In the centre of Hampshire there’s a pretty little market town called Alresford. I spent a lot of my childhood there but never really appreciated how lucky I was to grow up in such a beautiful, rural idyll until I had my own children.
Alresford is famous for two things: watercress and the Watercress Line Steam Railway, which runs for ten miles along the northern border of the South Downs National Park between Alresford to the west and Alton to the east.
The Watercress Line operates steam and heritage diesel locomotives throughout the year, with regular special events such as World War II re-enactments, and A Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine as well as Santa Specials.
Little Brother has always been a big fan of trains so we decided to stop by the Watercress Line en route home from a family trip to the countryside.
It was a huge hit. Trains clattering up and down the tracks, noisy whistles that made us jump, steam blasting in every direction. It was heaven for him.
We watched the oily, soot-covered train drivers stoking fireboxes and peered over the footbridge as trains chugged below us, engulfing us in clouds of steam. And this was all before we’d boarded a train. Personally, I thought the model train set housed in an old disused carriage was the highlight.
For ticket prices and details of future events click hereKate Midda is an interior designer. She has two children – a girl aged 5 and a boy aged 3. Her New Year’s resolution is to say ‘yes’ more. Follow Kate on Instagram @soloskates