Having only moved down to Devon last year, it still feels like each weekend I am on a little holiday. Last weekend, my family and I caught the steam train from Paignton to Kingswear and had a lovely day out in Dartmouth. The train journey wasn’t your regular local trip but one where you felt like you stepped back in time.
We parked at a car park in Paignton town centre, and made our way to the Steam Railway station. It’s not hard to miss, as the station is clearly signposted and it’s very easy to purchase tickets. My older brother in Yorkshire had purchased some vouchers online for my Mum’s birthday present, and we exchanged these for 4 return tickets that day.
It’s very difficult to find attractions that are wheelchair friendly and being an old steam train, you wouldn’t think that it would be possible. However, we were pleased to find out that they had a special ramp and carriage to hold wheelchairs.
My father is wheelchair bound and we were advised to get there half an hour before the 12:15 train. We were then asked to wait down at carriage I to board. A mobile individual can pay an extra £2 to sit in the observation carriage, where you have a better view of the landscape. We had great views where we were sat but for those avid train enthusiasts, I do recommend spending the extra two bob.
You could see the train crew loved their job as they were all very friendly and extremely accommodating. ‘ALL ABOARD’ shouted the conductor, and we steadily started our journey from Paignton to Dartmouth, stopping at a few stations in between (including a station that you had to alight to get to Agatha Christie’s house, Greenway).
With the UK weather being unpredictable (as usual!), we had scatterings of rain and sun throughout the day. Actually, both types of weather amplified the spectacular views that added to the whole experience. We even saw a rainbow at one point!
As we approached Kingswear, we were met with a jaw dropping view of Dartmouth and the river Dart. It’s so perfect, I felt that I was part of a story book. The final stop is Kingswear so we had to ‘ALL CHANGE’ to catch the ferry over to Dartmouth. One thing to note is that the passenger ferry is not accessible for wheelchairs, so wheelchair users have to catch the lower car ferry (which is right next door and quicker than catching the passenger ferry as you don’t have to wait around for everyone to board!).
We made it to Dartmouth and decided it was time for lunch. Our favourite pub in the town is called ‘The George and Dragon’ where we ate outside and enjoyed the glorious sunshine. After lunch, my Mum and I potted around the little boutique shops and had an ice cream. We then met my brother and Dad later to catch the last train back of the day at 5pm.