Team HodgePodgeDays are currently on holiday in North Devon. With it being a holiday I’d not planned to do any blogging, and only put finger to iPad (the modern day pen to paper) if I felt suitably inspired. It transpires that today has been one of those interesting, somewhat inspiring days.
It started off, a day like any other, being bounced on bodily by the small boy at some unearthly hour. A sneaky peek around the curtains revealed it to be an overcast morning and a fairly unpromising looking day weather wise. We quickly decided to go for one of our pre-selected wet weather days out. A good hours drive from the cottage to Woody Bay Station near Lynton to enjoy a few steam train rides.
We arrived mid morning and in time for the second departure of the day. Woody Bay is a really pretty station nestled in the hills between Barnstaple and Lynton. The mile long track was restored and opened to the public in 2004 and there are plans afoot to extend the track further and hopefully in time bring back the Barnstaple and Lynton line in its entirety.
We purchased our tickets (£7.50 for a ride-all-day adult ticket, and children under 5 travel for free – hurray!) and watched the train chug into Woody Bay Station. We hopped on board and found our wooden third class seats. Our tickets were clipped by the guard and off we chugged to Killington Lane Station. We could get off and enjoy a country walk, but we chose not to as we’d miss all the action.
At Killington Lane we all got out and watched the engine uncouple from the carriages, chug around and couple itself to the front of the train ready for the return journey. We hopped aboard and sped back to Woody Bay for lunch.
Lunch was a massive and very pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting much if I’m honest, so we just ordered sandwiches from the station tea room. I went for a Brie and cranberry panini which came with a pile of beautifully dressed, interesting salad. The small boy had a child’s ham sandwich and the bigger boy had a ham and cheese panini. Lunch was excellent and we said we’d be back just to eat there next time we passed.
We had another ride on the train and came back for pudding. As we were in Devon we each had a massive, still warm, freshly baked scone with some excellent strawberry jam and a generous dollop of clotted cream. Replete, we toured the station shop and came away with a little model train for the small boy. We had one last train ride and then full of excitement and clotted cream we set off home. The sun once more peeping through the clouds.
The small boy is obsessed with trains, so we go on these kinds of days out quite a lot. I’ve ridden my fair share of steam trains in the last few years. I’m by no means an expert, but I really liked Woody Bay Station. I liked the set up, the attention to detail and the quality of everything from the tickets, to the posters at the station to the sandwiches in the buffet.
I think you’d struggle to fill a full day here with a small child or two, but with lunch and a bit of a walk it’s a nice way to spend an afternoon. It’s not horrifyingly expensive either. We will be back.