While we were on holiday in East Sussex with our toddlers, we tried to have as many family days out as possible. Our three year old loves trains, so we decided to visit the Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway Adventure Park.
When we arrived, the first that that surprised me was the entrance fee; it was much cheaper than I was expecting for a family attraction. We paid £7.50 per adult plus £7 for a child ticket for M. Under three’s are free, so we didn’t need to pay for B. These tickets allowed us to have unlimited rides on the train during our visit (tickets with a single train ride are £2 per person cheaper).
However, once we were inside, I understood why the entrance fee was more reasonable than other attractions. The park was lovely and clean, and what was on offer was great, but it is essentially a play park with a miniature steam train to ride on. There wasn’t a particularly vast array of activities, so in my opinion, it was a place to spend a couple of hours, rather than a whole day.
Of course the first thing that M wanted to do was ride on the train, so we queued for that. The queue moved quickly and we never had to wait more than one train ride (around five minutes). It was really good fun riding on the train, and both girls enjoyed it. There’s a small tunnel to travel through, and the train line travels around the park, so it was actually a good way to start as we could see the things we wanted to take a closer look at.
The main draw for our girls was the toddler area. This was a play area with a slide, swings and picnic tables, but also a row of brightly-painted playhouses laid out like a little street. They were empty, but most of them had an upstairs so the children enjoyed dashing in and out of the houses, climbing ‘upstairs’ and waving through the windows. It was something a little bit different, and the girls really appreciated it, I think.
We split our time at Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway Adventure Park between the toddler area and riding on the train. We spent the morning there, riding on the train three times, before heading off to Eastbourne seafront for a fish and chip lunch on the beach. We had a lovely time there and the train was a huge draw for M, so I’m sure we’d visit again if we were in the area.