Experience the golden age of steam on the Mid Hants Railway 'Watercress Line'! Whether you are taking a trip down memory lane or making new ones, sit back, relax and travel through the heart of quintessential English countryside by steam train, looking towards stunning views of the South Downs National Park.
The Watercress Line’s fares give you all day unlimited travel, so you can explore each of the four period stations (Alresford, Ropley, Medstead & Four Marks and Alton*), investigate the Watercress Line's impressive engineering sheds and see preservation in action, as well as discovering the nearby beautiful towns all on one ticket. It’s the perfect day out for the whole family!
New for 2019 children aged four and under will be able to travel FREE on the Watercress Line’s standard service (does not include special events, dining trains or Real Ale Trains).
The West Country Buffet is situated at Alresford Station and serves delicious home-made cakes, cream teas, bacon baps, hot food options and children’s picnic boxes each containing a set of crayons. There’s plenty of space to eat indoors or if the sun is shining you can make the most of the glorious picnic areas at Alresford and Ropley Stations.
There’s lots for the children to enjoy including a playground in Ropley’s picnic area, walking in Harry Potter’s footsteps over the King’s Cross Footbridge used in Harry Potter films, following the Young Engineer’s Trail, free activity sheets for different ages, travelling nearly 1km on our miniature locomotives for free (open at events and on selected running days) and visiting the gift shop at Alresford.
The Watercress Line also holds special events. Sample the menu on a fine dining train, immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a 1940s railway at War on the Line, meet Santa on a steam train, solve a murder mystery, or treat the kids to a ‘Day Out With Thomas’! For more information and dates visit the Watercress Line's website.
You may recognise the Watercress Line as it has appeared in many TV productions including:
‘Churchill, The Final Journey’ for BBC1
‘Classic Mary Berry’ for BBC1
‘The Wrong Mans’ with James Corden
‘Collectaholics’ for BBC2
‘Tasty Travels with Linda Bellingham’
‘Great British Railway Journeys’
‘Children of Men’
‘Endeavour’ ITV 2017
‘Electric Dreams’ ITV 2017
‘River Walks’ with Olly Smith, for BBC1, 2019
and many historical documentaries.
* There will be no Watercress Line trains operating to or from Alton station until the end of July 2019 due to work being carried out as part of a large highway improvement scheme. There will still be trains running from Alresford to Medstead and Four Marks.
|Open on selected days during this period (16 Feb 2020 - 25 Oct 2020)|
* Please visit www.watercressline.co.uk for exact opening times.
Map & Directions
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The Watercress Line is located just off the A31, about seven miles from Winchester.
Alresford Station Road: SO24 9JG
Ropley Bighton Hill: SO24 9SQ
Medstead Station Approach: GU34 5EN
Alton Station Road: GU34 2PZ
It is recommended that visitors start their journey from either Alresford or Alton. Parking is available at Alresford and Alton.
Alresford: 30p per hour, £1.50 for over 4 hours (free Sundays and public holidays holidays). Coin only. This car park is operated by Winchester City Council. There is additional parking at Perins school on levels 2 and 3 during school holidays.
Alton: £7.50 weekdays and £2 weekends (pay with card or over the phone). Please be advised spaces may be limited here. This car park is operated by South Western Railway.
Public Transport Directions
Train: The Watercress Line have a mainline link at Alton station, where South Western Railway operate platforms 1 & 2 and the Watercress Line runs from platform 3. Please purchase your Watercress Line tickets on arrival at Alton from our shop on Platform 3.