I never thought Didctot Railway Centre would be a fun day out before I had Harry, as it’s not until you have a son who loves trains that you will discover Didcot Railway. For Harry this is such an outdoor fun day as he can happily be allowed to explore tracks, walk around old trains pulling levers and taking a ride on lots of trains. Didcot Railway Centre also do special events throughout the year and also hold Thomas the Tank Engine days where children can ride on thomas and the other characters as well.
The atmosphere is wonderful on the Thomas days as the Fat Controller is there and other entertainment such as animal balloons, punch and judy, miniture railway and watching trains being turned on the turntable.
We try and make the day extra special by taking the large train to Didcot, which Harry really enjoys as luckily from Swindon it is only a 15 minute journey and the trains run quite regularly.
On a Sunny Day
The vast majority of the Didcot Railway Centre is based outdoors so this is a perfect day out for lots of fresh air and open space to explore. There is a lot of space for people to have a picnic so it’s worth bearing this in mind on a sunny day.
There is one restaurant at Didcot Railway Centre which serves hot food but there is no microwave available. You can buy sandwiches, hot food and drinks. On a busy popular day the restaurant gets extremely busy and finding a table or highchair can be a struggle. Seating is available outside but on a cold day it’s worth eating earlier.
There is parking at the main station itself where you can walk through to the centre, which is signposted.
Location and Opening Times
Didcot Railway Centre open Saturdays and Sundays all year, and daily between these dates in 2012:
- 27 December 2011 – 2 January 2012
- 11 to 19 February
- 1 to 15 April
- 2 June to 16 September
- 27 October to 4 November
- 27 December to 1 January 2013
Visitors are admitted from 10:30 to 15:30 except on summer running days (between 3 March and 7 October) when admissions continue to 16:30. There is no late entry discount. Days out with Thomas events open at 9:30am.