A Ride on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

A Ride on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

As soon as we had decided to visit North Devon I very eagerly acquired my OS maps of the area and scoured them for interesting places to visit. The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway caught my eye straight away. Firstly, Luke is a great fan of trains, it would also provide him with some great photo opportunities and it seemed like an interesting, child-friendly way to spend a few hours. I had also planned to add a walk into the mix. So we headed to Woody Bay Station, where parking is free, to catch the train. An adult ticket is £7.50, which is a little steep for a two mile round trip, however as the railway is a non-profit making organisation run by volunteers, I don’t feel it’s unjustified. (I’ll probably feel differently once we start having to pay for the baby.)

The L&B Railway opened in 1898 and closed in 1935. The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Trust was set up in 1979 to revive the track, but it wasn’t until 1995 that they were able to buy Woody Bay Station (one of the original stations). It opened to passengers in 2004 and has chugged steadily forwards since then. There are plans to eventually extend the track as far as Barnstaple, but as it was sold off to several different landowners, progress is slow. Anyway, back to today….We bought our ticket and boarded the train. It felt quite exciting, imagining how it was to travel by train a hundred years ago. So much more romantic than today! After the short journey we reached our destination, Killington Lane. Here you can wait a few minutes and get the train back or, as we did, go for a walk and get a later train back.

Our locomotive ‘Axe’

Our carriage awaits

Our carriage awaits

At this point it was windy (as it was most of the week) and raining. Still, we donned our waterproofs and headed across the fields towards the nearby village of Parracombe. At this point we wondered if a walk was a wise move. The baby was on Luke’s back in the carrier, and although wrapped up warm and in full waterproofs, we did worry that we looked like irresponsible parents. Pushing these doubts to the back of our minds (why do parents feel guilty about everything?), we strode on. It was an easy 15 minute walk or so along the footpath to Parracombe. We got a bit wet heading across the fields, but soon met the road leading downhill to the village. Here there was promise of a pub and a filling lunch.

Finn in his wet weather gear taking shelter in the pub

Finn in his wet weather gear taking shelter in the pub

We had a lovely lunch at The Fox and Goose, a thoroughly unpretentious, old fashioned pub with home cooked food and local ales (the benchmark of all good pubs). It was good to dry out and warm up before heading back to get the train home.

Taking shelter from the elements while waiting to catch the train home

Taking shelter from the elements while waiting to catch the train home

All in all it was a great outing. The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway has all the quirky hallmarks of a very British endeavour, it was therefore impossible not to like it.

 Life Unexpected

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Comments

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom) Sara (@mumturnedmom) August 12, at 13:58

    Love this, there is something a little magical about old trains 🙂 #whatevertheweather

    Reply
    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker August 12, at 14:49

      Definitely, I know what you mean. It was the first time I’d been on a steam train, but we all loved it!

      Reply
  • thriving with twins thriving with twins August 13, at 21:43

    Great post, we’re planning a trip to North Devon in a few weeks’ time and Lynton is on the list – we’re curious because we can see it from where we live on the other side of the channel – have just noticed that you’ve got more posts on North Devon so will be checking those out too! Thanks 🙂 #whatevertheweather

    Reply
    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker August 14, at 09:45

      We had a brilliant time, absolutely loved North Devon, already planning a return trip! I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time there 🙂

      Reply
  • Jenny Eaves Jenny Eaves August 17, at 08:32

    I’m not sure if my comment last night worked, I was interrupted when writing it! Anyway, I love the steam train, it looks fab, very old world’y’. We love steam trains too and had fun on one up at Aviemore this weekend. Never feel guilty about taking your little one out in bad weather, he’s clearly happy and you have dressed him so well for it, I love seeing little ones out in all weather!
    Thanks for linking up to. #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

    Reply
    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker August 17, at 12:06

      No worries, I know the feeling-it’s rare I get much uninterrupted time these days! We had a great time so think that trains may be a running theme throughout the next few years. As will dragging the family out come rain or shine 🙂

      Reply
  • chloelifeunexpected chloelifeunexpected August 17, at 20:57

    I love this. I love the wet weather clothes too, they’re so adorable. We always take Evie out in the wet weather. It’s still so much fun. Old trains are so magical. I went on one recently for a murder mystery night which was so much fun. But they always seem to remind me of The Railway Children or Harry Potter. They’re so beautiful. I love finding out the history of them too. Thank you so much for linking this to #whatevertheweather x

    Reply

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