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“Avon Valley Railway, Bristol”

Avon Valley Railway (AVR)
Ranked #40 of 193 things to do in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Bristol and Bath's heritage steam railway, offering a six mile round trip which takes passengers along sections of the old Midland Railway, providing a chance to see the magnificent River Avon Valley from a unique viewpoint.
Ramsgate, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Avon Valley Railway, Bristol”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

This is a very interesting and different way to spend a day out. You drive to the station at Bitton on the edge of Bristol and go on to an old fashioned station. There is a shop, a cafe with outdoor seating and if you wish to dine indoors, there are old-fashioned dining cars in old carriages. There are frequent trains, often pulled by steam locomotives and it is possible to ride some distance. Nearby are cycle paths and footpaths to Bristol or Bath. A very pleasant experience !

Visited August 2013
1 Thank KarlTroop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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320 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
151 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Choose a wet Wednesday afternoon if you want to eat here!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

Don't get me wrong - this is a nice place, nice people - even nice food at very reasonable prices. We know - we went on a wet Wednesday afternoon during term time. Then we made the mistake of going back on the day they co-hosted the Bristol vintage bus rally! Buses were arriving around every 15 minutes, delivering between 30 and 70 people a pop and the AVR's catering operation was in meltdown! We queued for half an hour only to be told that, if we wanted anything to eat apart from crisps or cakes, the wait was one hour. No problem we said - we'll just have a couple of sandwiches - one hour. Rolls? One hour. Cream tea, maybe? One hour. We visited with friends who used to own a tea room in Dunster. They couldn't believe their eyes and ears. Where were the pre-prepared rolls and sarnies? Why was no-one manning the large BBQ outside on a lovely day? It's not as if they didn't see it coming. They co-host this event and they have done it before. Very frustrating for customers and a massive opportunity to swell the coffers of this interesting and valuable volunteer run local attraction utterly squandered.

Visited August 2013
4 Thank roger W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
236 reviews
92 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Not bad.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2013

We won a voucher in a raffle, hence the trip. Sadly we went on a day when the place was overrun by people using a groupon voucher. So it was packed and we had to share 3 seats between 5 of us.
The car park is well run, a nice man directs you to a place.
The ticket office staff are friendly, some of the train operators/workers could smile tho! the gardeners were the most friendly.
Basically the train goes 1 end of line to other, with stops. You can get off, wander, go back on at will. But I had hungry kids to feed who thought it was boring (youth of today!)
It's all very authentic (old fashioned my son said) in recreating the heyday of steam. But that means it's let down a little. (don't use the loo on the train ppl)
I've done east somerset railway with my boys and they loved that one. Out of the 2 I prefer ESR to AVR.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank wilts78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DavidColeAVR, Manager at Avon Valley Railway (AVR), responded to this review, August 13, 2013
Thank you very much for posting a review of the Avon Valley Railway as we welcome feedback on the service we provide.
The summer has been very busy for us which is an indication of the popularity of our railway. Whilst some of our visitors have purchased Groupon vouchers this is only a very small proportion of the total number of visitors each day.
Our volunteers are our best ambassadors and we are delighted that you found them very helpful and friendly. Our gardening team that you mention do a brilliant job keeping the station environment so attractive and colourful.
Whilst we do our best to recreate the atmosphere of a 1960s railway line we do have modern facilities, including our purpose built cafe that attracts visitors in its own right.
We certainly hope you will return for another visit in the near future, possibly for one of our special events such as the End of Season Gala or Santa Specials.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Steam train trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013

Myself, my daughter and my three grandchildren enjoyed the whole experience of travelling by steam which was enhanced by a picnic on the nearby riverside. Very friendly staff and reasonably priced family tickets.

Visited August 2013
Thank Barbara M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Very enjoyable day out”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013

Came here with a groupon voucher for a family day pass. Kids were very excited and the opportunity to go on both trains was great for us all and really interesting. We arrived, went on the steam train right up and down the line. Once done, we came back and had coffee, etc... I was delighted to find Victorian style lemonade, in the fridge there and thought it was lovely to see cola floats and lemonade floats (fizzy drinks with a scoop of ice-cream, just like my Nan used to give us). Afterwards we caught the diesel train and went down the line, where we got off and walked about a mile to a local pub for lunch, which was lovely. By the time we came back, the children had had lots of photos taken, talked about all the cool things on the trains ... We journeyed in standard class, first class and a private internal cabin style, it was a real experience with a difference. For a couple of our children, it was their first time on a train...what a memory to start with.
The volunteers that work on the trains, all added to the experience.
Really lovely day out with a difference.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank L V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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