We had a pretty wholesome time celebrating Stanley's second birthday. It is so nice having a small child around as it often means you wake up early (probably hangover free) and make the most of the whole day. We took the opportunity to go and visit the Bluebell Railway as his birthday treat as it was one of the things both myself and ben visited as children and it is so lovely to be able to re-visit and share childhood experiences we had with our own child. The day wasn't sunny as promised, but it was at least dry(ish) and we had such a fun time.

Stanley of course loved it, giant life sized 'Thomas' type trains....hey what is there not to love! The whole station is kept so well, thoughtful details like old posters which makes it all feel very real. There have a lovely little museum there too which we took a wander round. The only part I felt disappointed about was the restaurant. It looked really old fashioned british and not in a good way. Maybe like an early '90s Weatherspoons pub or something. I was surprised it hadn't been given a make-over in keeping with the rest of the place. I was hoping for an old fashioned tea room or cafe like in Brief Encounter, but alas no.

Our train called at two stations (where you can get off it you want to) then it takes about 20 minutes to move the front section of the train to take us back again. We saw lovely countryside, plenty of wildlife including a large herd of deer as well as some hunters out for, I assume,  pheasants. We were frightfully british (and on a budget) and took our own packed lunch, egg sandwiches and leftover birthday cake no less washed down with a cup of tea. I felt like we had fallen straight out of the Railway Children or a Famous Five book, either way I couldn't have been happier!

Here's to a happy 2013 exploring what Sussex, and maybe further afield in Britain has to offer.


  1. I used to go there as a kid too, when we visited my aunty! Will definitely have to take a visit there again to show theo! X

  2. so cute! And how funny that you and Abi have train mad little ones, my neighbour's little boy Bohdi is also obsessed with Thomas, did Stanley always like them or was it something that happened at a certain age? I don't think Wilf is yet to have any kind of obsession with anything yet..bar the cats! You look stunning in the picture by the sign, such a lovely shot.
    Oh and I LOVE the railway children, just thinking of Jenny Agutter saying 'daddy, my daddy!' makes me teary as I write it! xx

    1. I don't know where it came from, certainly wasn't particularly encouraged. He has plenty of 'gender neutral' toys like tea sets and kitchen things but he definitely prefers cars and trains over these. It must be the little boy inside him! He likes Thomas but isn't obsessed with him, more trains in general, he loves it if we get the train into town, and the bluebell railway was a step up from that with all the noise and the steam, I guess it seemed more 'real' to him!

      Thanks for you kind words about me, I amost never get in front of the camera now, and it is nice to have a picture of me and Stanley!

      Oh and the railway children, don't start me off. That end scene is a total bawler for me EVERY TIME!!!


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