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What to See

Something for everyone at the Watercress Line

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Whatever the time of year, there is always much to see and do at the Watercress Line.

  • Take a ride on our trains leaving from either Alresford or Alton
  • Live through the full glamour of steam travel with our themed experiences
  • Explore our four stations and heritage signal boxes
  • See preservation in action in our engineering sheds
  • Dine at our West Country Buffet or watch the trains go by from our picnic areas
  • Walk in Harry Potter’s footsteps on the foot bridge where he received his Hogwarts Express ticket
  • Ride our miniature railway through the countryside at Ropley
  • Shop in our gift shop in the Old Goods Shed for all your gifts, books and toys

Or use the stations as starting points for wonderful walks in the heart of the Hampshire countryside

Take a look at our Map of the Watercress Line to help you plan your visit and our Timetable and Prices for more information.

Alresford Station
Alresford Station

Is only a two minute walk from the High Street of this beautiful Georgian market town lined with independent shops and pubs and the home of Hampshire’s watercress industry.

Check out our gift shop in the Old Goods Shed selling fabulous gifts, stationary, toys, books and more. Or grab something delicious to eat or drink from our West Country Buffet open every day the trains are running and Tuesday-Sunday from February – September.

Otherwise simply watch the trains arriving and departing from our south facing picnic area and take a wonderful rural walk and explore the Watercress Way or Millennium Trail.

Ropley Station
Ropley Station

A country station famous for its topiary, once housing only a small goods yard it has now become the engineering hub of the Watercress Line.

Investigate our impressive engineering sheds and enjoy brand new interactive interpretation displays in the viewing galleries and around the site, as part of the Heritage Lottery funded Canadian Pacific Project and see preservation in action in the Carriage Workshop.

Visit the station building on Platform 2 which houses a restored ticket office and a representation of a typical station masters parlour and ride on our Miniature Railway which runs during every special event and every Saturday in April up to the end of October and is included free in your Standard Travel ticket.

Finally enjoy a picnic in the orchard and walk in Harry Potter’s footsteps over the railway footbridge where he received his Hogwarts Express ticket – the King’s Cross bridge is now here in Ropley. Please note the access ramp from the bridge is awaiting inspection and is closed until further notice, the bridge can still be accessed via the stairs.

Medstead & Four Marks Station
Medstead & Four Marks Station

A typical country station, it is smaller and more peaceful than our other stations. Though the steep 1 in 60 gradient either side of Medstead and Four Marks station are often described as going ‘over the Alps’. Visit a photo exhibition in the waiting room illustrating the history and transformation of the station. Or view our Goods Shed exhibition 'Delivering the Goods' all about goods handling on the railway.

Alternatively, there are two lovely walks from Medstead station to Alton through beautiful countryside where you can also see Jane Austen House in Chawton village.

  1. Medstead to Alton
  2. Medstead to Alton via Chawton village

Alton Station
Alton Station

Alton is the eastern tip of the Watercress Line, where we share the station with South Western Railway (who use Platforms 1 & 2). Beyond the London end of the station is one of our Wagon Group restoration bases and the Railway’s three steam cranes are also maintained here.

On the platform we have a gift shop with a model railway selling tickets, snacks and gifts.

The town centre is a short 10 minute walk from the railway station, offering a variety of pubs, restaurants and high street shops. As well as the Curtis Museum with a large local history collection and the Allen gallery which houses a ceramics and pottery collection.

Jane Austen's House in Chawton village is just a couple of miles away, easily accessible by taxi or take a short walk along the Jane Austen Trail spotting other important Austen locations along the way like Chawton House and gardens that are well worth a visit.

More information on walks around Alton is available here.