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Dartmouth Steam Railway

dartmouth steam railway

Ride the Rails on a Family Day Out at Dartmouth Steam Railway

All aboard for a day out back in time at Dartmouth Steam Railway. This nostalgic steam train ride takes you on a picturesque journey through the heart of scenic South Devon.

Travelling between the historic towns of Dartmouth, Paignton and Kingswear, a ride on the Dartmouth Steam Railway makes a wonderfully retro family day out. Climb on-board vintage carriages pulled by beautiful steam engines on this heritage railway line.

Here’s everything you need to know about a family day out riding the rails.

dartmouth steam train

Getting There

The railway has stations at Paignton and Kingswear. Paignton station has parking while Kingswear is a short walk from the ferry and bus connections.

To reach Paignton, simply drive to the station car park off Totnes Road. For Kingswear, take the steam train, bus from Torquay or passenger ferry from Dartmouth.

Opening Times

The normal Dartmoor Railway timetable runs:

  • Mid-March to June – Sat, Sun & Bank Holidays
  • July & August – Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun
  • September to November – Sat, Sun & Bank Holidays

Trains generally operate 11am-4.30pm but check timetables online for variations.

They also have Santa Specials (called the Christmas Train of Lights), so keep an eye on the website.

dartmouth stram railway map

Tickets and Fares

Fares (2023 prices):

  • Adult (16+ years) – £21.50
  • Child (3-15 years) – £14.50
  • Family ticket (2 adults, 3 children) – £65 return

Book online for discounted advance fares or pay on the day. Under 3s ride free.

The Train Experience

Your ticket allows unlimited travel between Paignton and Kingswear so you can hop-on and hop-off all day.

The scheduled 7 mile journey takes around 50 minutes as the train trundles along at a gentle pace allowing you to admire the lovely scenery enroute.

The old-fashioned carriages with cosy compartments are fun to explore and give a vintage vibe. You can even ride in the guard’s van for great views.

dartmouth steam

What to Do

As well as enjoying the train ride itself through Goodrington Sands and Churston, the stops along the line give you plenty of options for family fun:

  • Break up your journey and explore Paignton Zoo
  • Stop off at Greenway Halt then walk to Agatha Christie’s home
  • Disembark at Churston station and visit the model village
  • Enjoy the views over the River Dart from Kingswear towards Dartmouth
  • Catch the ferry from Kingswear across to picturesque fishing village Dartmouth

Steam Train Experiences

From time to time, they have special events and experiences, book onto:

  • Day Out With Thomas – everyone’s favourite tank engine comes to life!
  • Afternoon Tea trains – enjoy a vintage tea onboard with sandwiches and cakes
  • Evening Dining trains – indulge in a delicious meal in a historic dining carriage
  • Santa Specials – ride the Christmas Express and meet Father Christmas
  • Footplate experiences – book footplate rides to see the engine up-close
dartmouth steam railway

Handy Tips

  • Dress for the outdoors as it can get chilly, even in summer
  • Let kids get hands-on in the guard’s van
  • Pack a picnic to enjoy in stops along the line
  • Check dates steam engines are running if wanting an authentic steam experience
  • Have your camera ready for that classic train photo opportunity!

All aboard for a wonderful vintage family day out along idyllic Dartmoor Railway. With beautiful scenery, immersive heritage carriages and smiles guaranteed, it’s the perfect way to see scenic South Devon in nostalgic style!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed on the steam trains? – Yes, dogs on leads are allowed for a fee of £2.00. Some of the specials, like the Christmas Train of Lights, only allow assistance dogs.

How long is the steam train from Paignton to Dartmouth? It is a 7 mile journey.

steam engine

Other great places to visit nearby

There are many other places to visit in the Torbay Coast, including:

  • Torquay Museum – Local museum housing collections related to geology, archaeology, natural history and ethnography. Victorian building with an extensive library.
  • Start Point Lighthouse – Striking working lighthouse in a stunning coastal location. Guided tours provide a glimpse into the lives of past keepers.
  • Berry Pomeroy Castle – Picturesque 15th century castle ruins surrounded by woodlands. Tales of ghostly apparitions add to the atmosphere.
  • Kents Cavern – Extensive ancient caves housing important prehistoric remains, geological formations and archaeological finds. Guided tours available.
  • Babbacombe Model Village – Charming model village depicting 1940s England. Attention to detail across the intricate buildings and figures.
  • Cockington Village – Quaint village just outside Torquay with thatched cottages, craft shops and tea rooms. Scenic walks through the estate.
  • Torre Abbey – Historic abbey founded in 1196, now an art gallery and museum set in beautiful grounds. Fascinating history.
  • Occombe Farm – Traditional working farm where visitors can feed and interact with the animals. Nature trails through the woods.
  • Goodrington Sands – Family friendly blue flag beach with soft sands, rock pools to explore and watersports opportunities nearby.

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