Last weekend we finally took a trip on the South Devon Railway. I’m not sure why we haven’t done it before actually, what with Arthur’s general train obsession, but we’re a bit spoilt for choice down here when it comes to steam trains. We’ve been on the Kingswear-Paignton line lots, but having had a peek at the goings on at Totnes station when we visited the Rare Breeds Farm we were definitely keen to come back for a proper visit.
The excitement started building even before we got to the station – Arthur heard a train whistle in the background and suddenly realised where we were going. Once he saw the train tracks he really couldn’t contain himself, bouncing up and down in the sling as the train came in.
We found ourselves a compartment – naturally gloriously vintage – and settled down for the journey to Buckfastleigh. It wasn’t only Arthur who was excited – there’s something so magical about being transported by steam, and the beautiful countryside views just added to that.
It was brilliant to spend some quality time as a family. Leigh’s been working super hard recently, and Arthur really misses his Daddy when he’s not around. I do, too.
As we pulled into Buckfastleigh station, it was clear there was going to be lots to explore there. There were so many different types of trains – Arthur was in his element trying to match them all up with his favourites from Thomas the Tank Engine.
He loved the little museum too: pretending to be an engine driver, and finding some actual Thomas trains to play with.
There was even a fantastic garden model railway, being tended my some older railway enthusiasts. I think Arthur would have happily watched the trains going round until it had got dark if we’d let him.
But we did have to get back, so we made our way to the platform to find a train big enough to carry us.
The light was beginning to fade as we journeyed back along the river, but somehow that only made the whole scene more beautiful.
When we arrived back at Totnes there was one more treat in store. The Rare Breeds Farm is currently closed for the season, but an owl had come out to say hello to people at the station. He was incredibly tame and friendly. Arthur was able to stroke him and give him a cuddle, and when he waved goodbye the owl flapped his wings in return.
Suffice to say when we headed back to the car it was with one very happy little boy. All in all it was a fantastic family afternoon – we can’t wait until our next trip on this very special railway.