Audley End Miniature Railway has been on our to-do list for a while so I decided their Easter Special would be a good time to visit… and it didn’t disappoint.
The day starts with a 40-minute ride through the grounds on a miniature railway pulled by either a diesel or steam engine. The train ride alone is fun as there is lots to see on the route- lots of cute nests and displays of Easter-themed bunnies and chicks to spot on the way round.
Half way round, the train pulls into a marquee for an interactive show with Alice, Dormouse and the Easter Bunny. It lasts for around 10 minutes and the children receive a gift from the Easter Bunny. No chocolate this year but the kids were chuffed with their fluffy lamb key ring.
The train continues the loop and drops you back to the Woodland Walk, Adventure Play Area and Woodland Cafe. There are lots of lovely photo opportunities on the woodland walk and, from 30th April, the fairies return to their woodland residence.
Every hour there is an interactive show with the Mad Hatter. The 20-minute show is full of fun, very active and interactive. The kids really enjoyed this!
It is an outdoor attraction essentially so dress for the weather. The Woodland Cafe has picnic tables dotted around the adventure play area and a covered section under a gazebo but this fills up quickly.
Food options are pretty good- they have a good selection of hot and cold drinks and snacks- and a decent menu. Lunch options include jacket potatoes, hot and cold sandwiches, bacon rolls and pizza. We opted for pepperoni pizza at £13 each. Prices are to be expected for this type of venue and, if you’re reluctant to spend £1.60 for a packet of Pom-Bears, you might think about packing a picnic!
There is lots of space for picnics and free play and I would imagine that AEMR is blissful on a warm summer’s day. The adventure play area was a huge hit and there is the Nature Corner to explore too.
Regarding accessibility- the disabled parking is right next to the entrance. Lots of paths are covered with bark, wood chip and stones which made pushing the buggy really difficult at times. They also run special autism and SEN sessions so look out for them if you prefer a quieter session.
It takes around three hours to do everything and we took our time. Tickets for adults and children over 92cm are £17, shorter children are £8.50. Children under 1 are free and carers go free.
The train ride was really good because they included an activity book to play I Spy. Also, they stopped the train and put on a show and, at the end, we all got a present from the Easter Bunny. We loved the Mad Hatter show because it was really fun!Arabella, aged 9
Enjoy your adventures!