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Avon Valley Railway (AVR)

Bristol, United Kingdom
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About Avon Valley Railway (AVR)
Bristol and Bath's heritage steam railway, offering a six mile round trip which takes passengers along sections of the old Midland Railway, providing a chance to see the magnificent River Avon Valley from a unique viewpoint.
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Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
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Avon Valley Railway (AVR)
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Jayne S wrote a review 22 May
Swindon, United Kingdom23 contributions10 helpful votes
We've been on 2 of their dining experiences now. Pie and Ale, and Sausages and Cider. Both were absolutely amazing. From the friendly and very funny guards on the platform, the lovely ladies who serve you with smiles and humour and the amazing chef that caters for dairy intollerant people like myself. Food is lovely, Chef went above and beyond to make me my own steak, mushroom and wine pie, alternative mash, and fruit salad & gorgeous chocolate icecream alternative for pudding was both unexpected and delicious. (All vegan chocolate icecream I seem to buy is gross!!) Service is 5*. Very well organised. We sadly couldn't go too far down the track due to works that were going on, but just going back and forth listening to the chugging of the engine and smelling the smoke was very nostalgic for our parents who came with us. Thank you to all the wonderful staff. Can't wait to go back.
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Date of experience: May 2022
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Response from AVR_VSO, Guest Relations Manager at Avon Valley Railway (AVR)
Responded 5 days ago
Hi Jayne, Thank you for your lovely review and we are really pleased that you have enjoyed both your recent journeys on our dining train. We look forward to welcome you aboard again soon! Matthew Smith Visitor Services Officer
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Bubs777 wrote a review 9 May
Cardiff, United Kingdom6 contributions4 helpful votes
Wish I could leave a 0 rating but unfortunately have to give at least 1! On Saturday 7 May, my mum and I attended the ‘A Taste of Italy’ event onboard the Avon Valley Railway. Whilst an email was sent to communicate the “slightly shorter than normal” journey, this was only sent on the evening before and did not provide details that the train would only be travelling between Bitton and Oldland Common--just a few minutes long and would repeat that return journey a couple of times with the majority of time spent waiting for the driver to change the engine from one end of the train to the other. I'm still in disbelief at the 'two course Italian meal' that we received. We had expected ‘Poached Salmon and Broccoli in a creamy sauce on a bed of fresh Linguine’--sounds lovely but what we were served was absolutely shocking. There was no sauce, the salmon was served on a bed of dry pasta, with a side of broccoli and peas. It looked like it had been prepared by a young child (who probably would have done it better!). Everyone onboard complained about the food. We were met with the 'we're only volunteers' plea but really, if you're going to volunteer to do a job, then at least have the decency to do it properly. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we felt that we had completely wasted two hours of it at this 'event'. Would not recommend the Avon Valley Railway AT ALL.
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Date of experience: May 2022
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Response from AVR_VSO, Guest Relations Manager at Avon Valley Railway (AVR)
Responded 2 weeks ago
I am very sorry to hear the feedback from your journey on our Taste of Italy dining train. Your experience clearly fell short of the high standard levels we aim to achieve. Regarding the shorter journey, unfortunately at the moment we are working on the south section of the line which means we are only able to run up to Oldland Common and back. As the work is ongoing and we dont have an exact reopening date, we are only able to inform passengers of this fact a few days before travel. Your feedback regarding the meal has been passed over to the kitchen team so they can make sure that the same mistakes aren't repeated and that the dish is served with more sauce in future. All our dining train hosts are volunteers but this is not a reason for justifying substandard service and I apologise that your complaint was met with this as a response. We will make sure we work with our volunteer team to improve the service onboard so this does not happen in the future. I believe we have been communicating with you via email already, but if this isnt the case, please do email me directly (visitors@avonvalleyrailway.org) so we can look into this further for you. As a charity, we rely on our customers enjoying their visit and coming back to see us again. I hope that you will give us another try in the future so we can show you the railway as it should have been on your visit. Matthew Smith Visitor Services Officer
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Wanderlust Hols wrote a review 6 May
Weston super Mare, United Kingdom348 contributions70 helpful votes
Back in December 2021 and a few days before Christmas Day, I visited Avon Valley Railway with my husband, 5-year-old daughter and mother-in-law for their annual Santa Special event. Because Covid-19 was still having such a big impact and we were nervous about being indoors with others, I was so happy to see that AVR were offering families whole compartments. This was definitely more appealing than sitting with many others in a packed carriage. When we arrived at Bitton Station the car park was busy, but we were able to park with no problems. We entered through the station and onto the platform where our tickets were checked. As we were early we wandered over to a tinsel decorated pen of donkeys who were all wearing festive coats and Santa hats! Very cute! When it was time for us to board the train we only queued very briefly before being directed to our carriage. Inside our compartment was quite warm. It was decorated with tinsel and a wreath and there were little bags of mince pies and star shaped shortbread biscuits waiting for us (these were delicious!) Admittedly, the seats showed wear and there was some flaky paint and condensation, but I appreciate it's an old train and it kind of added to the charm. The steam engine only travelled a short distance to the next platform. I don't know why, but I thought we were going to be doing a loop and I did think the journey would be longer. Still, our daughter was having a lovely time so we were happy. When she spotted Santa walking up the train she was so excited! She sat close to the door and when he popped his head through the top window we captured her expression of pure joy on camera! He was a great Santa. A lovely, well spoken older gentleman in a really nice red suit. He had a lovely little chat with her and asked if she'd visit him in his Grotto. When the train arrived at the station we got off onto the platform to take photographs of the cute little green engine and watch the driver move it to the other end of the train to take us back. After we arrived back to where we started we joined a queue on the platform for Santa's Grotto. The line was long but in fairness it moved fairly quickly. Each family then got their time under the snow machine (our daughter's favourite part!) and then through to see Santa in his sleigh and collect their present - which was a lovely old fashioned teddy bear in an AVR 'Station Master' uniform. Overall we enjoyed our little trip on the Santa steam engine at Avon Valley Railway. The tinsel, snow machines and donkeys gave the station a lovely festive atmosphere. My only real criticism is the compartments could have been cleaned better between guests, but other than that the staff were friendly and Santa was brilliant!
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Date of experience: December 2021
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Response from AVR_VSO, Guest Relations Manager at Avon Valley Railway (AVR)
Responded 2 weeks ago
Thank you for leaving such a detailed review of your trip with us at Christmas. We are glad you enjoyed the visit and thanks for sharing the picture of the donkeys too! Look forward to seeing you again soon. Matthew Smith Visitor Services Officer
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Suzan W wrote a review 5 May
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom98 contributions91 helpful votes
Booked a murder mystery train; the murder mystery element was excellent. AVR provided the food both myself and sister are dairy-free; the main was a potato pie with mashed potatoes, and while everyone else tucked into carrot cake for dessert, we had a fruit salad, no alternative milk at the cafe either
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Date of experience: September 2021
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Response from AVR_VSO, Guest Relations Manager at Avon Valley Railway (AVR)
Responded 2 weeks ago
Thank you for sharing your review of our Murder Mystery event. Im sorry to hear you werent happy with the food on the train, I hope you did bring it up at the time so the team could have looked after you. Also, I can confirm that we now offer alternative milks in the cafe and onboard the train too! Matthew Smith Visitor Services Officer
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PacerDriver wrote a review Feb 2022
3 contributions2 helpful votes
A very pleasant ride on a cosy steam train from Bitton to Oldland Common (not Warmley, as mentioned erroneously in a previous review - the railway doesn't go there!). The steam heated coaches were comfortable and warm - much appreciated in February. The railway south of Bitton to Avon Riverside station was temporarily closed due to engineering works, but we were expecting that, and only charged half price as a consequence. £4.50 each for a short steam train ride was good value for money. The volunteers we encountered were very helpful, especially in helping us board and alight the train, as one person in our party is a wheelchair user. The crew on the steam locomotive also engaged with us. The platform host was very kind, and explained what to expect during the trip, including that we could alight from the train at Oldland Common to watch the locomotive run around the train, which we did. See attached photo! Recommended.
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Date of experience: February 2022
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Response from AVR_VSO, Guest Relations Manager at Avon Valley Railway (AVR)
Responded 2 weeks ago
Thank you for leaving a review after your journey with us. Im glad to hear you enjoyed your visit. We look forward to seeing you again soon. Matthew Smith Visitor Services Officer
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