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Didcot Railway

Didcot Railway

Oxfordshire

Steam Railways

Day trips taking in steam train rides are increasingly popular in the UK and the South East of England boasts an enviable mix of experiences suitable for enthusiasts and families.

Discover the history behind steam locomotives told by passionate and knowledgeable volunteers while experiencing some of the most hidden and beautiful parts of our great outdoors.

Look out for seasonal events taking place this weekend on most steam railways that are sure to make for a fun day out and at Christmas time the popular Santa Specials fill up fast so book early to avoid disappointment.

Our guide takes you through the best Steam Railways in South East England or simply select the map view button below to find a steam train ride near you.

South East England's best steam train trips

Bluebell Railway, East Sussex

The volunteer-run Bluebell Line was the UK's first preserved standard gauge passenger railway, re-opening part of the Lewes to East Grinstead line of the old London Brighton & South Coast Railway in 1960. Since then it has developed into one of the largest tourist attractions in Sussex, yet it still remains true to its objectives of the preservation for posterity of a country branch line, its steam locomotives, coaches and goods stock, signalling systems, stations and operating practices.

Buckinghamshire Railway, Aylesbury

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre is a 25-acre working steam museum with one of the UK’s largest collections of locomotives, rolling stock and railway memorabilia.

They are open every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from April-October, and Wednesdays during the school holidays. Steaming Days are great fun for all the family, when you can take a ride on a full-size steam train, and also, for a small fee, you can go for a ride on our miniature ride-on railway.

Didcot Railway Centre, Oxfordshire

The Great Western Railway was incorporated in 1835 to build the railway from Bristol to London, designed and engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Members of the Great Western Society have created a living museum at Didcot, based around the original engine shed and depot to which has been added a typical branchline and country station, signalling demonstrations and a recreation of Brunel's original broad gauge trackwork, complete with a replica of the Fire Fly locomotive built in 1840. 

Kent & East Sussex Railway, Kent

The picturesque line weaves between Tenterden and Bodiam for more than 10 miles. England's finest rural light railway enables visitors to experience travel and service from a bygone age aboard beautifully restored coaches and locomotives dating from Victorian times. The earliest plans for a railway for Tenterden were made in the 1850s. 

Mid-Hants Railway 'Watercress Line', Hampshire

Experience the golden age of steam! Whether you are taking a trip down memory lane or making new ones, sit back, relax and travel ten miles through the heart of quintessential English countryside by steam train.  Their fares give you all day unlimited travel, so you can explore each of their four period stations (Alresford, Ropley, Medstead & Four Marks and Alton), get behind the scenes at one of the engineering workshops and discover the nearby beautiful towns all on one ticket. It is the perfect day out for the family!

Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway, New Forest

The popular narrow gauge steam railway takes visitors on a magical journey around the northeast corner of the Gardens and through the Summer Lane Garden planted with bulbs, herbaceous perennials and grasses. The journey lasts 20 minutes & features include a bridge, tunnel, viaduct & 'Exbury North' halt. The railway runs journeys every day the Gardens are open, with a first journey time of 11am. Watch out for Exbury's events programme, including guided walks with the Head Gardener, exhibitions and popular Ghost Train.

Steam Train days out near me

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  1. Add Didcot Railway Centre to your Itinerary

    Didcot Railway Centre

    Type

    Railway

    Location

    Didcot

    Living museum recreating the golden age of the Great Western Railway. Steam locomotives and trains, Brunel's broad gauge railway, engine shed and small relics museum.

  2. Add Mid-Hants Railway 'Watercress Line' to your Itinerary

    Mid-Hants Railway 'Watercress Line'

    Type

    Steam Railway

    Location

    Alresford

    Let the train take the strain as you sit back, relax and travel through the heart of the English countryside.

  3. Add Bluebell Railway to your Itinerary

    Bluebell Railway

    Type

    Steam Railway

    Location

    Uckfield

    The Bluebell Railway is a preserved country branch line, lovingly restored and maintained by a team of dedicated volunteers. The railway runs nostalgic steam trains through nine miles of Sussex countryside.

  4. Add Spa Valley Railway to your Itinerary

    Spa Valley Railway

    Type

    Steam Railway

    Location

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    3½ miles through the picturesque Kentish Weald countryside.

  5. Add Isle of Wight Steam Railway to your Itinerary

    Isle of Wight Steam Railway

    Type

    Steam Railway

    Location

    Ryde

    Inspiring, Surprising and Award-Winning … Equally appealing to adults and families, your visit to The Isle of Wight Steam Railway will charm, engage and captivate, leaving you with some lasting memories of a special day out.

  6. Add Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway to your Itinerary

    Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway

    Type

    Steam Railway

    Location

    Chinnor

    No description available

  7. Add Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway to your Itinerary

    Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway

    Type

    Steam Railway

    Location

    Beaulieu

    World famous woodland garden, home to the Rothschil Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, rare trees and shrubs, with its own steam railway.

  8. Add Sittingbourne's Steam Railway to your Itinerary

    Sittingbourne's Steam Railway

    Type

    Railway

    Location

    Sittingbourne

    South East England's only preserved narrow-gauge former industrial railway and features the longest narrow-gauge viaduct in the country, museum and other attractions.

  9. Add Kent & East Sussex Railway to your Itinerary

    Kent & East Sussex Railway

    Type

    Steam Railway

    Location

    Tenterden

    The picturesque line weaves between Tenterden and Bodiam for 10 1/2 miles. England's finest rural light railway enables visitors to experience travel & service from a bygone age aboard beautifully restored Victorian coaches and locomotives.

  10. Add Buckinghamshire Railway Centre to your Itinerary

    Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

    Type

    Railway

    Location

    Nr Aylesbury

    Large collection of railway relics including, steam locomotives, railway carriages and equipment. Steam train rides available.