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Audley End Miniature Railway

Nice little park, but so expensive.

In our quest to experience the notable days out in Thurrock and in the surrounding counties we sometimes end up further away than we would like but in really quite pleasant places.
Audley End is home to one of the grandest and impressive houses in the county, Audley End house. Opposite this grand edifice is a little park called "Audley End miniature railway" it's an area of woodland devoted to a miniature rail line clearly designed for small children and their likely devotions to trains and Steam Engines.

The thing about Audely End is that the area is so manicured and pleasant and the quaint sound of hooting trains in the distance can be heard from some distance away so that your anticipation on pulling up and entering the park is high. Clearly lots of thought and attention has been given to this construction, the park is immaculately clean and well cared for, and the staffs are all clearly friendly 100% polite and welcoming. So so-far so-good. You enter and are confronted with the park, its well-appointed refreshment stand, café, playground area and bouncy castles, and last and not least the railways station it from where you will be experiencing the steam engine ride.

The train is of course a perfect reconstruction of the steam engines that children and enthusiasts are so fixated on, the train ride takes about 20mins and transports you through the pleasant woodland surrounding it and all with a succession of little displays depicting , essentially, children's teddy bears engaging in various picnics or other leisurely pursuits, again all nicely done. 20 minutes latter you are delivered back to the station and you disembark to enjoy the rest of your day. From here it all starts to become a little anticlimactic, not because it's not nice, it is, very agreeable in fact, but you do start to feel vaguely cheated. The entry is £5.50 per head regardless of age, even a 3 year old gets hit for this. So for a family of 4 you will pay £22! Not chicken-feed and for this you essentially get access to the park and 1 single train ride, and that's it. You have to pay further to use the bouncy castle (£2 per child) and another smaller looping train is a £1 ago and lasts about 4 minutes, and all refreshments are about the same price you would pay in a cinema.

As nice as it all is you can't help but leave feeling distinctly ripped off. Ultimately it is a very nice place but £22 entry with further costs awaiting you is more than enough reason to avoid. If money is no object to you then go, experience it and have fun, for everyone else there are a 100 other train experiences out there that won't rip you off like these guys do.

Postcode: CB11 4JB
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