The Railway Station Havenstreet PO33 4DS
01983 882 204
Whether you’re an avid rail buff or not, one of the best experiences on the island is the chugging, three-mile journey through beautiful wooded countryside between Smallbrook Junction (near Ryde) and Wootton, via Havenstreet. The locomotives, carriages and stations are maintained in pristine condition and there’s an impressive collection of rolling stock, some dating back more than a century. The turn-of-the-century ambience is fully realized by impeccably dressed and remarkably knowledgeable staff.
We bought our tickets through Red Funnel, which cost £19.50 for a family of four. The station at Havenstreet is picturesque and everyone gets very excited when the train comes steaming in. We had a carriage all to ourselves, beautifully restored over three years to its present condition after languishing as a chalet in a field in Cornwall somewhere for years. Chugging through the countryside all you can see are fields, trees and livestock - the two stations at each end of the line are in the middle of nowhere. Back at Havenstreet, there is a cafe - which we didn't visit - a shop selling retro toys and train themed goodies, toilets and a play area. You can also visit the workshops and see them working on the next restoration project which I found very interesting. A really fabulous morning out. Also worth noting is that once you've paid you can stay on the train all day, if you should so wish, puffing back and forth through the idyllic scenery.
The Isle of Wight Steam Railway reviewed by Vivienne on September 3rd, 2012
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