I thought I published this weeks ago but I've just found it in my draft box! Oops! But I imagine that this would be a perfect crisp winter day activity so I'll post it now - just make sure you check the timetable in case it changes during the winter.
My mother-in-law recently took us all out to the Bluebell Railway as a birthday treat for little J. Can you believe she's 2!!?? Crazy. Anyway, it was wonderful. (Although I'm glad it was her treat as it is quite expensive unless you go off-peak!) We arrived a few minutes later than planned and missed our train. The next one wasn't for over an hour. Argh! Make sure you check the train times before setting off! But our dread of trying to keep 2 toddlers entertained for an hour fairly quickly turned around as we realised what was going on at the station. There's a souvenir shop that has Brio train sets ready to be played with. There's a cafe for coffee and snacks. And then there are the trains! Plenty to see up and down the platform and quite a few chugging through. We were even allowed to get on an engine with the driver and see them stoke the fire. You can purchase station-only tickets at a fraction of the price and I would definitely consider that in the future.
Little J and her cousin loved it all. If I'm honest we probably didn't need to go as far on the train as we did as once it was moving the girls sort of lost interest - you're on the train so you can't see it! I think they're a bit young for that bit. But there are a few stops on the line so you don't have to sit on the train for hours. We stopped off for a picnic and then got back on the train as it headed back.
We all commented on how lovely the staff at the station seemed. They must all be passionate about their trains! And the stations and trains are beautiful. It was absolutely delightful and we've got such special memories and photos of the day.