When we were away in Cornwall at the end of the school holidays last year, we were generally really lucky with the weather. On the Thursday we’d spent all day on the beach in our swimwear, slapping on the Factor 50. We woke up the next morning to a very different kind of day. It was clearly going to be a wet and changeable one. So we needed a plan and we ended up enjoying the Launceston Steam Railway and exploring the nearby castle.
I’ve had this post on hold ever since, as it seemed more appropriate to share it with you when the line was due to re-open for the 2017 season. From selected dates from 12th April to 27th October, you can also spend time enjoying the Launceston Steam Railway. It’s well worth a visit, and particularly ideal if the weather isn’t at it’s best. There’s free parking available on site and the train station is within walking distance from the town centre.
We parked up, spotted some train tracks and headed off in search of the station. Enjoying the Launceston Steam Railway would mean spending time on the narrow gauge line which runs for two and half miles between Launceston and the hamlet of New Mills.
We’d arrived before the first train of the day, so had time to look around the Transport and Engineering Museum behind the station building. This is included in your ticket price and is well worth visiting. There are indoors and exterior exhibits as well as stairs leading up to the motorbike displays.
There was something to capture the interest of all of us and a then 6 year old Monkey, was enthralled by the video about the railway that was playing. He’d have stayed there all day, if he hadn’t heard the whistle of the train for real!.
The first train of the day was steaming up and it was time to have some fun.
The trains on Launceston Steam Railway offer open and closed carriages, and although Daddy P was being optimistic in his attire, Monkey and I opted to start our day with the closed carriage option. The great thing with this railway is that your tickets are all day rover tickets, meaning you can take a return trip, explore Launceston itself and return for another railway trip later in the day. That’s exactly what we did, in the afternoon we got some clearer weather and braved the outside seats.
Enjoying the Launceston Steam Railway we got to enjoy the countryside views. There’s a river that runs alongside parts of line at you can get off at New Mills, use the picnic benches there and explore the area, if you so wish. There’s also access to New Mills Farm Park, but additional charges would apply as it’s totally independent from the railway itself.
We’d have a lovely time enjoying the Launceston Steam Railway, the weather was hit and miss, so we didn’t explore the New Mills end of the line, so it’s always nice to have a reason to return. We can however, thoroughly recommend the cafe at the station, reasonable prices, and lovely afternoon teas too. Another railway to be ticked off on Monkey’s map.
It’s also worth popping into Launceston itself and visiting the castle, more on that in a future post.
If you’re heading down to Cornwall this Easter, it might be worth pinning this for later.