On Sunday (9th July) we went to the Epping Ongar Railway in Essex.
For Jamie, the day started very early, he is a volunteer at this particular railway (and has been at several others throughout the years) so he left home early as he was rostered to be the driver for the steam engine of the day which was Metropolitan 1, which only seven were built and this being the only preserved after the others were scrapped. (Quick little bit of history for you there.)
With Jamie already at the railway I waited at home with Monkey and Koala until my parents arrived to pick us up. We arrived at the railway – North Weald Station – shortly before 10:30am which gave us plenty of time to get the kids buggy out of the car and set up aswell as nannys wheelchair to then go to the station building to buy our tickets.
Our first trip was a 11am departure from North Weald onto Ongar for 11:15am. We loaded nannys wheelchair and the buggy into the guards compartment before taking some seats near the front of the train. Shortly before it being time to leave North Weald Jamie came along the train looking for us, asking my dad if he would like a ride on the footplate, obviously he jumped at the opportunity.
Upon arriving at Ongar we remained in the coach to watch the locomotive go past our window so it could reconnect at the other end of the coaches ready for the return journey. The kids loved watching the engine go by so closely and the look on their faces when they noticed daddy was there, I wish I’d thought to take a picture. Once my dad returned we disembarked and waited on the platform to watch the train leave.
Once the engine left we took the short walk to Ongar town to look for somewhere to have lunch, unfortunately being a Sunday, everywhere was either closed or private hire only. We didn’t let this affect our mood though, we enjoyed the walk and spotted a Sainsburys along the way where we brought several items to make a makeshift picnic. Stopping at a bench under a tree we were able to enjoy our corned beef rolls, they were lovely, even if I do say so myself.
At quater to one it was time to return to the station ready for our return journey to North Weald at 13:35. Once we arrived back at North Weald we decided to stay on the train for the rest of the day which involved a trip into Epping Forest and back and a final trip to Ongar before returning to North Weald to end the day.
It really turned out to be a great day for the family thoroughly enjoyed by all – seriously, my mum hasn’t stopped calling me all week saying how much she enjoyed the day on the train and asking when we will be going again.
Be sure to visit the Epping Ongar Railway website here to find out what events are coming up, including Halloween, Christmas, Galas and character meets such as Paw Patrol and The Gruffalo.