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Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

lynton and barnstaple railway

Step Back in Time at the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

All aboard for a nostalgic journey on the beautifully restored Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in Exmoor National Park. These historic narrow-gauge locomotives take you on scenic trips through the stunning Devon countryside between Woody Bay and Killington Lane.

With lovingly preserved steam trains, charming stations, picturesque estuary crossings and knowledge-filled commentary, the line brings rural rail history to life. Here’s your complete guide to a day out on the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway.

lynton and barnstaple railway engine

Getting There

The railway runs for 5 miles between Woody Bay station just north of Parracombe and the new Killington Lane station outside Wistlandpound Reservoir.

By Car

Those driving can use the free main visitor parking at Woody Bay station (EX31 4RA). From the M5 Junction 27, follow signs through Parracombe village.

Visiting Killington Lane

Killington Lane station is only open on special event days. When open, park at Blackmoor Gate and walk 15 minutes to the platform.

Train Times and Fares

The trains operate on selected dates over the summer, and for Santa specials in December. Trains run every 45 minutes from 10:30am – 4pm.

Standard return fare:

  • Adults £8.50,
  • Under 14s are free
  • Family ticket £25
  • First class and special events carry a supplement. A first class seat is an extra £3.00

History of the Railway

The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway originally opened in 1898 as a picturesque 19 mile route linking Exmoor to the mainline. After being closed in 1935, the line is now gradually being restored by a dedicated team of volunteers.

The lovingly-restored engines, carriages and uniforms bring the sights and sounds of rural rail travel back to life just as it would have been. Friendly informed volunteers provide historical context on your journey.

lynton to barnstaple

Stations on the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway is a historic narrow-gauge railway located in Devon, England. The railway operated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was known for its picturesque route through the Exmoor region. The original line had several stations and halts along its route. Some of the main stations and stops on the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway included:

  1. Barnstaple Town – The southern terminus of the railway, where it connected with the standard gauge railway system.
  2. Pilton – A station located just north of Barnstaple.
  3. Chelfham – A station situated in the middle of the line, serving the surrounding area.
  4. Bratton Fleming – A station to the north of Chelfham, offering a stopping point for passengers.
  5. Blackmoor – A halt located between Bratton Fleming and Woody Bay, primarily serving the local community.
  6. Woody Bay – This station was the northern terminus of the line and is the most well-known and preserved section of the railway today. It was the gateway to the Lynton and Lynmouth area.
lynton rail map

The Train Experience

Climb aboard beautiful varnished wooden carriages pulled by vintage locomotives to ride this enchanting line through the Devon hills. Highlights include:

  • Steam engines – Magnificent restored locomotives like the Manning Wardle.
  • Scenic views – Rolling green hills and unspoilt rural landscapes.
  • Estuary crossing – Rattle over the 1846 stone viaduct spanning the Heddon estuary.
  • Country stations – Deep beamed platform shelters and signs at Woody Bay and Killington Lane.
  • Guards van – Ride in the exposed rear wagon for a train driver’s perspective.

With cosy compartments, classic decor and countryside panoramas, it’s a nostalgic trip back in time to the golden era of rail.

steam engine

Visitor Facilities

The Engine Sheds at Woody Bay give you a peek into the busy workshops where locomotives are restored by skilled specialists who maintain the rolling stock.

The Cafe serves hot snacks and refreshments in a traditional dining carriage at Woody Bay. There is also a small shop selling railway-related gifts and souvenirs.

Special Events

In addition to the regular timetabled service, the railway runs special events including:

  • Afternoon Teas
  • Steam Galas
  • Vintage Bus Links
  • Footplate experiences
  • Santa Specials

Check the calendar online for upcoming event dates to enhance your visit.

Step back over the decades into the elegance of Victorian rail travel aboard the beautifully restored Lynton and Barnstaple Railway for a fulfilling day out. It’s a treat for steam enthusiasts and history lovers alike.

queen victoria at lynton and barnstaple railway

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the train journey take? – It is 20 minutes from one end of the track to the other.

What gauge is the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway? – It is 2ft gauge.

Are dogs allowed on the trains? – Yes, well behaved dogs on leads are welome

Other places to visit nearby

Lynton is a lovely village to look around while you are in the area. Nearby attractions on North Devon include:

  • Milky Way Adventure Park – Top family theme park with over 100 rides and indoor/outdoor attractions from rollercoasters to farm animals.
  • Big Sheep – Family attraction with shows, exhibits and sheep races. Opportunity to walk with alpacas and feed lambs.
  • North Devon Wake Park – Aqua park featuring obstacles and inflatables to traverse by wakeboard or canoe. Great family adventure.
  • Surfing at Saunton Sands – Take lessons or just enjoy these impressive waves at the vast beach backed by magnificent dunes.
  • Exmoor Zoo – Engaging zoo focused on wildlife conservation and education. Get close to endangered animals.
  • Tapeley Park Gardens – Beautiful gardens with exotic plants, adventure playground and seasonal events near Bideford.
  • Clovelly Village – Picturesque ancient fishing village with cobbled streets and whitewashed cottages cascading down to the harbour.
  • Arlington Court – Elegant Regency mansion once home to the Chichester family, set in acres of parkland.
  • Tarka Trail – Popular 180 mile walking/cycling trail following Tarka the Otter’s path through beautiful North Devon countryside.

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