Max, along with most other kids, is obsessed with trains. Whenever we get the chance to take a train ride he jumps for joy and relishes in the fun of sitting and watching the world go by at high speed. He's also obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas is one of those characters that everyone loves, he seems to have been one of the few characters to come out of the tv revival with the same amount of love.
When the folks over at the Watercress Line invited us to their Day Out With Thomas we couldn't wait! A day immersing ourselves with the wonders of steam trains and Thomas is an offer we couldn't refuse.
Getting there was really easy, we used our satnav but it was well signposted all the way to Ropley. The Watercress Line is spread over 4 separate stations where you can travel from one station to another and explore the wonders that are on offer. When it comes to a Day out with Thomas, you have a different activity at each station.
As soon as we walked through the entrance we were transported back to the age of steam, with period features and bunting flying you felt transported to a different decade. I loved that the stations were so authentic as it really added to the feel of the day.
Once we had got our bearing and looked at the map, we decided to go and find the Fat Controller and Thomas himself. Max was so chuffed as soon as he saw Thomas fly into the station that he was fit to burst. We were able to hop on board one of Thomas' carriages and have a quick trip from the man himself, we were all pretty excited by that point. We then jumped on Diesel and had a ride with him to make sure he wasn't left out! We had a quick go on the fairground rides that were there and then jumped on the steam train to Alresford.
At Alresford there was a wealth of things to do. We got off and were greeted by a friendly station guard who pointed us in the direction of Iron 'Arry who needed help. Adults and kids were able to go into the driver's cab and take turns in blowing the whistle and pressing buttons on the short journey in and out of the station. Max was bursting with pride and wouldn't stop talking about it on our way to the Imagination Station. This was a building full of Thomas related things to do. Max dove straight into the colouring and hung his bunting up pride of place.
We took a picnic with us meaning we could eat on one of the trains or find an area to eat. Fortunately the weather was perfect so as we headed to the next station we had a bit of a nibble on the train. Max absolutely loves watching the world race by on trains so this was a perfect day for him.
I love that the Watercress Line spread everything out over different stations, it meant that even though it was a busy day, it didn't feel busy as we could just hop on to the next place. There were so many things to do that we were there for the majority of the day and didn't want to leave. I was really impressed at how great the staff were with kids, there were plenty of baby change places and buggy parks that it was really tailored for kids.
We absolutely loved our time at the Watercress Line, getting to mingle with Thomas and the gang was the perfect Easter treat for our little trainspotter. A Day Out With Thomas is something they run pretty regularly, and it's the perfect way to spend a nice day. I love that in the price of the ticket you get the choice to go on as many steam trains as you want. You can really make a full day of it.
Thank you so much Watercress Line and Thomas for inviting us to spend a day with you, it's one we won't be forgetting!