Moors Valley Railyway 30th Birthday Gala

Moors Valley Railway

Last weekend we were invited to the 30th Birthday Gala for Moors Valley Railway.

It wasn’t until the event that I discovered that its origins went back to 1980 when Jim Haylock set up a miniature railway at Tucktonia Miniature Theme Park in Christchurch – somewhere I have very fond memories of visiting as a child.

The miniature railway then moved to the Old Kings Dairy Farm at Moors Valley five years later and opened to the public on 26th July 1986.

Moors Valley Country Park is somewhere we have visited regularly since my eldest children were small as there is so much to do for all ages and it remains a firm favourite with all the family.

Sebastian is train mad, so every visit we have to take a trip on the railway which is a recreation in miniature of a traditional British Railway complete with stations, locomotives, rolling stock, bridges, tunnel, signal boxes, carriage sheds and engineering workshops – in fact the Moors Valley Railway is the south’s longest, fully signalled narrow gauge 71/4 steam railway with the main ride being a mile long.


For the Gala celebrations not only did we get taken on a very special loop of the Moors Valley Railway, but we got to look behind the scenes too.


In its 30th Moors Valley Railway has carried over 3 million passengers, over 100,000 each year. A typical train consists of a barrier wagon, 11 coaches and a guards van and can carry around 65 passengers.

The workshop was fascinating as it is a true main line in miniature and has seen the construction of over 20 steam and two diesel locomotives, many of which were out on display.


Of course the day wasn’t all about the trains as the kids were keen to explore the other things the park has to offer.

Moors Valley is somewhere I always recommend to visitors to Hampshire and Dorset as there is just so much to do with over 1000 acres to explore. There is forest trails (nature, play and story), kids parks, cycle tracks, an 18 hole golf course, fishing, the railway and picnic areas plus Go Ape, the award-winning tree-top adventure course with Tarzan swings, zip wires and Segways to try your hand at.


The Rangers also arrange over 300 special events throughout the year, ranging from nature walks, fishing lessons and off-road cycling to miniature railway events, art and photographic exhibitions and golf coaching. For children at the moment there is the Young Ranger challenge which involves 40 exciting challenges to complete and Joanne from CharlieMoos and her family have been busily ticking them off.

After burning some energy off in the park, we, and the CharlieMoos crew tried our hand at some Go Ape fun. Keep your eyes peeled for a post coming soon ………….


Special events at Moors Valley coming up soon are:

6th November 2016 – Tank Engine Day

10th/11th and 17th/18th December – Santa Specials

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


19 thoughts on “Moors Valley Railyway 30th Birthday Gala

  1. Emma says:

    I LOVE Moors Valley, we had such a good time there for the Steam Weekend, GoApe is brilliant too isn’t it?
    Emma recently posted…Snuggles – My Dream Puppy ReviewMy Profile

  2. Aly says:

    Miniature steam trains are such fun aren’t they? I loves places that have lots of activities for kids of all ages, and you want to revisit again.

  3. Sonia says:

    Looks like another fab day out, I love steam trains! My Dad’s hobby rubbed off on me x
    Sonia recently posted…20 Spooky Treats for your Halloween PartyMy Profile

  4. Anthea says:

    Big trains, mini trains, treetop climbs and slides all in one place … it sounds fantastic!

  5. Ness says:

    My husband and son love trains so we try to visit a railway wherever in the country we visit. Haven’t been to this one yet!
    Ness recently posted…Sunday Snap – The RotundaMy Profile

  6. That steam train looks too cute! Glad you had a good time x

  7. Jen Walshaw says:

    What a fab fun family day out. We LOVE steam trains here too
    Jen Walshaw recently posted…Chicken Tikka Masala – Cooking with KidsMy Profile

  8. Rachel says:

    I have never come across Moors Valley, but it looks as though you had a fantastic day out x
    Rachel recently posted…Want to Run a Mobile Salon? Get Your Foundations Right First.My Profile

  9. Trains and Go Ape! What a lovely combination of activities to do. My son loves trains! We have this Go Ape like area in here but my son is still too small to try it. So we are still waiting to grow up a bit =) #countrykids
    Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk) recently posted…GoldenMy Profile

  10. Coombe Mill says:

    What a truly wonderful day to be invited along to. I have seen plenty of Moors Valley posts inthe past but it totally passed me by that there was a miniature train there too. How wonderful to not only have a ride but be invited to looks behind the scenes too. I can only imagine how excited your younger boys would be. I’ve only tried Tree Top adventures in France, but they are such good fun I’d love to have a go here too, we meed a Moors Valley in Cornwall!

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids
    Coombe Mill recently posted…University plucks one from the cuckoo nestMy Profile

  11. This looks like a brilliant day – we love our local steam engine line x x
    Cass@frugalfamily recently posted…How to decide which school is best for your child….My Profile

  12. What a fun day out! It must’ve been really interesting seeing behind the scenes. It looks like there’s so much to do there that it must be easy to spend all day there. My little ones love miniature trains so we’ll have to visit there if we’re ever that way.

  13. Stephanie says:

    We love Moors Valley, although we’ve never done the train ride. It looks really good!
    Stephanie recently posted…Shaftesbury Gold Hill – Hovis HillMy Profile

  14. Claire says:

    What a great day, looks like lots of fun 🙂
    Claire recently posted…Queens Park : Country Kids Post..My Profile

  15. Lilinha says:

    What a great celebration! It’s great that you also had the opportunity to go behind the scenes! 🙂
    Lilinha recently posted…Making the Most of the Weekend with a Picnic!My Profile

  16. Oh that’s right up Monkey’s street. Another train place to add to our list as we work our way round the country! #CountryKids
    Mary @ Over 40 and a Mum to One recently posted…Discovering Port Meadow for the first timeMy Profile

  17. The children all look like they enjoyed the train rides and the behind the scene areas. It sounds an interesting place. I’m guessing it is in striking range for us. Another one to add to the list. #CountryKids
    Cheryl | TimeToCraft recently posted…The Story Teller and the Sea SerpentMy Profile

  18. joanna says:

    Looks like a fun filled day out my son would love the train

  19. Looks like a fun filled day out – we always loved visiting the steam trains locally too!
    JuggleMum, Nadine Hill recently posted…Release is the new hustleMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.