Over the Easter weekend Buckinghamshire Railway Centre ran their ‘Day out with Thomas‘, which they do about 3 weekends a year. The last time they did this was in September so we have waited a long time for this. The cost was £41 for 2 adults and 1 child over the age of 2, so it wasn’t a cheap day out, but I have to say it was worth it to see the look on my son’s face when he saw Thomas for the first time! He loved it! The journey from Milton Keynes was not too bad, it took 50 minutes (it is near to Aylesbury).
We went on Bank Holiday Monday and arrived at 10:30am, exactly when it opened, which was a good time because there was no queuing for tickets and we didn’t have to queue to ride on the Thomas train (there was a long queue for the rest of the day). So the first thing we did, of course, was to ‘meet’ Thomas and ride on the Thomas train, which Nate loved! I was surprised by how very comfortable old steam trains are, I would love to try it on a longer journey. Be aware that the train ride is very short. The ride goes in one direction for 2 1/2 minutes, goes back and then repeats so the entire journey lasts for 10 minutes in total. It’s a shame that you don’t get to see much of the countryside, as the train turns back as soon as you start to see fields, but we all enjoyed it anyway, the steam and the chugging was all very authentic, plus how often do you get to ride on a real steam train?
After riding on the Thomas train, and spotting Toby on the way, we headed towards the miniature railway, and after about 10 minutes of queuing we had a ride, which we all enjoyed, perhaps even more than Thomas. This was because it was open air, it was a longer journey, it was pretty and was full of little characters all along the journey such as Winnie the Pooh, Noddy, Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder and more we also got to go through a tunnel. We stopped here for a picnic and and Nate watched the trains go round on the model railway.
There were various other activities going on through the day, there was an open top train ride, face painting, a balloon show, colouring activities, a mini cinema on board a train showing Thomas. The children could meet the Fat Controller, there were some toy train sets to play with and many more activities. There was a restaurant inside selling food, which we didn’t try because it was too busy, there was also a chip van and several picnic areas. We stayed until about 2pm, so there were enough activities for a half-day visit, probably not enough to keep you out all day. Nate was so tuckered out he fell asleep straight away and slept the whole journey home. We had a fantastic day out, and cannot wait to go again.
The next ‘Day out with Thomas’ is in early July and then again in early September. There is also a ‘Postman Pat’ day in May and a ‘Peppa Pig‘ day in June.