Didcot Railway Centre is a 21-acre site containing almost two centuries of railway heritage that is now preserved as a living railway museum.
The centre has a dedicated and experienced Education Team who deliver high quality and enjoyable learning activities to school groups of all ages.
Planning a day out for your pupils with us is simple, and our modular approach means that you can customise your day with us to exactly meet the requirements and interests of your children.
Planning your visit is a simple four step process:
We have a simple ‘one stop shop’ for booking – just click the button below, complete the enquiry form and our Visitor Services Team will respond to let you know the available dates for your visit.
We know that kids love a train ride and with this in mind, we have introduced limited running days meaning that between February and October, a train ride will be available. Depending on the date and the number of children, this will be either steam or diesel and your education team will advise what would be available. These are obviously the days that are most popular for our schools visits, so look in your diary and find a free Wednesday!
Visits without a train ride are also available and can be arranged outside of the dates above in January and November.
Our programmes are designed to fit in with normal school hours, so to allow you sufficient travel time around your visit we typically operate between 10am and 2pm, but we can be flexible in timings if your requirements are outside of these times.
The next step to consider is your travel arrangements. Didcot Railway Centre is adjacent to Didcot Parkway railway station, so why not give your children a full railway experience and travel by train?
If you are arriving by coach, the coach drop off and pickup point is immediately outside Didcot Parkway and coaches can be parked free of charge within a few minutes’ walk. If you have school mini bus, Great Western Railway may be able to provide passes for the station short term car park.
To follow best practice for safety and safeguarding we need to ensure that schools groups are supervised at all times.
To make the schools visit as interactive as possible, we divide the children into smaller groups of 10 to 15 and we will provide Didcot Railway Centre education team guides for each of these groups. For some activities we split these groups further into two so if you can aim to provide two adults per group, that will ensure the best possible standards of safety and safeguarding.
In line with best practice it is also advisable for a member of the visiting staff to be first aid trained and in possession of the emergency contact & medical details for each child. Schools should remember that the behaviour of the children at all times remains the responsibility of their teachers and accompanying adults.
You can choose a mixture of 30 minute modules to make up your own programme - specifically tailored for your group.
We always find that it is a great idea for us to meet up before your visit, by arranging a pre-visit for the organiser to Didcot Railway Centre to meet the Education Team.
This will allow us to discuss and finalise the plans for your visit over a cup of coffee so that we can ensure the most effective and enjoyable day for you all. Arrangement for social distancing, keeping groups within the bubbles they are in for school and any other special arrangements can also be confirmed at this time.
The Visitor Services Team will be happy to arrange a suitable time for this visit and will discuss suitable dates as part of the bookings process - click the button and complete the form to get started.
Educational visits to Didcot Railway Centre are great value, memorable experiences delivered by experienced volunteers in our Education Team. The Centre is run by the Great Western Society - a registered charity - and the income from visitors helps restore and maintain the historic steam locomotives, carriages, wagons and buildings in our collection.
For educational visits, we make a charge of £12.50 per child.
We realise that your accompanying teachers and adult helpers are important in helping ensure in the smooth running of the visit, so there is no charge for them – in fact we will even bring them a free hot drink at lunch time as a thank you! We know that life happens and so we also only charge for the children who come on the day.
We are passionate about ensuring that the centre is accessible to all, so please let us know if you have anyone in your party with limited mobility. The centre is accessed through Didcot Parkway railway station with one short flight of stairs leading from the original steam age subway to the entrance to the Centre.
All visits involve outdoor walking, so please ensure you let parents know to make sure that everyone wears suitable clothing and appropriate shoes – and be sure to check the weather conditions before your visit!
We have prepared detailed risk assessments and we would be happy to talk you through these at your pre-visit meeting.