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Education Visit Information and Prices

Click here to browse the content of our Education Sessions. Please contact the Education Office to discuss your requirements.

There are 3 types of visit to choose from:

  • Railway Experience – Your visit includes both an Education Session and an atmospheric return journey along the Watercress Line behind one of our restored heritage locomotives, stopping off at Ropley Station on the way. Available on any running day. £9 / pupil

  • Station Visit - Enjoy an Education Session based solely at one of our stations and available on most days throughout the year. £3.50 / pupil   

    • CREST Discovery Days - A full day visit: £3/ Pupil, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    • CREST After School Visits - Free sessions - supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

  • Explorer Journey - A self-led return journey along the Watercress Line, taking in the atmosphere and scenery and stopping off at a station of your choice along the way. Available on any running day. £7 / pupil

To Book:  Please contact the Education Office for availability and to reserve a date. We generally require a £50 deposit.

KS4 & Post 16

KS4 student visits are priced as above. For prices for visits by post 16 education students please contact the Education Officer via. education@watercressline.co.uk

Badges, Post Cards and Shop Visits 

No school trip is complete without a souvenir and at the Watercress Line we like to take the stress out of shop visits by offering  pre-booked Goodies.

Shop visits are also available at Alresford, or Ropley. Add an additional layer to your visit by sending postcards home. Book your group postcards that can be written on the train and posted in our heritage post-boxes, price includes delivery by Royal Mail.  Please click here for further information.

Your Day with us

Visits with Train travel

Visits with Train travel are available on any mid-week running day May –September. Click here for this year's running day.

  • Arrive by 10.30 ready for your train departure from Alresford station on the 11am.

  • Free coach/ mini bus parking at Alresford station.

  • You return to Alresford at the end of the day at 14:35 pm, alternative itineraries are available.

  • You will be in reserved seating for your railway journeys.

Led visits also include

  • Education Workshops led by Watercress Railway staff are usually based at Ropley.

  • 2 led sessions from a choice for your topic.

  • Use of the Education Room at Ropley

  • All resources provided but we would be grateful if you could bring pencils for your group.

You are welcome to plan your own Self Led Explorer Journey and enjoy the experience of travelling behind a restored steam locomotive, stopping off at any of our restored stations along the way. Pre booked groups only.

You can use the Restoration route at Ropley to guide a tour and downloadable resources from our web site.

Badges, Post Cards and Shop Visits 

The Education Room and Viewing Gallery at Ropley

With its birds-eye view of the Locomotive Workshop, the room offers a unique setting for our education sessions and is the base for your visit.

There is no step-free access to the Education Room, so please advise the Education Office if this will impact upon your visit and alternate arrangements will be made.

Education sessions are also conducted in our period station buildings.

Picnic Areas

The majority of schools spend lunchtime at Ropley, which has two picnic sites, one in the orchard and a second that looks across the railway line toward the Loco Yard; there are picnic tables, an adjacent toilet block and onsite bins.
In the case of poor weather we have plenty of cover for pre booked groups. You may use the station buildings, the Up Waiting room and the Education room for refreshment breaks.

There is also a large picnic area, overlooking the station, at Alresford but limited under cover space.

Bus and Coach Parking

Pre-booked education groups are able to park minibuses and coaches free at Alresford station. In special circumstances parking can be reserved for accompanying cars but standard car parking charges apply, £1.50/day - pay and display. Please specify parking requirements on your booking form.

There is parking available at Ropley for departures / pick-ups booked from that station. Please use the Visitor car Park off Bighton Hill, Post code SO24 9SQ.

Alton station has facilities for drop-off and collection only.

Crossing the Track

Alresford Station - It is unlikely that you will need to cross the track at Alresford as all our facilities are on Platform 1 with level access. Should you wish to visit platform 2 our station staff will cross you via the level foot crossing.

Ropley Station -  The Kings Cross bridge completes our accessible route around the site at Ropley, providing step free access to both sides of the site.

Medstead & Four Marks Station - If you have group members who require step free access, our station staff will cross you via the level foot crossings.

Alton Station - At Alton access to the Watercress Line platform is via the South Western Railway bridge with lift access.


Toilets are available at all stations. Disabled facilities are available at Alresford, Alton and Ropley. Toilets are also available on the train services but please do not use whilst the train is in the station.

On running days there are additional toilets adjacent to the picnic area at Ropley.

Seeing Behind the Scenes

In addition to the view from the Engineering Viewing gallery further behind the scenes insight into our conservation and maintenance can be seen from the viewing gallery in the Carriage  Workshop, with step free access from the Kings Cross Bridge. You can also visit the Loco Yard for a close up view of the locomotives. Access is subject to operational constraints.

Full details on the facilities of the Watercress Line are available here.

  • Orchard Picnic Area, Ropley
  • Picnic Area Overlooking the Loco Yard, Ropley
  • Station Staff Making Crossing the Tracks Possible
  • An Education Session in the Loco Yard
  • Waving Goodbye to the Train

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