Perrygrove Railway in Coleford, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire is an absolute gem of a family tourist attraction. It is a narrow-gauge railway that runs both steam and diesel engines, a complete journey takes about 30 minutes. When you buy your ticket you can ride the trains all day but there is so much more to Perrygrove than just the trains; there are several play areas, a peaceful woodland, a fantastic cafe, and even some animals to spot. To top it all off, as if a trip to Perrygrove Railway wasn’t already a great day out for the kids, you can even take the dog too!
Here is our review of our recent visit.
Just beyond the cafe and main station is the Treetop Adventure and wow, what an adventure it is. The great thing about it is the easy access ramp and wide pathways so even pushchairs and wheelchairs can get up into the treetops. As well as the wide pathway around the trees, there are lots of little houses that you can pop into, a rope bridge to cross, a slide and various places to climb and hide. It was certainly a hit with my two!
Foxy Hollow Play Area
Foxy Hollow is at the end of the line and the station here is right next to the woodland so you could ride up and walk back. The majority of the play area is undercover which means it doesn’t get too slippery in the rain and also helps to protect from the sun.
Up at Foxy Hollow, there are plenty of picnic benches so the grown-ups can relax and keep an eye on the little ones. You can also get a limited selection of the delicious Chase Farm ice cream here (the doggy ice cream is only available in the cafe and not at Foxy Hollow).
New for 2021 is the tunnel adventure. Situated next to the Foxy Hollow play and picnic area, the tunnel adventure is another favourite with my children. They absolutely loved charging about in there and looking for all the ways in and out, the viewpoints and binding places. There’s even a slide that they can pop out of!
New For 2022 – Ride-on Tractors
New for 2022 is the ride-on tractors. There is a small concrete area with an island in the middle for children to ride around. My two had a fabulous time on them and they are a brilliant new addition to an already wonderful attraction.
The cafe serves all the regular things you would expect to find at a small, local tourist attraction but that doesn’t mean it is boring and run of the mill! The ice cream is from Chase Farm Milk, another small business that is situated just over 8 miles away. Chase Farm produce all their ice cream on-site and over a wide variety of mouth-watering flavours. You really do have to taste it to believe it! Don’t worry, your pampered pooch won’t be left out of the treats! You can pick up a Marshfield Farm Scoop’s for Dogs ice cream at the cafe which Millie thoroughly approved of.
The perfect place to have a stroll and get a bit of peace and quiet. As it is a woodland it looks stunning in the autumn with the golden leaves falling and during the spring you will be exposed to a wonderful array of colours and scents from the bluebells and the wild garlic.
The woodland is also a perfect spot to build a den, go on a nature walk or just let your imagination run wild. I like to wander amongst the trees and listen for wildlife and see if I can spot any creatures.
Perrygrove Railway – The Trains
The main attraction has to be the trains. Perrygrove has a grand total of six engines on-site, with another two currently being built (you can read more about their locomotive project here). There are three passenger steam engines called “Spirit of Adventure”, “Lydia” & “Anne”. One passenger diesel engine called “Jubilee”, a working diesel engine appropriately named “Workhorse” and a very special model American switching locomotive called “Soony”.
All the engines have their own personalities and staff and regular visitors certainly have their favourites, mine is Spirit of Adventure because she is the first engine that arrived at Perrygrove and because she is a handsome burgundy colour which reminds me of my wedding colours. On our visit in the school summer holidays, Spirit of Adventure and Jubilee were both running but we only rode on Spirit of Adventure. The driver was even kind enough to let the children have a closer look and he was more than happy to answer questions and show them some of the parts of the engine. Getting this close was an absolute highlight of the day!
Is Perrygrove Railway worth it?
Absolutely! In August 2021 I paid £31.10 for two adults, two children (a child is classed as 3 – 15) and a dog, which allowed us entry to the site and access to everything with as many train rides as we wanted. The children had a fantastic time, the dog loved riding the trains and because they were enjoying themselves, I could relax and have fun too.
If you are planning your next Forest of Dean day out then I would highly recommend a visit to Perrgrove Railway. The one piece of advice I would give is to check the opening times before you go as they are only open every day during the school holidays, during term time they usually open on weekends, Tuesdays and Thursdays so check before you travel to avoid disappointment.