Last week the boy turned 3 and for his birthday we decided to let him do the one thing he's been asking about for ages, a steam train ride. This boy is so into trains, he lives, breathes and dreams about them and Thomas the Tank Engine is absolutely number one for him at the moment.
The Spa Valley Railway was holding a Day Out With Thomas, so 11 of us went to help Charlie celebrate, including his little cousin M who loved the trains too.
It was really well set up, designed to be so exciting for little boys (and girls) with a Thomas addiction like our son. When we received the tickets in the post there was a message from Thomas to Charlie, we've read it many times. On the day, all the staff were really friendly and the Fat Controller was wandering around meeting everyone, he stopped and talked to Charlie and me for a long time and even though the boy was a little scared, he liked talking about having met the Fat Controller afterwards. Other staff members gave out Thomas books, we now have two new stories to read, and there was a balloon man on the train who made balloons for all the kids. Charlie got a white dog, little cousin M got a yellow parrot and Aunty N got a cool flower hat.
The train ride was fun though quite short, we were on the ride for 45 mins, but that included 15/20 mins at a station down the line waiting for the train to turn round. We rode inside Daisy who was being pulled by Spartan. Thomas was there but he doesn't do rides so that everyone can see him. As we were leaving the station the Thomas train went past our carriage pushing oil drums.
So a great day out and a good price, £9 for children and £11 for adults, which included the free books, balloons, ride on the train, talking to the Fat Controller and time to play at the 'imagination station' which had brio tracks and other games plus a Punch and Judy.
We'd packed a picnic to have at the station, but realised there was no space at Tunbridge Wells West, so on the way back to Nana and Grandad's house we all stopped at Hall Place in Kent for our picnic. It started great, but the grey clouds soon came in and we had to make a dash to the car . Nevertheless Charlie had a great day and hasn't stopped talking about it since.