“ The Old Gasworks, St Thomas Road , Newport, Launceston, Cornwall PL15 8DA. Tel: +44 (0)1566 775 665. „
In spite of living in Cornwall we don't always get to see all the attractions but one day we decided to go to Launceston and have a go on the little steam railway.
It was great fun. You could sit in open carriages or closed carriages and we tried out both. Neither of us felt very safe in the open carriage but I'm sure people don't fall out!
The railway takes you on a five mile round trip along the old North Cornwall Railway and it goes from Launceston, through the Kensey Valley and into Newmills. The round trip takes about 40 minutes. Although the ride isn't very far the scenery is beautiful and the little loco goes slowly enough for you to really appreciate the countryside. You can get off the train at Newmills and go for a walk along the trails before catching a later train back to Launceston
The locomotives that we saw were from Wales and had been used in the mining and quarrying industries. The railway is narrow gauge and so you won't see the big steam haul locomotives that were used on passenger railways. Nevertheless these smaller locos have had a an active working life and they have been painstakingly preserved and restored.
Launceston Station is fascinating and you can have a look round the engineering museum and the railway workshop. There is also a shop selling gifts and an excellent bookshop. We picked up a pile of old steam railway magazines for a couple of pounds and they gave a us good read for months.
We had our lunch in the cafe but here we were disappointed. The food was expensive and not very good and to be honest you're better off with a sandwich and a cup of tea and cake. If you fancy a treat you can have a Cornish cream tea.
Tickets are "Day Rovers" so you can travel on the the trains as often as you like. The trains run every hour and this gives you a good opportunity to get off at Newmills and explore and then come back later.
You can take dogs so that a walk would definitely be on the agenda for them. If your dog is a bit nervous or sensitive though, a steam railway may not be a good place to go. It can be noisy and frightening for them.
We didn't get off the train but we did see the riverside farm park. This has indoor and outdoor games for children. The Launceston Steam Railway leaflet says, "The park is not owned by the railway company so there is a small charge - but we heartily recommend a visit."
We really enjoyed our day out and would recommend it. I think it would be lovely for families with children as there is an opportunity to give them something to do other than sitting in a railway carriage.
All the details of fares and train times are given on the Launceston Steam Railway website. It is best to check the website before planning a visit as they aren't open every day outside of the peak holiday season. Also note they don't open on Saturdays during the peak season as this is the changeover day when everyone is either coming on holiday or going home.
Thank you for reading this review. If you decide to visit I hope you have a splendid time.
We visited this attraction on a family holiday last year and have to say it was great fun.
You basically get to ride on a old steam train on a journey that takes about an hour each way. The train stops off at different stops long the way where you can get off and have a wander around.
We stopped off at 2 places, the first was amongst some woods where we had a small riverside walk and had a picnic and the second was near a small farm that you had to pay to go in but there was a great big play ground for the kids which they enjoyed.
It wasn't too expensive I don't recall to purchase the tickets and it was great fun for my little boy who is mad about trains.
Launceston is quite a way up the north coast of cornwall so it can be a bit of a trek if you are staying further down the coast but worth it all the same.
Launceston Steam Railway is Cornwall’s famous narrow gauge line. You pay one entrance fee and you can go on the train as many times as you like. The trains run every 40 minutes or so, there are open and closed carriages, we had a go on both types. The steam engines run from Launceston to Newmills, through the Kensey Valley, very beautiful country side, The steam engines were built when Victoria reigned in 1880’s and 1890’s, by the Hunslet Engine Company of Leeds, they worked on the slate carrying lines, high in the mountains of North Wales. There are four of these engines being used at Launceston; they are maintained in the railways workshops, which are open for visitors to take a look. At Newmills Station there is a choice of footpaths (not really suitable for buggies),you can take a short stroll to a really beautiful spot where picnic tables are provided and eat your lunch, sitting next to the River Kensey. At Launceston Station there is a Railway Workshop, a Transport Museum, a well-stocked Book shop and a lovely gift shop, which has lots of train products including lots of Thomas the tank engine goods. The shop is situated on the station Platform. There is a wide choice of refreshments available at the Railway Buffet, including of course Cream Teas. In Early Season Good Friday until Easter Tuesday, then Sundays and Tuesdays until Spring Bank Holiday. Peak Season Spring Bank Holiday until the end of September daily expect Saturdays Late Season Sundays and Tuesday in October Christmas Santa Specials The Entrance Fee changes so you need to phone before you go to check prices Tel: (01566) 775665