I always forget how little N still is, and so always book lots in both at home and on holiday. For me, a holiday is about getting out and about and seeing things, where the OH (and it seems N) like to have a siesta even on holiday in the UK. Our trip to Eastbourne was only 2 nights away, so I wanted to fit in as much as possible while we were there.
N had picked up a Sussex tourist leaflet at a service station on the journey down, and had picked out the 2 places he wanted to visit – Knockhatch adventure park and the Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway. I’d yes to both but it meant a bit of frantic fitting it all in around other things I wanted to do as well.
We visited Eastbourne Miniature steam railway on our first full day on holiday. We’d met up with a friend and her children in the morning at Knockhatch, then stopped at Michelham Priory (fleetingly after N ended up moaning and in tears) before having a couple of hours left before the railway would shut for the day. The one thing on holiday that bugs me is that people with young children are usually up and about early, and potentially want to fit lots in and get out and visit places early. But nowhere ever opens until 10am. Weird although it does give us time to pop to the beach beforehand if we want to.
The steam railway is quite a small place – or at least the central area of it is. There’s a big lake in the middle (with plenty of people fishing it) which the railway goes round, or you can walk to the other side instead. Otherwise it’s the perfect size for a couple of hours of railways and play.
We paid £10 for both of us to get in which included 1 ride on the train. You can pay £2 extra each which gets unlimited rides, but we just wanted one extra ride which was the same price as upgrading. On arrival we were able to get straight on the train at the platform after getting our tickets clipped. As with any steam train it was a little smelly, but it was a nice mile long circuit of the lake, waving to people as we went past.
N then noticed all the play equipment so knew where he was heading next…with an ice cream stop first.
The kiosk café is quite small but there were plenty of tables to sit on outside it, as well as picnic tables and benches in the play area. N chose a smarties ice cream after changing his mind once, then after eating it decided he hadn’t wanted that one really. His mouth and tummy would say otherwise.
The play area’s good for toddlers and younger school age children, with wooden boats and trains as climbing frames amongst other equipment. N had a great time driving me on the train and going down a twirly slide. He’s certainly more confident now about slides than he was only 3 months ago.
We had a quick look in a train shed with model railways set up inside, but disappointingly to get them to go you had to put money in. I’d also spotted a water fountain and what looked like a more sensory play area further along from the normal playground, but we didn’t explore that far…a Thomas the Tank Engine ride was calling!
We were only probably at the Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway for around 1.5 hours, but that was plenty for us. Unless you want non-stop railway rides, there’s not that much more to see. N was satisfied with his little railway rides and enjoyed the play area. I’m not sure I’d want to visit in the height of summer as I can see it getting really busy, but out of season it wasn’t too busy and we didn’t have to wait for the train rides.
Do you have railway fans? Do you have anything similar to visit near you?
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