We have two huge Thomas the Tank Engine fans in our house, and so when we heard about Thomas coming to The Watercress Line, we just had to surprise them. We had been recommended to The Watercress Line by friends previously and so knew that we was in for a fun day.
The Watercress Line operates across four stations in Hampshire; Alresford, Ropley, Medstead and Alton. Travelling the 10 mile line from one end to the other takes approximately 40 minutes.
It was recommended to us, to travel down to Ropley Station for ease of parking. The journey should have taken us about 40-minutes but unfortunately there had been an incident on the A34 and so we didn’t arrive until well after lunchtime. Thankfully, we was parked up in minutes and headed up to the station to start our Day Out With Thomas.
At the entrance, we was greeted by staff and provided with Station and Event details. There was a huge buggy park for anyone wishing to leave their buggy in a safe place whilst enjoying their day.
Jack was given a Thomas and Friends Passport book and sticker which he needed to complete throughout his visit and a Certificate which was to be signed by Sir Topham Hatt.
Before heading into the station, Jack took the opportunity to get his first tattoo.
The platforms were quite busy as expected given the time, and the boys had no idea what was going on. Imagine their total surprise when Thomas puffed down the line and into the station!
We decided to make a start in the Imagination Station, where the boys spent a good hour enjoying the different Thomas themed activities, playing with the train sets and finally, some colouring.
Hudson decided that it was lunchtime (I think that’s what the ‘L’ sign below stands for) and so we headed for the Orchard. A lovely raised picnic area full of apple trees. The views across Hampshire were beautiful and we was able to watch Thomas and his friends making their trips in and out of the station whilst we enjoyed our picnic.
Following lunch, we enjoyed some fun on the teacups and in the playground, before heading down to take a ride on the Miniature Railway.
News filtered through that there was a very special guest greeting visitors over by the Masters Lounge. It was none other than The Fat Controller himself. We headed down and Jack spotted him straight away.
And then, as if on cue, Thomas rolled back into the station. Jack and I jumped aboard for a short trip down the track. Unfortunately, it was way passed Hudson’s nap time and so he was busy catching some z’s.
The day was drawing to a close and unfortunately, we hadn’t found the time to head down to the Alresford station, where further activities were taking place. We had been far too busy having fun at Ropley and had missed the last return trip. Doh!
Mummy asked the boys for a nice photo before heading to the gift shop for some Thomas goodies…
We really had the most fantastic Day Out With Thomas. We experience a ride on a real steam engine, met The Fat Controller and enjoyed some much needed family time.
Our Day Out With Thomas tickets included:
- An entire day’s travel on the big steam trains that run up and down the whole line
(Trains run approximately every 45 minutes from 9:45am to 4:45pm)
- A Day Out With Thomas certificate and passport
- Thomas themed activities at every station
- Unlimited rides behind Thomas and Toad the Brake Van
- Thomas themed children’s entertainer
- Rides on the Miniature railway
- Bouncy Slide (age 3+)
- Tea Cup ride
- Story corner and daily story time
- ‘Thomas & Friends’ Transfers
- Imagination Stations with Thomas play-sets, colouring and DVD shows
Whatever the time of year, there are always Standard travel and special events taking place at The Watercress Line. We are already planning a visit at Christmas time, for the Santa Special!
Any standard or special event ticket gives you all day unlimited travel, allowing you to hop on and off at any of the four stations. It also allows you to pop out of the railway to enjoy the nearby walks and visitor attractions without worry.
*We were provided with free admission, in exchange for our honest review. As always, all photos and opinions are our own.