The Watercress Line

The Watercress Line

Book now from £24.00

Explore history on one of the best family days out at The Watercress Line

Let off steam at this living history railway! Experience the nostalgic sights, sounds and smells of steam as you travel through 10 miles of beautiful Hampshire countryside.

Located just seven miles from the ancient city of Winchester and 30 minutes from Southampton, you can join the line at the picturesque Georgian town of Alresford or at the bustling market town of Alton. Fares give you all day travel, so you can visit all four heritage stations with period charm as well as these historic towns.

What to expect on your Watercress Line day out

  • Experience the thrill of travelling on a real steam train.
  • Walk in Harry Potter's footsteps over the real King’s Cross bridge where Harry received his Hogwarts Express ticket in the film.
  • Ride the miniature railway – included in your ticket price. Their miniature railway runs during every special event and weekend running days (Subject to volunteer availability)
  • Young Engineers trail – Pick up FREE Young Engineer’s activity sheet and look out for the Restoration Route plaques around the railway!
  • Children’s activity sheets – complete activity sheets with colouring in, puzzles, games and quizzes for different ages.
  • See restoration in action – visit the Viewing Gallery in the engineer sheds and watch the locomotives being restored from above, and get up close to big steam locomotives.
  • Children’s picnic – pick up a children’s picnic box from the West Country Buffet at Alresford station with a selection of delicious treats to enjoy at one of the picnic spots or even on the train!
  • Visit the West Country Buffet for some delicious hot meals, snacks and drinks.

The History of The Watercress Line

The Watercress line has an inspiring history. In years gone by, The Watercress Line took people on holiday, carried people to war, transported evacuees and moved all the essential goods of the area.

Today at the heritage railway you can enjoy the perfect day out for all the family, with plenty of activities included in the ticket price: play in the brand-new playground and experience the thrill of a trip on a steam train through the spectacular Hampshire countryside!

Book your tickets for The Watercress line now and have them delivered to you instantly via email or SMS, don't miss out on one of the best family days out in Hampshire!

Station Approach,
Hampshire GU34 5HN
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How to Find Us

The Watercress Line can be caught from two locations, Alton or Alresford!

  • The Alton address is Station Road, Alton GU34 2PZ.
  • The Alresford address is The Railway Station, Station Road, New Alresford SO24 9JG.

By Car

The Watercress Line recommend visitors start their journey with us from either Alresford or Alton. A31 to Alresford or Alton stations. Follow the brown tourist signs to the Watercress Line. Parking is available at Alresford and Alton. Information on the accessibility and provision for disabled parking can be found here.

By Train

They have a mainline link at Alton station, where South Western Railway operate platforms 1 & 2 and the Watercress Line runs from platform 3. Please purchase your Watercress Line tickets on arrival at Alton from our shop on Platform 3.

By Bus

Alton station is a short walk from Alton High Street, which is served by Stagecoach South buses from Basingstoke (No 13, hourly, not Sundays or Bank Holidays), Haslemere  (No 13 & 23, not Sundays or Bank Holidays, hourly) and Petersfield (No 38, not Sunday, less than hourly).

From Winchester the No 64 (half hourly, hourly on Sundays) runs to Alresford High Street, a short walk from the station, and continues to Alton Station. Stagecoach bus No 65 serves Alton station from Guildford, Farnham & Bentley hourly (not Sundays or Bank Holidays). Please check all times in advance with Stagecoach South by clicking here.

  • Gift Shop
  • Café
  • Toilets
  • Paid Parking
  • Disabled Access

Yes, Disabled parking is available at Alresford and at Alton in the South Western Railway car park. 

Disabled toilets are available at Alresford station in the Old Goods Shed, Ropley Station and Alton station.


Dogs on leads are welcome on the train services and at the stations, with the exception of Steam Illuminations trains and dining trains (Real Ale Train, Watercress Belle, Countryman Dining and the Royal Wessex).

Dogs travel FREE.

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