This little narrow gauge railway started life carrying sand from the huge quarries or pits around Leighton Buzzard to the mainline railway. Enthusiasts rescued it and converted it to a tourist attraction using delightful steam engines and simple carriages but have sensitively preserved its unusual industrial heritage. More the sort of railway to expect in North Wales or the North of England.
Good for young children. Small scale means it offers a relaxed atmosphere for a half-day visit. Check the timetable before travelling, the trains are not all that frequent except at special event days (basically a single track railway with passing places). Railway offers a full Santa experience each winter.
Most visitors will come by car and the town terminus is located in a local park (Pages Park) south of Leighton Buzzard town centre. Parking has recently been improved on the site and is ok except on special event days. Leighton Buzzard mainline railway station is a long walk or taxi ride away in Linslade. There are some local buses.
The cafe and shop are due to be replaced by a single new structure, all being well. In the meantime, they are in separate buildings. Cafe is reasonable and children should be content. There is a local convenience store just outside the site entrance. You could picnic in the park in good weather.
First half of the outward journey passes between the back gardens of new and older houses that line the route - good for curious train passengers! The route crosses several busy roads with flag waving and and whistle blowing. The second half of the route is in the country with attractive views south to the Chiltern Hills. There are glimpses of sand pits on the north side of the route. The original line continued towards the A5 road. The terminus, modest though it is, is located next to the railway's original Stonehenge works. Much sand industry equipment has been restored and is informally on display.
There are no toilets on the trains but that is not written as a criticism. Go and enjoy. This reviewer goes twice a year on average and used to take his young daughter.
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