Trains, trams and great days out … Devon train attractions

Kids both big and small love train attractions … and we’ve got them dotted all over Devon.

With steam trains, miniature railways, model railways, tram rides and even cliff railways, plus Thomas and Friends and Polar Express events, there’re so many ways to please train lovers both big and small – just read on for our guide to Devon’s train attractions.

Devon train attractions south devon railway mSouth Devon Railway
Take a ride between Buckfastleigh and Totnes beside the beautiful River Dart on a Great Western Railway steam train . These beautifully maintained trains are fascinating for all ages, and there’s plenty to do at the stops too, including the viewing gallery above the railway’s amazing workshops, a fascinating museum, picnic areas, riverside walks, cafe and the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm and Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies.
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  • Devon train attractions thomas and freinds event milky way easter 2015Thomas and Friends at The Milky Way
    April 5-6, 2015
    Thomas and Friends will be at The Milky Way in North Devon this Easter weekend. Meet Thomas and The Fat Controller at intervals throughout the day, and enjoy rides on this all-weather amusement park’s own narrow gauge railway. Both are included in the park’s standard entrance fee,  and of course, you get to enjoy all of the attractions and activities on offer for little ones including a children’s rollercoaster, dodgems and train ride, as well as Little Stars – North Devon’s ground breaking play area designed specifically for young children.
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    Also at South Devon Railway May 2-4

Plym Valley Railway
The Plym Valley Railway has re-built a one and a half mile section of the ex-Great Western branch line from Marsh Mills to Plym Bridge, and being a heritage railway centre they’re busy preserving steam and diesel locomotives, carriages, wagons, and other historic railway artifacts to recreate the atmosphere of a bygone age. Passenger trains are operated on selected days – follow the link to find out more.
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Devon train attractions pecorama 3Pecorama, Beer
A fabulous traintastic attraction, Pecorama is home to the mile-long Beer Heights Light Railway with its fleet of miniature steam locomotives, the famous PECO Model Railway Exhibition with detailed layouts in every major gauge and the PECO Millennium Celebration Garden, five stunning Garden “rooms” based on a celestial theme, as well as outdoor and indoor train-themed play areas. And if you’re totally train-crazy (and aged over 18), Pecorama offers two-day railway modelling courses.
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Devon train attractions dartmouth steam railwayDartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company
Explore beautiful South Devon by steam train, river boat and bus. This historic steam railway runs between Paignton and Kingswear passing along the spectacular Geopark coastline and along the Dart estuary, plus there’s an interconnecting network of boats and buses linking areas from Teignmouth all the way down to Salcombe and Kingsbridge, and great opportunities to see wildlife including rare birds, dolphins and seals. The best way to enjoy this to its fullest? Take the train to Kingswear, the ferry across from Kingswear to Dartmouth, the river boat from Dartmouth to Totnes and then an open top bus ride back to your starting point.
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The Torquay Land Train
The land train is a great way to get around Torquay, and takes in all the sights of the seafront. The train drops off at many of Torquay’s hotels, as well as at the main shopping area, Fleet Street.
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Devon train attractions lynton and barnstaple railway woody bay 2Lynton and Barnstaple Railway
The narrow gauge Lynton and Barnstaple railway starts at Woody Bay Station then runs for a very picturesque mile with stunning views of the Bristol Channel and Heddon Valley. This is also an educational charity with a fascinating display of transport systems of the past and their affect on the rural community living on the remotest and wildest parts of Exmoor.
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Devon train attractions trago millsTrago Mills, Bovey Tracey
This unique family discount shopping has a leisure park (entrance fee applies) attached to it with a brilliant miniature steam railway that rides through 2½ miles of lovely Devon countryside, and huge indoor model railway. Train enthusiasts will be very happy with those alone, but thanks to the shopping and other rides (including go karts, skating, bumper boats, petting zoo) you can happily spend the whole day there.
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Devon train attractions seaton tramway 2Seaton Tramway
Not trains of course, but these great little double decker trams run on a line of course, and a ride on one makes for a great day out. Start your journey at Seaton and ride the pretty route inland to Colyton (or vice-versa), have lunch at the Tramstop Cafe – and look out for special events such as drive a tram lessons, bird watching, Santa Specials, the Dinosaur Train and spooky Hallowe’en rides.
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Devon train attractions lynton and lynmouth cliff railwayLynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway
Another ‘not a train but …’. This unique Victorian water powered funicular railway or cliff lift is a hair-raising ride, and gives passengers spectacular views of Exmoor and the North Devon coastline as they glide up and down the 862 foot length of track from Lynmouth nestling at the foot of the cliffs to Lynton perched 500 feet above. It’s a great way exciting way to travel between these two historic towns, which are a short walk from the beautiful beach at Watersmeet and close to the attractive fishing harbour, shops restaurants and cafes.
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