Didcot Railway Centre — a train trip back into history

The Didcot Railway Centre is just a small train ride from London Paddington into Oxfordshire, and as you enter it you will realise that you are in a special place. A place where steam billows from beautiful old trains, where hand-lettering beautifully labels everything, and where you can escape modernity and appreciate a piece of history!

As you can quickly see from the photos, it was a lovely family day out for us. A little Christmas advent calendar activity, which we surprised our children with one Saturday morning. And it was simple so sweet!

Trains are a popular fascination for most young children, and our two were simply amazed. But so too were the parents in our case! You start at the ticket booth, an original Great Western Railway building. Then around the corner as you enter, you smell the coal in the air. You see the steam churning out, and hear the trains heaving sounds, the choo-chooing, and the conductor whistles away. It is pretty captivating to watch these giants moving past you.  It instantly brings to life all of the wooden train games and the books you read at night, and it is inspiring, and it is fun!

You can visit a working 1930s original Steam Engine Shed with trains you can climb inside of (and pretend to drive) in the outdoor museum-like space. So, you can really understand the amazing scale and size of these real-life trains.

Open year round, the Didcot Railway Centre is especially popular at Christmas. They have a sweet Father Christmas on an old train, and everything is very festive and fun! So, we recommend you book a ticket far in advance.

But whatever time of year you decide to go, I am sure you will find the joy of exploring, learning, and driving a train (pretend of course) to be a delightful day out! And use this helpful map to help plan your day out beforehand.

To get there : Didcot is 53 miles west of London, 10 miles south of Oxford and almost halfway between London and Bristol on Brunel’s original Great Western Railway.


Didcot Railway Centre
Didcot, Oxfordshire
OX11 7NJ

+44 (0) 1235-817200


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