Aln Valley Railway Review

Thanks to our writer Bethanie for this post which was published in April 2022 with some updates added in April 2023. Please check with Aln Valley Railway direct for the most up to date information when making plans. 

Aln Valley Railway Review

Located on the Lionheart estate in Alnwick, the Aln Valley Railway is an ambitious project which opened in 2012. It is looking like it is going to be an up and coming place for a family day out.

In this blog post, you will find information on what to expect from your visit here, why it is one of our favourite cycle routes to do with the kids and what events are coming up later this year. 

Aln Valley is run entirely by volunteers and the commitment to the restoration of this railway line running from Alnwick to Alnmouth is simply marvellous. 

The volunteers work very hard on all aspects of the railway from the upkeep of the engines, the recreating of the railway line, running of the gift shop and café and organising family fun days.

They also have a popular Santa event at Christmas and a teddy bears picnic in August. 

5 Reasons to Visit Aln Valley Railway 

1 - Free parking and accessible by bus 

2 - Lovely facilities for families with young children including flat easy walks, unlimited mini train rides (£3 per person), trains to view and ride and an enclosed playground 

3 - Train fares are reasonable and you can choose between steam, diesel or pacer engines 

4 - Dogs and under 5s travel on the main railway for free 

5 - A range of popular special events across the year 

Getting to Aln Valley Railway

Aln Valley Railway Review  - location map

Use postcode: NE66 2EZ

Drive right through the Lionheart industrial estate, which is handily located just off the A1, on the outskirts of Alnwick. Turn left at the Mole Valley store (the railway is signposted so you can’t go wrong.)

You will head down a track road which is signposted for the railway. There is a large, gravelled area for parking. You can also access the cycle path from here too. Parking is free here.

There are several buses which stop at nearby Lionhead Enterprise Park, a short walk from Lionhead Station. 

How to plan your visit

It is clear as you park up where you are heading: the trains and the main line are right in front of you. 

The Lionheart Station is home to steam and diesel engines which run on certain weekends. Before you visit check out the website ( to see the timetable of which trains are running when, to help plan your day out.

You can also purchase your tickets to ride on the trains ahead of your visit. 
There is also the option to buy tickets on the day but availability may be limited. 

Tickets are for one return journey which is typically 10 minutes each way with a break of 15-20 minutes at the half way point (but do check timings when you book your tickets as you may vary). The journey is just over 1 mile each way. 

You can check train operating days here. 

Whilst the site is pushchair friendly, you may be asked to leave pushchairs and strollers in a secure location as you board the train. 

Credit : Aln Valley Railway

I recommend starting off with a walk around looking in the old sheds, visit the railway museum and hop on and off one of the old carriages which is parked up on the line.

Children may enjoy crossing over the bridge between platforms as it seems very high. The views are great from up here and you can look down on the trains as they travel underneath. 

If you have tickets booked you can enjoy a train ride on either the steam, diesel or pacer train. (The pacer train isn’t quite as exciting as the steam and diesel engines, but kids will enjoy the ride I’m sure!) 

Aln Valley Railway Review  - inside a carriage

Aln Valley Railway Cafe 

Once you have had your fix of trains, head to the café for lunch or snacks. The café is also run by volunteers and has seating both indoors and out. 

You will also find a secure playarea here meaning you can sit with a hot drink while the kids let of steam… a bit like the trains. 

Aln Valley Railway Review  - children's playground

Aln Valley Railway Review  - cafe

The café menu offers both hot and cold food from toasties and bacon sandwiches to kid’s lunchboxes all at a very reasonable price. For example, a panini served with garnish and crisps costs £4.95. There is also a breakfast menu as well as your usual cakes and scones selection. 

Aln Valley Railway Review  - cafe menu

Aln Valley Railway Review  - cafe drinks menu

Little Lionheart Miniature Railway 

Aln Valley Railway Review  - little lionheart miniature railway

New for 2022 is the Little Lionheart miniature railway offering a short train ride for children on a miniature railway. Train rides cost £3 per child for unlimited rides and is located next to the café. Purchase tickets from the gift shop. Each ride lasts approximately 3 minutes and you can ride as many times as you like across the day.  

This mini railway is open every weekend and you don't need to book for the mini train. Find out more/check running times here.

Before heading home, call into the gift shop for a souvenir from your day at the Aln Valley Railway. 

The cycle path:

If you are planning on going on the cycle path, head back out of the main car park and turn left. The cycle route is signposted and easily manageable for little ones as it is flat and well laid out. 

The cycle path runs alongside the railway line and has been resurfaced into a gravel path. The first mile or so is flat so ideal for children to bike or walk along safely, which is why we love coming here with the bikes. 

A few people have recommended a walk you can do here also. Dropping down under the high bridge and walking along a footpath which brings you back out by the car park. We haven’t tried this one yet, but you can see the footpath from the bridge and it certainly looks like a beautiful spot for a walk.

Dates for your diary:

Below are events that are happening in 2023. Follow the railway's Twitter or Facebook page for up-to-date information. 

Aln Valley Railway FAQs 

Are dogs allowed? 

Dogs on leads are welcome on site and to ride with you on the train. Please keep them off the seats. Sometimes dogs are not permitted during special events but this will be mentioned in event advertising. 

Can I have the postcode? 

NE66 2HT

Is Aln Valley Railway accessible by public transport? 

Yes, at time of publishing Arriva X15, Service 15 and Travelsure T01 buses all stop at Lionheart Enterprise Site which is a short walk from Lionheart Station. Find out more here. 

Is the site suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs? 

Yes, the site is accessible and there are accessible carriages. Space may be restricted during busy periods so booking in advance is recommended. You may be asked to leave pushchairs in a secure location when boarding the train. 

Are there toilets? 

There are no toilets on board the train but there are toilets including baby change at Lionheart Station. 

Find out more and book:

Ideas for places to visit nearby: 

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Aln Valley Railway - A Day Out in Northumberland


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