Looking for a Place to Park Your Car

Thinking of spending a day on the Severn Valley Railway?

If you’re coming to the Severn Valley Railway for a day out then you’ll want to leave your vehicle in a safe car park.

No one likes to worry, especially when you’re enjoying a lovely day out. Peace of mind is paramount when it comes to leaving your vehicle in a new car park, regardless of how long you’re away from it for. In the past few years there have been some real horror stories concerning car parks run by cowboy entrepreneurs and amateurs who have acted negligently when looking after their customers’ vehicles. Tourists are often the victims of parking scams, but that doesn’t mean that us Brits aren’t immune to getting cheated ourselves!

Many folks in the countryside, especially those that live in the Severn Valley, are forced to drive long distances to get to the airport which often means that they need to park there too. Booking car parking ahead of schedule might alleviate a certain level of the worry around travelling, but if you turn up to discover that the car park you’ve booked is a dodgy concrete square in the middle of nowhere, you may start to have second thoughts and no time to organise anything else!

Of course find a space here at the Severn Valley Railway is much a simple operation than finding parking at Liverpool Airport, or somewhere like Heathrow or Stansted. There are plenty of safe, well looked after car parks for you to leave your car whilst you’re riding the rails for the day – here are just a few of them:

Bridgnorth Station Car Park

The northern terminus of the Severn Valley Railway is a great place to start your journey with us, but before you hop on rails you might want to take some time to wander around the town of Bridgnorth first. There’s plenty to see here including the town hall which is over 350 years old! Grab a parking space at the Station Car Park itself and you’ll only have to pay £3 for a day of safe, convenient car parking.

Hampton Loade Station Car Park

This little hamlet is well worth a visit if you’re in the area and takes its name from the reaction ferry that is used to take across the River Severn. Although there’s not much else to see at Hampton Loade, the car park at the station here is often a lot quieter than the other car parks, so you’ll be able to arrive and leave with ease. Once more the charge is a simple £3, but its important to remember that there are only a handful of spaces – so have a backup in mind, if you’re travelling during peak times!

Kidderminster Station Car Park

There are usually plenty of car parking spaces going at the southern terminus of the Severn Valley Railway, making it a great location to either start or end or journey with us. Parking for a day comes at the cheap price of just £3 so you could set off early in the morning, stop for lunch at one of the Station cafes, visit Bridgnorth for an an hour or so and then travel back to Kidderminster for dinner!

Have You Found Some Nasty Weeds In Your Garden?

The summer can bring all sorts of nasty surprises, one of them being weeds.

During this time of year all sorts of nasty invasive plants are working their way up through the ground.

When your precious back garden is afflicted with a nasty invasion such as this then you can choose to either look up the cost of Japanese knotweed removal or simply ignore it and visit another garden, although you may have a law case on your hands!

There’s nothing quite like a stroll around an English Country Garden to soothe one’s spirit and whilst we’re in the midst of this glorious English summer, we thought we’d share with you some of the very best places to enjoy such a stroll in the Severn Valley. Whilst some of the gardens that we’ve selected on this list might seem like a bit of a trek from either Kidderminster or Bridgnorth, we can promise you that they are well worth the trek.

So forget about your weed-ridden garden, pack up your car with a few sandwiches and your plant book; and see what the gardeners of the Severn Valley have to offer you. If you’re thinking about coming to visit us here in the Severn Valley, then why not stop at one one of these delightful gardens in the local area?

Arley Arboretum & Gardens

There’s a little bit of everything at Arley including peacocks, an Italian garden (complete with water fountain), themed trails and even a maze for the young ones to get lost in. It’s a great destination for adventurous walkers who fancy getting another peek at the Severn Valley Railway system too.

Simply follow one of the signposted walks out to the hills and watch as the iconic trains chug their way through the peaceful landscape.

Where? Near Bewdley How much? Adults for £5.50, children for £2.50 and under-3s for free.

Whitlenge Gardens and Cafe

Garden designer Keith Southall is the man behind the exciting three acre ‘ideas gardens’ at nearby Hartlebury. A winner of a handful of prestigious RHS medals, as well as successful private landscape gardener in his own right, Keith has spent the last 30 years designing and developing shows, whilst simultaneously innovating within his own space at Whitlenge House Cottage. Art and sculpture lovers will no doubt enjoy the striking design choices, whilst there’s plenty for horticulturists alike too!

Where? Hartlebury How much? Garden entry is £3.50 for adults, £1.50 for kids and free for kids under-3.

Winterbourne House & Garden

Built in 1903 for businessman John Nettlefold and his family, Winterbourne House & Garden is an example of quintessential 20th century design, but its garden is the star attraction. Margaret Nettlefold designed the garden after being inspired by the books of legendary gardener Gertrude Jekyll. Following years of restoration work, it is the garden itself that has been given a Grade II listing by English Heritage.

Where? Edgbaston How much? £6 for Adults, 5-16s/Students/Over 65s go for £5

Spetchley Park Gardens

There are few gardens with as many links to British history than Spetchley Park Gardens. The mansion that stands today was built after the original house was burned to the ground on the eve of the Battle of Worcester in 1651, writer and gardener John Evelyn helped design the peaceful gardens and there’s even an oak tree with an interesting connection to Winston Churchill. Ellen Willmott helped her sister Rose Berkeley to design much of the garden that exists today in the early 20th century, with Spetchley becoming one of the first gardens to open to the public under the National Garden Scheme.

Where? Spetchley How much? Adults for £7, children for £2.50, concessions for £6.50 and under-5s go free.

Looking To Get A Bite To Eat?

The Severn Valley Railway makes for a fantastic day-out and is the perfect excuse to visit this idyllic stretch of England.

No matter how far you come to visit us, we want to make sure that you have a great time whilst you’re here.

A one-way trip from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth usually takes just over an hour, but whilst you’re in the area you may as well make the most of some of the great places to eat and help support the local economy too! It’s hungry work enjoying this wonderful area, so whilst you’re more than welcome to bring a packed lunch, we’ve collected all our favourite places to eat that are on or near to stations on the Severn Valley Railway.

Head to any one of these places for a slap-up meal and wonderful service:

The Manor House of Whittington, Kinver

This Grade-1 listed building has been serving quality-ales and grub to thirsty travellers for over 700 years and whilst the pub has gone through many different owners since then, the current incarnation of this venerable establishment is arguably the best that it’s ever been. Whilst the historical aspects of the building have been retained, modern decor and stylish design have freshened the rest of the building up, making for a classy gastro-pub experience.

The King & Castle, Kidderminster

Run by Severn Valley Railway, this pub is a faithful recreation of how the original refreshments bar would have appeared in the 1940s. There are always a number of hand-pulled ales on tap, as well as a changing menu of hot and cold food. This is a perfect place to start or finish your journey, gently easing you into the era and letting you get a taste of what it might have been like to travel along the railway line back in its 19th century hey-day.

Kidderminster & Bewdley Refreshment Rooms

In addition to the King & Castle, you can also order some lovely food from the Refreshment Rooms at both the Kidderminster and Bedley Refreshment rooms. Arrive early to make the most of the wonderful breakfast menus: choose from traditional English breakfasts, Eggs Benedict and more.

During the day you can pick from a limited but delicious selection of hearty mains (including Steak & Ale Pie and Cod and Chips) or pick from a few light lunches, or a selection of gourmet burgers.

La Petite Gare, Kidderminster

Just opposite the road from the Severn Valley Railway station in Kidderminster you’ll find La Petite Gare, a family-run business that has a passion for serving fresh Italian coffee and delicious homemade food.

During the day this establishment is a cosy cafe, serving visitors to the town sandwiches, soups and cakes – but during the night it becomes an intimate bistro/bar, perfect for whiling away an evening in Kidderminster.

The Granary Hotel & Restaurant, Kidderminster

This well-reputed hotel and restaurant was first opened in 1978, continual investment has allowed it to become the successful establishment that it is today. The restaurant, run by Head Chef Sarah Heywood, has become reputed as one of the best places to eat in the area.

During the week you can make the most of the 2 AA Rosette standard restaurant’s set dinner at only 3 courses for £19.50.

A Brief History of the Line

As with all the railway lines in Britain: the Severn Valley Railway’s history is a storied one.

After a topographical survey was taken of the area by a number of investors and planners, building of the railway line began in 1858.

In the wake of the Industrial revolution Britain had changed beyond recognition; put simply, the landscape of Britain was changing. Where once green farm land stretched for mile upon mile, now the industrial buildings, more associated with the city, were starting to be built in the countryside, providing valuable employment for thousands of Britons whose traditional jobs working the land were now starting to be replaced by ever-improving agricultural machinery.

By 1862 work on the line had been completed, linking up many disparate rural locations and creating a simple, affordable way for the inhabitants of those villages to travel through the area. Communities from Hartlebury, Shrewsbury, Stourport-on-Sever and even Cressage were now just a train ride away. The original line stretched for over 40 miles and for 100 years played a vital part in the development of thousands of people.

In 1963 Britain was changing once more.

The national rail nationalisation programme had begun in earnest, so for the first time in a century the rail line was closed to the public – although this wouldn’t remain the case for long. Two years later fifty local people, all enthusiastic supporters of the Severn Valley Railway, met at the Coopers Arms in Kidderminster. Although the original plan was to purchase only 5 and a half miles of the original railway line, support for the newly formed Society soon snowballed and their sights began to aim higher.

Backed by MP and Knight, Gerald Nabarro, the Society was soon barrelling towards claiming its prize. In 1970, after the initial purchase was made, a Light Railway Order was granted so that the SVR could once more serve the public. Operating between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade, these early services proved immensely popular amongst both the young, who might not have seen a steam-engine based train before and the old who yearned for the simpler times of the pre-war years. Within a few years, as coal trains ceased to use the line, the SVR were able to purchase yet more stretches of the track until they owned the full 16 and a half miles that we know and love today.

Despite the apparent popularity the SVR had with the British public, its continued success has not always been guaranteed. In the mid-eighties the construction of a bypass road threatened to obliterate Bridgnorth Station, thankfully this outcome was avoided. Since then the Severn Valley Railway Society has been able to build stations of their own, linking the historical railway up with the rest of the British rail network, whilst maintaining the vintage aesthetic of yesteryear.

Today, the Severn Valley Railway exists as a unique time capsule: serving as a reminder as to how our country used to be.

If you’d like to take a ride on the Severn Valley Railways or even take part in one of the one-off experiences that the SVR run on a regular basis then head to their site to find out more.

Things To Do, Places To See!

Are you thinking of visiting the Severn Valley?

There’s more to the area than this fantastic heritage railway!

Hundreds of miles of scenic countryside, fun activities for kids and some of the grandest country homes on offer to the public. Before you decide on taking a trip to the Severn Valley, why not plan where else you can visit in the area?


With 3,000 acres of park and woodland to explore including Dudmaston Hall and the quaint village of Quatt, this is the perfect place for a day of relaxed strolling. There’s more than just gorgeous countryside to enjoy here. We’ve got houses, castles, churches and you better believe there’s grass. Grass has been grown for about as long as anyone can remember. We spoke to local, Georgie Wildfire about the locals’ strange past-time:

‘It’s crazy really. As long as I can remember there’s always been grass here. Green and verdant it spreads across the fields so quickly that there’s really no way we can stop, it’s a good thing we all like it here!”

Along with grass, you’ll also  be able to see things such as sky, books and even windows!

How much? £10.90 for adults, £5.45 for children.

Rays Farm Country Matters

Have you ever seen rabbits before? How about sheep or pigs? Well if by some absolutely mental chance that you’ve seen none of those things then perhaps you should swing by Rays Farm where you can see all of those things plus so much more. There are rabbits, goats, llamas, donkeys and even human members of staff who you can treat like animals as well, although they might not like it! This attraction truly has something for everyone: activities, animals, animals, animals and there are even some animals…not to mention a handful of animals that you can see with your own eyes!

How much? £9.45 for adults, children 2-15 years old for £7.25 and family tickets for £31.00.

Go Ape Wyre Forests

There are literally dozens of Go Ape courses all around the UK. So, what makes the Wyre location any different from it’s relatives? Nothing! Like a Starbucks or McDonald’s restaurant, you always know what you’re getting when you go to a Go Ape course. There are trees, ropes, ladders, swings and even some toilets! Your kids will be literally blown away by the variations of trees, planks connected to trees and ropes here; but don’t worry – there plenty of ropes to make sure they don’t plummet down to earth from the dizzying height of  14-metres in the air.

How much? £25 for 10-15 years and £33 for adults (some height restrictions do apply, so check their site for details)

Severn Valley Country Park

You might think you’ve seen everything before, but unless you’ve actually been everywhere, you’re really just a load of hot air with a rather large head! So before you dismissively snort at the notion of visiting Severn Valley Country Park, perhaps you should consider that it might well be one of the best places on this planet. After all, who could say ‘no’ to the prospect of regular activities, cycle paths, grass, views and even a pond?! This is clearly no ordinary park.

How much? Entry to the park is free but some activities do cost money, so it’s best to check their website before turning up.

Have You Thought About Volunteering?

One of the brilliant things about the Severn Valley Railway is that it runs almost completely on a volunteer basis.

Have you thought about giving back to the Severn Valley Railway?

Every year thousands of man-hours are put into keeping the Severn Valley Railway line, that includes the work done by those manning the trains themselves, the train drivers and the ticket collector – but the Severn Valley Railway needs more than just the help of these people to survive. Despite being in perfect working order the railway always needs funds to help keep its archaic systems in check and the lines in good condition.

All the money that you contribute to the Severn Valley Railway, whether it’s through the purchase of a ticket or even a simple cup of tea, goes towards helping hire survey equipment for future investments, refurbishment of the carriages and the continued running of the Severn Valley Railway.

These are just a few of the ways that you can help out the Severn Valley Railways:

Buy some food from one of the Refreshment station

The next time you’re taking a ride on the train, why not hop off at either Kidderminster or Bewdley to get bite to eat at the lovingly recreated Refreshment Rooms?

Always manned by loyal volunteers, you can sit down to enjoy a great range of snacks, meals and drinks – perfect for a quick pit-stop before jumping on the train and heading to your next destination. If you’re up particularly early then you can grab a quick breakfast, choose from either traditional fry-ups or a more fancy option!

Solve a murder!

Do you fancy doing more than just simply riding the rails? For those wishing to spend some extra money, you could get a truly one-of-a-kind experience by booking into one of the excellent events run by the SVR. Step onto one of the historic trains of the Severn Valley Railway and immerse yourself in a thrilling Murder Mystery, enjoy a three-course dinner whilst you figure out who the killers is – you’ve only got a return trip to figure it out, so you better get a move on!

Get a taste of luxury

Ride the Severn Valley Railway whilst an expert takes you through a unique taste adventure! Gin’s never been more popular and whilst it used to be known as ‘Mother’s Ruin’ today it’s the favourite drink of young men and women all over the country. If gin’s not quite your thing then you can try similar experiences with wine, whisky or even ale. Either way, you’ll be able to relax with your tipple of choice whilst watching the Valley glide smoothly by.

Become a member

If you really enjoy your visit to the Severn Valley Railway then there’s no reason why you can’t come back and visit us again! By becoming a member you can gain access to cheaper tickets to all of the experiences we offer, including our murder mystery nights, tasting rides and even our annual Autumn Gala which gives you the chance to ride some truly unique historical trains from all over the country.

Experience Railway Travel Like Never Before

How do you make a day travelling on a heritage steam strain even more memorable?

If you’ve ever marvelled at the extravagance of movies like Wes Anderson’s Darjeeling Limited, or the recent production of Murder on the Orient Express, then you’ll no doubt have a hankering for one of these one-of-a-kind experiences.

Although the line might not be long enough for you to sleep on the train, it’s certainly long enough to enjoy one of these spectacular experiences. So whether you fancy solving a murder, slurping some gin or simply enjoying a tasty cuppa – you’re bound to find something to take your fancy.

Have a look at the different kinds of adventures that you can take on the Severn Valley Railway:

Sunday Luncheon

Give Mum a break and treat her to a three-course Sunday lunch on wheels. Choose between a return ride from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Limited, a gorgeously preserved 1930s dining train or a one-way trip on the Severn Valley Venturer, a 1940s era First Class dining carriage. All the food is prepared on the train’s dedicated kitchen carriages and gives diners the option of a Sunday Roast, fish or vegetarian option. All you need to do is sit back, let the world drift by and enjoy your dinner!

Prices start at £50.50 for children and £57.00 for adults or seniors.

Murder Mystery

Ever fancied yourself a bit of a bit of a Miss Marple or a Hercule Poirot? If you’re the kind of person who likes a dose of danger with their dinner then the SVR’s Murder Mystery experience is definitely for you! Enjoy a three-course meal whilst taking a return trip along the SVR line, but don’t get too relaxed because there’ll be a murder to solve whilst you’re tucking into your meal. There’s a different mystery to solve each time, so you’ll never know what’s going to happen next: don’t forget to bring your magnifying glass!

Prices are £46.50 for all tickets – but make sure to book well ahead.

Cream Tea

Is there anything more English than a Cream Tea? The volunteer stewards on the Severn Valley Railway have been running a Cream Tea service for years now and they’ve got rather good at it in that time. Choose to enjoy your Cream Tea on a single journey from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth (or the reverse) and enjoy the view from the vintage saloon’s panoramic windows. Does anything get better than a well brewed cuppa with a scone and cream? We don’t think so.

Prices start at £22.74 for kids and £29.25 for adults.

Tasting Trains

If you’re someone who enjoys the finer things in life then you’ll love our custom-tailored tasting trains. Step aboard one of our vintage carriages and enjoy a leisurely ride down or up the line with a tasting sequence of four whiskies. Local wine merchants, Hay Wines, will be on hand to give you a brief but informative rundown of each whisky and you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions should you wish.

Prices are £50 for adults aged 18+.

For all bookings and to enquire further head to the Severn Valley Railway site.