home to read to Beany.
It was great to see a different side of the railway and how the diesel locomotives would have run. I did take a few pictures but in my humble opinion the steam trains are far more photogenic.
We will be going back in August for the Thomas The Tank Engine Day and I’m hoping to persuade the husband to book us on the Murder Mystery Train too but they sell out really quick and are not cheap so we’ll have to wait and see.
There are plenty of places to stop for lunch in Alresford, Ropley or Alton and it’s a great family day out for all so if you’re in the area, I’d thoroughly recommend taking a trip on the Watercress Line.
Have you been on the Watercress Line? What did you think? Is there a local steam train near you. I’d love to hear your thoughts so don’t forget to let us know below!