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Published July 26th 2018
Have a steamy adventure, but remember to stay on track
Be you young or old, a visit to the steam railway provides a fun and entertaining day out for individuals and families.
A visit starts at the main station of Havenstreet, which you can get to by train, foot, car or bus. With large free car parks at both Havenstreet and Wootton Stations, I wouldn't think that parking will be a problem.
The steam trains operate from three different timetables throughout the year, but not every month or the year, so it's best to check the website if you want a steam train journey as part of your visit.
After buying a ticket, you can hop on and off all day at the three main stations along the route which are Wootton, Havenstreet and Smallbrook Junction where it links up with the Island train service. It is also possible to request to stop and get off at Ashey Station.
The huge locomotive repair workshop allows you a glimpse behind the scenes of all the work that goes on to bring the old trains and carriages back to life. See some of the repair and refurbishment processes that are involved in what can sometimes be several years of work by volunteers.
Just along from the workshops is the Train Story Discovery Centre which houses a historic collection of rare locomotives and Edwardian and Victorian carriages all under cover. For children, there are many different hands-on exhibitions and toys to keep them entertained and engaged.
There is a cafe serving hot and cold meals and drinks, though the menu is limited with not many options if you are vegetarian. Prices are reasonable for what's available. There is outside seating under a large covered area and a playground beside it.
Up at the back of the cafe area is a Woodland Walk which has many quirky and funny things to look at as you wander around. In the opposite corner of the site is the Haven Falconry Bird of Prey Centre, which costs extra to visit as it's run separately from the trains but has a Birds of Prey flight display twice a day that all visitors to the site can watch.
Overall, this is one of the best value steam train centres that we've visited and can easily provide a day's entertainment.