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“Christmas Leave”

The Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Alton
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Mid Hants Railway, also known as the Watercress Line, operates steam and heritage diesel trains between the picturesque market towns of Alton and Alresford in Hampshire, south west of London. As well as standard travel this preserved railway runs popular special events throughout the year along with Countryman and Watercress Belle dining trains and the Real Ale Train.
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
167 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Christmas Leave”
Reviewed January 8, 2014

The stations are transported back to the 1940s - yet the lovely decorations are still up, so best of both worlds! Re-enactors make this a memorable day out, with plenty of photo' opportunities - although less than the summer event. It makes a nice day out after Christmas, unlimited travel up and down the line at leisure.
Sadly, the buffet at Alresford (our start point and only period eating place) is only reliable for tea, coffee and bacon rolls - unlike other railways who run a war-time themed menu and the staff dress up, this one does not appear to join in the event and while my soup was ok, my partner's meatball stew was inedible! Not what you want on a cold day - best to walk into town for food.
Otherwise a great day out.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank SuzonB64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Incredible Nostalgia”
Reviewed January 7, 2014

As someone who actually remembers the last Diesel train departing on this line, and then also remembers the first rusty old steam engine being unloaded at the Alresford Station ahead of the introduction of the Mid-Hants Watercress Line Railway I can honestly say that a day's "escape" into nostalgia is worth every penny the company charges for a wholes day's worth of steam travel on this 10 mile stretch of restored railway.

Note: If a quiet day's worth of relaxation and nostalgia is YOUR thing, then please avoid the weekends and "Special Services" during the summer peaks. These inevitably attract young families with initially keen toddlers who rapidly loose interest no sooner than the train leaves the platform. You are then stuck with whining kids for the next 45 minutes.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank SimonsReviews1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“what a grand day out”
Reviewed January 6, 2014

Just a note to say a massive Thank You to everybody at the Watercress line yesterday (28/12/2014). My son was booked in for a Steam Footplate ride on the 1100 from Alresford (a delayed birthday treat from back in August). The helpfulness and attendance of all the people involved seemed to be infectious. The footplate ride was all that we expected.
However on completing this our plan was a couple of trips on the train to Alton & back, however I decided it would be nice to experience the Class 37 working on the banks and we switched trains at Medstead and hot tailed back to Alton. Whilst waiting at the window at Alton I was approached by Bob the driver of the 37 and asked if I would like a cab ride - I initially declined the generous offer and said that my son may prefer to do this and he said that we could both go - well talk about a perfect present. Bob & secondman made us welcome and at home in the cab for a trip down to Alresford. Having thanked both crew we alighted at Alresford to again be greeted by the very cheerful & helpful Station Master (Mistress) and we thanked her for a great day which she then topped by organising a visit to the Signal Box where once again we received the most warm of welcomes.
I could not possibly have planned a better (delayed) birthday treat for my son.
Whilst appreciating all of the potential "red tape" etc this common sense no nonsense attitude and helpfulness we feel should be applauded and recognised by both the railway and the general public in general. Thank you seems a very insignificant phrase for the great pleasure and probably lifelong memories that Andrew (my son) will have of this event.
Please pass on our heartfelt thanks to everybody who was involved. All of the staff are excellent ambassadors for the Railway.
We look forward to coming back to visit you next year for (as ever) another happy visit to the Railway.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Big engines, great staff.”
Reviewed January 5, 2014 via mobile

The line is characterised by beautiful stations as if in a time warp from 60 years ago, with very friendly staff on hand. There is also a fantastic range of steam locomotives having to work hard to get up the 'Alps' as the line is known. Great fun.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank HolidayTrip88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hungerford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Santa special. Great trip for the children.”
Reviewed January 4, 2014 via mobile

Great time on the Santa Special just before Christmas. We took for children age between four and ten and they had a wonderful time. Would recommend it and will visit again in the summer.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Matthew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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