In a series dedicated to life in and around the location of our serviced accommodation, why not step outside and check out some of the amazing attractions of the south coast of England.
The Watercress Line
Affectionately known as the ‘Watercress Line’ due to our connection with transporting watercress from the beds in Alresford all the way in to London, this heritage railway was saved from total
extinction by a band of enthusiastic volunteers in 1973. Enough money was raised to re-open the line as a visitor attraction from Alresford to Ropley in 1977 and continued to raise funds to relay the track to join up with the mainline network at Alton by 1985, with it’s own station buildings on Platform 3. Operating the often steep gradients larger classes of steam locomotive are required.
Today the railway runs the full 10 miles between the market towns of Alresford and Alton, preserving an important piece of England’s 1940’s – 70’s railway heritage for this generation and many more to follow.
Group, school and family visits are always welcome with many specials hauled along the line from the infamous Polar Express to the R.A.T – Real Ale Train.
Haven Street, Isle Of Wight
Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Miniature Railway
On a much smaller scale, Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Railway is a popular attraction near to Southampton. It is perfect for a day out with the kids at the weekend or during school holidays. Many steam and diesel trains run from the main station at Eastleigh Parkway to Monks Brook Halt, offering the opportunity to visit the lakes, children’s playground and use the picnic tables for refreshments. The steam train returns back to the main station from Monks Brook Halt, with the entire trip totalling 15-20 minutes.
Various days are dedicated to children’s activities, including Thomas & Friends with familiar faces hauling passengers around the lakes. The ELSR have the largest collection of Miniature locomotives on a commercial railway, with a total of 24 in the collection; 21 being steam powered and most of them are in steam on gala days.
Dock Gate 4 – The Cruise Line
Situated next to many of our various Southampton serviced apartments this once historical line often displays a treat or two for the railway enthusiast. Southampton Terminus station, now defunct, was once host to many platforms for passengers embarking on a round the world cruise from the docks.
South Western House, a grade II listed building, which still stands today and is home to our Imperial Apartments, formally was the stop for many passengers who boarded the Titanic. With the lines now dug up but with the terminus building still standing, there is a single line that crosses a main road and into the docks. These days it plays route to many car manufacturers hauling their latest creations for shipping abroad and is often open to specials, hauled by steam or diesel locos.