West Somerset Railway

Somerset Tourist GuideThe West Somerset Railway is Britain’s longest ‘heritage’ railway running 20 miles from Bishops Lydeard (near Taunton) through the Quantock Hills and along the Exmoor Coast to Minehead.

It was constructed by a private company, its’ chief engineer being Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and linked Taunton to Watchet by 1862 and was extended to Minehead in 1874. The company was taken over by Great Western Railways in 1897. The West Somerset Railway closed in 1971 but was reopened- a triumph of enthusiasm in 1976. It was originally hoped that it would again connect Taunton and Minehead, but the final link between Bishops Lydeard and Taunton has remained elusive. Passengers who wish to continue on to Taunton have to do so by bus.

Staying in Wells

The Railway Station at Minehead has a wealth of railway memorabilia on offer for the enthusiast. From the platform, you can really appreciate the scale and engineering beauty of these classic steam trains.

The West Somerset Railway runs every day from June to September and on various days outside the main summer season from March to October.