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Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas Review

Like all young children, my two adore Thomas the tank engine. For Lia in particular, it’s her default position when she’s watching television. So when Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line asked if we’d like to visit their day out with Thomas, I couldn’t resist.

About Mid Hants Railway

Mid Hants Railway runs from Alresford to Alton, where it connects with the mainline service to London. It is affectionately known as the Watercress Line because in years gone by, it was used to transport watercress from Alresford to London. This heritage railway operates on a not-for-profit basis, with all profits going to the upkeep of the railway. The line operates a fleet of large steam locomotives, as well as other trains for specific events.

Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas

We only took the train between Alresford and Ropley, which is where Thomas was running from. But those two stations are just fabulous. Alresford is a little hub of activity and Ropley is set in beautiful countryside surroundings.

Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas

I was so impressed with the fact that Mid Hants Railway welcome dogs. When we were invited to attend, they let me know that Pluto and Bubbles were allowed to come too. They’re even able to travel on the big steam trains. Bubbles was particularly impressed.

Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas

Day out with Thomas

Much as we all loved the big steam locomotives, the main attraction was of course the day out with Thomas. Tickets to the event cost £18 for an adult, £12 for a child and £54 for the whole family. The event runs until 23rd April. For that price you get unlimited access to the whole of the Watercress line for the day. You are also entitled to unlimited rides on Thomas and the other engines.

Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas

In addition to this, there is a bouncy slide, miniature railway and tea-cup ride that are all free to use. We brought a picnic to the event so we wouldn’t have spent anything at all if our heads hadn’t been turned by candy floss and doughnuts. You can buy food from both Alresford and Ropley, with a burger van at Ropley and snacks available from Alresford. There are plenty of places to have a picnic and you can also eat on the steam trains.

Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas

Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas

Whilst both girls loved riding on Thomas, Libby had a favourite engine and remarkably, it wasn’t Thomas. They rode on a train that they thought was called Gator (I’m not really up on the engines). But the favourite was Diesel. All the staff at the event were incredibly friendly, but those on Diesel allowed Libby to ride in the driver’s seat. All the passengers rode in the driver’s cab and it was a really special experience for them. In fact, my husband has said that it was his favourite part of our whole holiday.

Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas

Other entertainment

At Ropley, there was Thomas themed entertainment in a big tent. We didn’t make it to this because we were too busy on the trains and rides. However it was very popular and I could hear lots of music and excitement coming from the tent. At Alresford, Bertie the bus and a steam roller were outside the front of the station entrance. Both girls were delighted to have their photo taken with them.

Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas

Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas

When we arrived, the girls were given day out with Thomas passports. They had to fill them in saying what they’d seen and there were activities to do as well. At the end, they got a sticker to complete their passport. They also received a day out with Thomas junior engineer certificate.

Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas

We were at the event from around lunchtime until it closed at 5pm. We all agree that it was one of the best days out we’ve had in a long time. In fact, if we’d been staying in the area a bit longer we probably would have gone again. We’ll definitely be back to another day out with Thomas in the future, and we’d love to visit a different event at the railway too.

Meet Thomas the Tank Engine | Does your child love Thomas the tank engine? You NEED to check out the Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line Day Out With Thomas. Ride on heritage steam engines, experience Thomas themed entertainment, fairground rides and you can even take a trip on diesel and Thomas the tank engine himself! Children can also meet the fat controller and get involved with Thomas themed activities. Dogs are welcome too!


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Please note, we were invited to attend this event free of charge in return for an honest review. All views, opinions and delighted children are my own.


  1. April 17, 2017 / 10:32 pm

    What a wonderful day out. My girls are big fans too and Holly especially would be giddy with excitement to have a ride on Thomas. I love that the other rides were included in the price, that makes a pleasant change x

  2. April 18, 2017 / 9:12 am

    This looks fab! What a great day out. My O wasn’t interested in Thomas when he was little, but since he started reading he loves the collection of books that he has. I’m sure he’d love something like this x

  3. April 18, 2017 / 9:17 am

    This looks like a great day out – it’s a shame we are not back in the UK in time! #familytraveltips

  4. April 18, 2017 / 10:41 am

    This sounds so much fun – my daughter is a fan (and my dad, who is reliving all the stories through his grandchildren) and I know she’d love to actually go on the trains. That stretch of countryside is gorgeous too, it really does look like stepping into the books. #familytraveltips

  5. April 18, 2017 / 11:02 am

    What a fun day out! I love the idea of the passports too. The trains look just like the books so no wonder your girls’ were so excited! My Dad had a day out being the driver on this line! He loved it too #familytraveltips

  6. April 18, 2017 / 11:04 am

    We’ve been to the Watercress Line a few times with my folks as it’s near where they live but never managed when Thomas is there. After seeing all your amazing photos I really must take my boys before they get any older, it looks brilliant!

  7. April 18, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    This looks so much fun, my 2 year old is absolutely obsessed with Thomas the tank engine, and would LOVE this! Thanks for sharing – lovely photos of some very happy faces too xx #familytraveltips

  8. April 18, 2017 / 4:24 pm

    This looks like so much fun! My younger brother was obsessed with trains (and Thomas) when he was little. We used to go to railway museums which was neat, but getting to ride on these trains must have been amazing. #familytraveltips

  9. April 18, 2017 / 4:49 pm

    My son would adore this, looks like a fab day out x #familytraveltips

  10. April 18, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    Oh wow this sounds amazing. We have never been on trains together as a family but my girls keep asking to go on one. Beautiful pictures of your girls

  11. April 19, 2017 / 7:51 am

    This looks fantastic! My boys would be over the moon here and unlimited rides on Thomas would really make there day. Lovely that you can ride in the cab of Diesel, that would definitely make my eldests day, not sure littlest would go on Diesel as he thinks he’s scary. I also can’t believe you don’t know who Gator is, come on Nat, you need to watch more Thomas! Ha ha! 🙂 xx

  12. April 19, 2017 / 2:01 pm

    I grew up not far from the Watercress Line but have never been on it! It looks like you had a fabulous time with Thomas and his friends 🙂

  13. April 19, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    Oh this looks like a great day out, my kids would have loved it! So glad they can’t see this blog or I would never hear the end of it 🙂 #familytraveltips

  14. April 20, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    Great day out. We have been a few times to our nearest one at Boness. Our boys love it. #familytraveltips

  15. April 21, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    I think my eldest would think she was in heaven should she see Thomas up close like this . #familytraveltips

  16. April 23, 2017 / 10:59 pm

    This looks like so much fun! We’ve never been, but the boys love trains! Thanks for sharing your day out #familytraveltips

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