West Somerset Railway
West Somerset Railway
4.5
About
This scenic 20-mile rail tour from the Quantock Hills to the Bristol Channel coast recaptures the romantic era of steam rail travel.
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  • Andrew R
    1 contribution
    A fantastic Santa special experience
    A massive thank you to all of your staff and volunteers at Bishop Lydeard Station today. The way in which you welcomed and looked after my coach tour group was amazing. You treated everyone one of them as individual guests and your platform announcements with our group name made us feel very valued.
    Visited December 2022
    Traveled on business
    Written December 24, 2022
  • Alison L
    1 contribution
    Full steam ahead for a delightful experience
    The friendly staff started the day well and the comfy seats in the Quantock Belle carriage helped the positive experience even more. We had booked a table of 4 for mother's day and even though the departure time had changed to 35 mins later, we were directed to the museum which is free and was so interesting it quickly passed the time. There were 37 covers apparently so we were very well attended to by staff. The food was delicious (maybe some gravy next time?!!) and the whole day nicely paced for us and my parents who are in their 80s. Having dessert after an hr break off the train is a genius idea. We loved the whole experience. Well done to all involved. Of course the steam engine itself gave me goosebumps and the gentle chug chug chug through the English countryside on a sunny afternoon may I add, was such a treat.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 22, 2023
  • Gillian S
    Southampton, United Kingdom131 contributions
    Lovely scenic trip
    We had a lovely day riding on the West Somerset Railway from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and back. We had bought the tickets in advance and everything ran smoothly from start to finish. The train was clean and comfortable and we enjoyed the attractive scenery. The trip was for our daughter’s 25th birthday and she really enjoyed it. Thanks very much.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written March 29, 2023
  • Dawn 25
    Lambourn, United Kingdom10 contributions
    Warm welcome on a freezing night
    Winterlights was the reason we visited and we were not disappointed…Despite freezing temperatures the volunteers were warm and welcoming to us as we arrived . Love the train lights which were very pretty ..coach was lovely and warm and decorated inside and a handy window rubber blade to clear the condescension of the windows ! Fabulous trip with all four of my children but my two boys who have autism age 9 & 11 had a great time :) Well done to all concerned it was worth every penny …see you in Dec for another magical trip .
    Visited December 2022
    Traveled with family
    Written April 12, 2023
  • George T
    Knoxville, Tennessee131 contributions
    Great Heritage Railway and Wonderful Experience
    Visited on Sunday the 16th of April, for the Fish and Chips and Cream Tea Special and was not Disappointed. From the Station Staff to the Onboard Catering team, The West Somerset Railway Provided a Scenic and Memorable Experience that Made My Trip to Somerset a Wonderful Experience. The stretch from Dunster to Minehead was Breathtaking seeing Dunster Castle in the Distance with the Little Village of Minehead and it’s Station providing a great place to Explore with the Sunday Market on the Square a great place to visit and talk to the Locals. To the Volunteers and Staff at the West Somerset Railway I cannot Thank You Enough for A great day on the Railway. I look forward to a future visit.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written April 27, 2023
  • Christine B
    2 contributions
    A joyful day out!
    Fabulous day out on the fish and chip/cream tea special. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and the whole team operating the train and serving the food and drinks were really enthusiastic and efficient. Thank you to the whole team. You are amazing! Thoroughly recommend this trip.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 17, 2023
  • Andykeithharris
    Reading, United Kingdom273 contributions
    An Excellent Day Out
    One of the longest heritage railways. We boarded at Bishops Lydiard and travelled to Minehead for lunch and back. The trains and locos were clean and well kept and ran on time. The journey might be a little long for young children at just over an hour, but the views are interesting and pretty. The journey itself it is two quite distinct parts - the first part up through the Cheviot Hills and along the coast - the second park. Several of the stations are worth getting off at to visit the villages connected - Dunster (for the castle) and Wachet (for the harbour) in particular. We will happily visit again
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 21, 2023
  • Frances S
    London, United Kingdom14 contributions
    Superb - will be travelling again
    Great day out for 4 of us this week. We had fish and chips lunch on the way from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and cream tea on the return trip. Served by very cheerful 'mature' volunteers. The return trip was a bit of an adventure, as the lovely old steam engine developed a slight 'misfire' causing an army of (more) volunteers to scurry about one of the stations, working hard to cool it down. The driver did a fine job of limping steadily back AND there were multiple apologies for being a little late Don't get that nowadays on mainline, in fact don't always get a train even, these days!! Well done everyone. We're already booking our next trip.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written May 28, 2023
  • Sam3314
    Derby, United Kingdom2,054 contributions
    Lovely views
    Long steam railway. We walked down from Dunster Village. Buying tickets at the station was a bit complicated as it wasn't clear what the options were but we succeeded and had a snack at the station. Carriages were very well maintained and we had a scenic ride along the coast and through the Somerset countryside. We alighted at Crocombe Heathfield which was very well maintained. We were able to have food and drink on the train.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 28, 2023
  • Lynn P
    Oldham, United Kingdom200 contributions
    Pleasant journey
    Went as part of my holiday package, was diesel festival week so not a steam train journey. But it was a pleasant experience. Trip was over an hour and a half .from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead ,8 stations in-between cafe on most of the stations
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written June 9, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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Suave
12 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
Post July 19th we had to book a compartment for six even though only five travelling due to Covid. Number restrictions for tables were two or four so this option not available to us. £120 spent on 3 adults and 2 children. However, no compartments were assigned as originally stated in the email.
All compartments were occupied with three or less travellers. Therefore, we were advised to sit on the general tables that were available. So we were not happy that we had to pay an extra ticket for no good reason. These things matter. Money matters.
Sadly also on the return journey the connecting buses were full so we had to wait for them to drop off and drive back (replacing the train stop between dunster and minehead)
At least return buses were covered this time on the top deck. Torrential rain drenched a lot of passengers on the open top bus on the initial bus.
We have visited the railway several times before and have always previously enjoyed the whole experience. We overstretched ourselves perhaps this time with these prices and sadly it did not turn out to be worth it on this occasion.
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mrs P
2 contributions
Dec 2021 • Family
I don't like leaving negative reviews but felt I had to comment due to the cost and experience we had. The first disappointment was that I booked 7 tickets (2 adults and 5 children) and we were not seated together. Emails leading up to the experience stated that if we knew others that we wanted to be seated with to let them know and they would ensure seats were allocated, however, as one family of 7 we were separated for the experience. One of our tables had refreshments, cookies and presents for 2 children, 3 children were without all of these. A member of staff rushed through the train (not stopping) asking if everyone was OK. We couldn't catch her she whipped through so fast! When the train stopped for 15 mins I approached the member of staff saying 3 of our children didn't get gifts. She shouted at me! She said 'I came through the coach asking is everyone was ok' I didn't know what to say so my husband took over. I was too embarrassed to ask for the refreshments we paid for them to have! It was a train ride. Christmas music was not played hardly at all, nothing festive apart from the decorated coaches. The only staff member that interacted was father christmas who was lovely. Very disappointed. Left not feeling festive at all. The santa gifts were also very cheap. One broken before we had got home. Just really disappointed and would not do this experience again, mainly due to the very rude member of staff.
Written December 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

William F
Highbridge, UK2 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
It was a Fish and Chips special from Bishops Lydeard plus high tea on the return from Minehead .on the 8/9/22 We paid £45 each
The fish and chips were not good very small fish mostly batter chips were cold and had been reheated.The high tea was one small scone and a cup of tea in a cardboard cup . Not value for money
We were told to arrive at bishops Lydeard 45 minutes before departure we stood in the open for 30 minutes in the rain
Then on the return from mine head we once again chaotic as we had to stand in pouring rain while the lady in charge went to the toilet .we had to sit in our soaking wet clothes all the way back to bishops Lydeard we are semi disabled and use walking frames .very disappointed in the trip and poor value for money
Written September 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dlk2000
London, UK13 contributions
Aug 2022 • Solo
I don’t like to criticise something run by volunteers, but this was a bit of a shambles compared to other heritage railways across the country.

The timetable was changed at the last minute due to weather conditions, despite the weather being mild and settled. I’m sure there was a good reason, but it is difficult to plan your day when the timetable at the station does not match the website or leaflets.

The staff at the station did not know how to use the card machine and it took an age to pay. They were also charging £1.50 for cans of drink with 85p printed on them, which is a bit of a cheek.

The train was then 10 minutes late and was hugely overcrowded, with people standing in the isles. It doesn’t appear that they have any system for monitoring the number of tickets sold. All stations apart from Minehead were overgrown and not particularly well kept either.

Despite all this, it’s a good day out, but mainly due to the location more than anything.
Written August 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

K C
Southend-on-Sea, UK9 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
I think we all appreciate that heritage railways are costly to run and staffed by volunteers but I think the business model for this line is slightly wrong. For two adults to go from Watchet (mid-line) to Minehead and back it cost £46! The journey is only 35 minutes each way. There are also many places where additional donations are requested, including the back of the station toilet doors. We didn't feel inclined to give any more money.
One of the days we tried to get the train from Watchet we were turned away as the train was already too full from the preceding stations. To avoid similar disappointment I'd advise you turn up to the station in plenty of time to make sure you can get on, and also have a back up plan of something else to do.
The journey is pleasant, carriages comfortable and there are some lovely views of the countryside and the coast.
Minehead station is well laid out and right on the beachfront. It was great to see some of the stock moving around.
Overall, we found it to be very expensive and had there been more "to do" in the area we probably wouldn't have spent the money.
Written April 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lou1232013
somerset456 contributions
Aug 2022
Having last travelled on the railway some years ago we were looking forward to a nostalgic return, yet...whilst the views were lovely, the stations were poorly maintained, carriages were looking a bit shabby and also quite dirty, including dogs being allowed on seats rather than the floor.

The last train from Minehead was packed, which you may expect in peak season, but there seems to be no control on tickets and limited trains even in August means you cannot explore most let alone all stops.

We looked to travel before Covid when rover tickets were around £22 or so and are now £30 EACH, with a few concessions, making this an expensive day out. It compares poorly on price and experience to other heritage railways, like other reviews point out. What a shame - more so as it could be so good.
Written August 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ray F
Newquay, UK56 contributions
Apr 2022
The whole experience was delightful apart from one thing. The trains and all the facilities at the stations were beautifully kept and the Museum at Bishop's Lydiard was so interesting. It really evoked the era of steam travel.

However - and this is the reason for a poor rating. When we got back to Minehead we had spent £60 on the tickets and we spent another £110 in total in your railway bookshop (the very helpful man behind the counter may remember us), and my wife who is 72 and walks with a stick asked if she could just go to the toilet before we left. An elderly gentleman, promptly said "No you can't I'm going to lock up and you should have gone earlier" He then walked off.

I don't know if he was an employee or a volunteer but either way you do not need that sort of attitude on you railway if you are keen to maintain your reputation.

It spoilt our day, as my wife had to desperately find an alternative - all for the sake of about three minutes. From an excellent rating to a poor one in the space of one sentence
Written April 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jennifer C
Telford, UK9 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
Just be more organised.
We booked a day return from Watchet to Dunster with vintage bus to Minehead £43.00 (2 adults, 1 dog). Train was almost full on leaving Watchet as many carriages reserved for coach parties. On arrival at Dunster the coach parties given priority on the buses (There were 3), when we eventually reached the front of the queue there was no room, so we had to wait
While a bus went to Minehead dropped off the coach parties and then returned to Dunster to pick up the stragglers.
Same thing on return from Minehead to Dunster/Watchet all in all not a pleasurable experience and totally overpriced for the service given.
We have supported WSR for a number of years and this falls well short of previous services offered.
When we questioned why were the coach parties given priority we were told 'because they've booked, sorry, we also booked.
Written August 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jayne S
Snodland136 contributions
Feb 2022
I can only comment on the price of tickets which are very expensive. I enquired about the costs before arranging to go as they seemed very expensive on the website and friends and family were keen to go on the train.
Sadly we have all declined as even a family ticket for 4 is £75.00. Add the costs for the dog? and possibly coffees etc then,it's an unaffordable treat.
We fully appreciate that running costs of trains/venue are high but, ticket prices are for the chosen few.
As a family we always say that if prices for entry fees on any day out were lowered to an affordable price then,more people would use it.
Written February 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

976clairem747
United Kingdom2 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
We had a lovely trip on the steam railway from Bishops Lydeard to Blue Anchor and back. Booking via the website was straightforward.

It was a bit pricey at £45 for 2 for the return trip, we'd usually spend a day going up and down a line line line this but we understand that's a Covid "feature" and running at lower capacity means they've got to raise revenue.

The railway's Covid arrangements were good, there was plenty of hand sanitiser, restricted tables in the train and you sat in the same place in each direction. However, many passengers didn't keep their masks on when sitting and moving around the train which was a shame when the Covid info was clear that masks should be worn. If you are at risk or anxious that might be an issue for the moment.

We had a fantastic trip, it's lovely to see the railway running again and we were pleased to support it.
Written June 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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