Nanny Pat’s days out: Bodmin & Wenford Railway

Steam train moving down the track at Bodmin and Wenford Railway

I just squeaked in on the last day of September to take a trip on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway on a Friday when I look after my grandaughter, Jasmine.

Step back into the age of steam at Bodmin & Wenford Railway - great for a family friendly day out in Cornwall
Ready for an adventure!

We caught the 11.15 at Bodmin General Station and managed to park in the station car park alongside. Jas was excited to see the big engine puffing out clouds of steam and making chuffing noises as we set off in the direction of Wadebridge.

We sat in an old style compartment with two bench seats and nostalgic prints of Cornish beaches in the 50s on the walls. After about 15 minutes we reached Boscarne junction and alighted. I headed left in the direction of Wadebridge for the Camel Valley Tea Garden half a mile up the trail. It took about 15 minutes to walk with Jasmine in the pushchair along a good metalled track. We stopped at the cafe, but if you continue a little further you’ll find the Camel Valley Vineyard, so if any of you wine buffs fancy a vineyard tour and wine sampling, you could make it part of this trip!

The Camel Trail is Cornwall's most popular cycle routes
The Camel Trail is Cornwall’s most popular cycle routes

The cafe offered us a lovely tea garden with Little Tikes play equipment to amuse Jaz whilst I drank my coffee in the sunshine.

It's great finding child friendly cafes and pubs in Cornwall

We retraced our steps, stopping to examine fruits, nuts, leaves and fungi, talking about autumn and crunching through fallen leaves.

Autumn is a great time of year to explore Cornwall with toddlers
Look what I found!

Explore Cornwall in the autumn to discover a variety of natural delightsWe continued past Boscarne Halt towards Wenford Bridge and in 20 minutes arrived at the Borough Arms pub where we stopped for lunch and a play in their play park, then continued about half an hour towards Helland Bridge. The Camel Trail is much less busy here than the section between Wadebridge and Padstow and I love the peace and tranquility and the safe haven from traffic it provides.

Jasmine fell asleep as we hurried back to catch the 14.28 from Boscarne Junction, the last train of the day. We stayed on board and chuffed our way down to the mainline station at Bodmin Parkway. It was a fair pull back up the hill and I spared a thought for the poor fireman shoveling coal into the engine boiler to keep us going.

All the staff at this railway are volunteers and it is a real credit to them. Pay them a visit, you won’t be disappointed!

Cornwall has lots to offer families with babies and toddlers
Enjoying an ice cream in the autumn sunshine

Useful information

  • You can take bikes on Bodmin & Wenford Railway for free (as long as they have space)
  • Check the Bodmin & Wenford Railway website for times and dates as they vary from day to day
  • Dogs are welcome on the trains and travel for free
  • The steam railway has its own car park at Bodmin General station, which is free for rail passengers
  • Postcode for SatNavs: PL31 1AG

Top tip: why not combine this trip with a bike ride, as Nanny Pat did with her grandson Sam on a previous day out?You read all about their cycling adventure on the blog.

Events at Bodmin & Wenford Railway

Bodmin & Wenford Railway run various special events throughout the year, including the popular Santa by Steam days in the run up to Christmas and other child friendly events in the school holidays. Keep an eye on their website for the latest event information.

Child friendly days out in Cornwall

For more ‘tried and tested’ child friendly days out in Cornwall, download our free ebook guide to child friendly days out in Cornwall, Nanny Pat’s Adventures.

Have you got any suggestions for great family days out in Cornwall? Leave a comment below, post a photo on our Facebook page or tweet @Bosinver.

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Action Nan and the rest of the team are always busy writing posts that we think you’ll like – from top tips on where to take the kids, to what’s likely to be going on in the local area when you stay – we’ve got it all in our blog!