There’s nothing like having a toddler to reignite your long forgotten ‘passion’ for steam trains! There’s something about moving vehicles – be it cars, trucks, toy trains or trams, that seems to captivate the minds of girls and boys. It’s the same the world over, with Thomas the Tank Engine toys as popular in the UK as they are in Asia, China and well… the entire world.
If you want to earn top parent points, then a day out with a train theme is just the ‘ticket’. Lost for inspiration, don’t worry, we’ve been swotting up on our trainspotting, to help you out with some of the best events and places to visit:
The National Railway Museum, York
Also known as York Railway Museum, discover 300 years of history on the railways. For under-five’s there’s a little play station for kids to explore ‘choo-choo trains’ with soft play and railway toys to enjoy, while those a bit older will find it fascinating to learn about our locomotive heritage through the years. The Railway Museum puts on seasonal events, such as Christmas and Easter family fun too. For more, visit: nrm.org.uk
Thomas Land, Drayton Manor
Lets be honest, who doesn’t love Thomas train toys!? Possibly the greatest homage to Thomas & Friends, this side of Sodor awaits you. With over 25 attractions and rides, it’s the only of its kind in Europe, and is always a hit with kids. From kids train games to imaginative play - this place has it all. Notably, the manor includes a zoo, as well as other rides and attractions to send train-loving fans into orbit… not literally of course! For more visit: draytonmanor.co.uk
Seven Valley Railway, Midlands
Surely the ultimate gift for train lovers of all ages! is a ride on a mini train. Hop on board this 16-mile long heritage railway which runs ACTUAL steam trains as well as heritage diesel trains that go ‘toot toot’ and everything! Discover your inner child with rides through the countryside and all the nostalgia of a bygone era with punching holes in tickets and the great smell from the engine room. For more, visit: svr.co.uk
Drusillas Park, East Sussex
It’s full steam ahead with more Thomas the Tank Engine action than you can swing a Fat Controller at! Take a journey on the exciting Thomas train toy ride and time your visit right, and you might just get to meet some very exciting characters from the programme too. But there’s more; a zoo, a playground, a maze - come for a few hours, but expect to spend the day. For more visit: dusillas.co.uk
London Transport Museum, Covent Garden
Mind the doors, it’s time to explore London’s incredible transport system over the years, it shows the link between the development of the capital and its culture and society. With nearly half a million items to view, it’s a fascinating and educating ‘journey’ through time. Best of all – kids go free. For more, visit: ltmuseum.co.uk
For the ultimate train gift for children, check out the Munchy Play Choo-Choo Plate, with a built-in track.