A few weekends back we happened to be Burnham way on the weekend after going for breakfast and a walk we looked online to see if there was any local farms/places to visit with Frankie when we came across ‘Mangapps Railway Museum’, Burnham on Crouch. Bugs absolutely loves trains so we thought great he will absolutely love going on a steam train a few times!
It was signposted and easy to find by car, the car park is a huge and there were a few train carriages scattered about which excited Frankie! We got out and made our way towards the ‘refreshment carriage’ to get our tickets, under 3’s go free and we were £9 each for an adult which on first impressions I thought was quite steep but after speaking to the volunteers for a bit who interacted with Frankie and were more than happy to entertain his rambling and even gave him a biscuit and offered him some juice I felt totally at ease and welcome paying the entry cost.
The lady behind the till gave us our tickets, proper card tickets (which I loved for Frankie’s scrapbook! No shit receipts here) and told us the trains start at 12:15, there would be a loud whistle to give us warning, then continue every half hour-hour based on the rainy conditions of that day. We walked down towards the museum area and saw the men loading coal onto the steam engines who all waved to Frankie and kept saying ‘all aboard’, I think he honestly thought he was an extra in Thomas’s next film!
In the museum area I was taken aback to see how much memorabilia they had in the buildings from train signals to old signs to benches to war train tickets! I was surprised how fascinated I was by it all and of course Frankie loved running up and down the carriages and in the engine carriage pretending to drive the train.
I thought he was going to pass out when we entered the next building to find a huge wooden train set with all different old style carriages and a ‘James’ carriage for him to sit in! I think he honestly would of spent all day playing with the wooden trains and I could of just left him there!
The whistle went and we ran towards the platform and got on the old carriage and the train went up and down the tracks which is a fun experience if you’ve never been on a steam train! (I’m sure I’ll be going on plenty until Frankie ceases to adore Thomas!)
You can go as many times as you want and on Bank Holidays they have ‘special trains’ and events on.
The Railway is privately owned and run by volunteers, the entry fees are so worth it when you see all the little touches and effort that’s gone into the place as a whole! If you appreciate local passion and different days out you’ve just got to go!
If you like going to different places and visiting local hidden gems go to Mangapps on your to do list, we will definitely be back and hopefully when it’s not raining!