I grew up not a million miles from Alton in Hampshire and had seen signs for the Watercress Line run by Mid Hants railways, many times over the years. My husband had taken his Dad to one of their World War II special events a few years before he passed away and had always wanted to return.
As one of the many things Daddy P sells is watercress, I thought it might be quite apt to take him back to the Watercress Line for Father’s Day as a surprise. I told him what time we needed to leave home and tapped the postcode into the satnav whilst he wasn’t looking. Luckily satnav always seems to send you down the M40, M25 and M3 from us, a route I would never take, so he had no real idea where we were going until the last minute.
As soon as my son saw we had parked at a train station he was rather excited too 🙂 There’s a really big pay and display car park at Alton train station, so parking was no problem.
The railway runs from Alton to Alresford with a couple of stations in between and takes about 40 minutes each way. The tickets cost us a total of £35.00, which is quite pricey, but you get a decent steam train journey, and if you plan your day well enough, you can stop at each station, visit the area and hop back on the train as many times as you like. One ticket = all-day travel. Needless to say, we weren’t that organised and the weather wasn’t that great either!
I had taken a picnic lunch for us to enjoy on the train, we waited for it to arrive at the station – there were 2 rather excited male members of the family (one being slightly camera-shy!).
The train pulled up…
…… and on we got
I spent most of my childhood around the Surrey/Hampshire border and have always loved the countryside there, it was lovely to share it with the rest of the family.
All the stations are beautifully maintained, which just adds to the experience.
The boys certainly enjoyed themselves – quality time for my little boy and his Daddy.
We had a quick stop at Alresford before catching the train back to Alton.
There is a part of the journey where you are right down in the cutting, so your views are limited, but it’s still a wonderful trip for any steam train enthusiast, and we certainly enjoyed ourselves. We will return at some point to properly explore all of the wonderfully kept stations and environs.