I first heard about Audley End’s Miniature Railway and Enchanted Fairy walk through one of my local Facebook groups, someone mentioned it and said it was a great place for a day out so we decided to pay it a visit. It is situated about one mile of Saffron Walden, so perfect if you are round the Essex area.
First of all I have to clarify that the Miniature Railway and Enchanted Fairy walk is not part of Audley House & Gardens. We nearly made the mistake to pay to get into the Gardens but luckily we double checked at the entrance and we were told it the correct place was directly opposite.
The main car park was full so we were directed to the overflow car park, which was only a couple of minutes walk from the entrance and was just £1.
At the ticket office we were given the choice to buy separate tickets for the Steam Railway and Fairy Walk or a combined ticket that allowed us to visit both. We decided to go for the combined ticket, that was £7 per person (under 2’s are free). With our tickets we were given pencils and 2 little booklets, the booklets had pictures of fairies and other animals for the kids to spot and tick during the visit.
Our first stop was lunch in the Signal Box Café which was at the entrance, a nice café with outdoor and indoor seating, not too many tables but we still didn’t have an issue finding one. The café had a selection of sandwiches and hot food. We had a burger and the kids decided to go for a lunch box with sandwich, a drink and a couple of snacks.
After our lunch we decided to head for the Enchanted Fairy and Elf Walk, at the entrance we were welcomed by a couple of fairies that offered to transform the kids pencils into magic wands. The kids were a bit shy to start with but they really enjoyed choosing feathers, glitter and other bits that converted their pencils into fairy wands
We then headed into the walk. Initially the kids were very keen to find all the fairies in their little booklet but after a while they just decided to run around.
It was a lovely walk and there were little fairy houses in the trees or on the floor, it really felt like we were in an enchanted forest! It was really magical.
It was a busy day but we could still walk around taking pictures and seeing everything without feeling that the place was too crowded.
We spent about 45 minutes in the Fairy and Elf Walk, but really we could have been there much longer.
Our next stop was the Miniature Railway. We did not have to wait too long to get on a train, they run frequently, and the journey lasts 15 minutes. There are many things to see from the train, teddy bears that live in the woods and lot’s of woodland wildlife.
It was a lovely train ride and there were lot’s of squeals of excitement whenever we spotted anything.
Before we ended our visit we headed for the picnic area and playground, it was a really sunny day and there were quite a few people there with picnics. I guess a picnic is a great alternative if you don’t want to spend money in the café or if you just want to sit around having a coffee while the children play.
We had a great day out and I really recommend it. I think we will be back before the end of the summer.
Both the Fairy and the Miniature Railway are open every weekend until the 18th October so I recommend you visit it if you are in the area.
When we asked the boys what their favourite bit of the day was they said it was the fairy walk. … Who said boys are just interested in trains?
Have you been to the Audley End Miniature Railway and Enchanted Fairy Walk? Did you like it?