As a family of four we decided to catch the last ‘summer season’ weekend of the train rides which depart from the Downpatrick railway museum.
Both the ticket office and platform are indeed nostalgic with the old carriages keeping in theme, unfortunately the steam train was not in use with an old diesel engine taking that role. I would advise you check before should you want the ‘real thing’.
The journey to ‘Inch Abbey’ (see my other review) is a short 10min ride through green scenery and across the river. Upon arrival at the end of the line don’t get too excited about the facilities, there is a older few picnic tables (don’t wear white skirt or trousers if seated) and a couple of small play-park items for the little ones, also a port-a-loo. Beyond that there is no shelter from the elements apart from the trees. It’s a short walk to the abbey which you can also access by car if the train is not your option. At the platform there is an old carriage which serves tea & coffee etc.
The train runs from 2pm to 5pm at the weekend and the return price for 2 adults & 1 child over 3 was £15.50 with <3 travelling free. Museum entry is included within the train fare, unsure of the price otherwise. The train also has theme weekends to look out for, hallow’een & Xmas for example.
There is a small room at the platform with a wee model railway to show the kids and they can even have a go themselves for just 40p.
Situated upstairs at the Downpatrick station is the Museum which consists of 1 room with various info and displays.
With all the staff being very helpful and friendly this attraction, although basic might suit should you have a half day in that area. Obviously much better if the steam engine is running.
Ample (free on a Sunday) car parking at Downpatrick Station
Inch Abbey is worth a visit, perhaps wasted should you have very young children with a limited attention span.
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