A Beautiful Day On The Dartmouth Steam Railway

When we arrived at the quaint and beautiful Paignton train station I suddenly felt much more excited than I thought I would be to go on a train. Originally this day out was for my little Noah who is 3 and loves any mode of transport he can get to, but the classic painted murals on the wall and the vintage look of the station entrance gave me a wonderful feeling of nostalgia that I loved.

When we got to the ticket office we were met by the lovely Sarah who was more than helpful to advise us of what trip would be the most suitable for us to go on with a very fidgety toddler and a teething baby. We chose the shorter option of the Steam train to Kingswear where we would get the pedestrian ferry to Dartmouth and return to Paignton when we were ready.

Just look at this beautifully maintained platform, can you feel the vintage vibes?

 

 

Noah loved the big clock and attempted to wait patiently for the smoke to appear in the distance…

The train was just amazing, a rare glimpse in to a much more decadent time, even the narrow doors that had to be opened through the window from the outside were a novelty! The view…. I didn’t expect such a beautiful panorama of the sea front. Even after seeing the photos on the Dartmouth Steam Railway website, I was still in awe.

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The journey to Kingwear lasted for 30 minutes, this was a perfect amount of time with toddlers, however I would recommend bringing a drink and snacks if they get restless like Noah. He loved watching the scene changing but I think there is only so much time toddlers can appreciate scenery for. He did happen to entertain himself for a little while by ‘train surfing’.

happy noah

When we pulled in to Kingswear station we were once again met with beautiful scenery of Kingswear and across the estuary, Dartmouth in all it’s sun light glory.  I was so impressed with the effort Dartmouth Steam Railway had gone to to ensure the train is accessible to as many people as possible. When walking down the platform I was really surprised to see a disabled access ramp and a cleared carriage to allow room for wheelchair users and buggies. This is not something I was expecting on such an old Steam train but it really was brilliant to see the adaption.

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The whole station, including the driver and workers on the train were great with and for children. The station included a small ride on train (just in-case they haven’t had their fill quite yet), a small gift shop, a cafe and a squashed penny machine! We happen to collect the pennys so Noah was over the moon! The drivers were also very happy to wait a few moments for us to take some photos of the train before it went then happily waved to us as they move away.  They have really put thought in to this day out, there are even plenty of vintage signs to direct you to the bathrooms and baby changing, both ordinary and disabled access. (who knew such an old station could be so accommodating to the modern world).

 

We jumped on the ferry and in under 10 minutes we were in Dartmouth! Sarah in Paignton had advised us of a lovely park and cafe a short walk down the embankment so we headed that way past the beautiful moored boats and gardens.

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Noah loved the park and didn’t hesitate to run straight for the pirate ship. We made use of the tiny park-side cafe for a Tea, but we had our picnic which there are a few tables set up for. We stayed to play for an hour or so then went for a lovely walk around the town before catching the ferry back to Kingswear. We saw the train across the estuary and were very excited to get back on!

We were not expecting it to be even more beautiful and comfortable than our first journey but look at this for a vintage train carriage! DSC_0669

The journey back to Paignton was so relaxing and comfy I didn’t want it to end, Noah was in his element and even my partner Matt enjoyed himself (he wasn’t expecting to).

It really was a journey back in time and in my opinion one of the best ways to view the wonderful coastline. I will definitely be taking Noah and Winnie back on the Dartmouth Steam train but hopefully next time we will be able to do the river cruise too. On it’s own this takes about an hour from Dartmouth so for my little people it would have been a it too much.

There are lots of different trips you can take such as the round robin, which consists of the steam train, river cruise and then an open top bus tour. This was what we had hoped to go on and what we plan to do next time, what  an amazing way to explore the area!

If you are planning on visiting South Devon I cannot recommend Dartmouth Steam Railway enough for a very different day out. If you need help with what trip would suit you don’t hesitate to contact them for advice 🙂

Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company

Thank you so much to the lovely staff at the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River boat Company. I have told everyone how much we enjoyed ourselves and have shown the beautiful photos of the coast and Dartmouth to our families.

We will hopefully see you again next summer!

 

I was not paid for this review but we were given a trip of our choice in return for this post. The link above is not an affiliate link, I do not receive anything for you clicking the link.

A picture is worth a thousand words

 To be honest it may be more than a thousand. This photo shows how cute my little creations are, that I adore them and that they are happy little soles.

What it doesn’t show is that this week already I have struggled to be a gentle mummy, it doesn’t show that winnie has thrush on her tongue which she has passed to me through feeding so my nipples are now so sore I have given up on a bra, but still need a bit of comfort so a sports bra it is. (I’ve used it maybe twice for actual exercise).  It doesn’t show that in desperation to get Noah to just be nice and stop acting like he’s taken speed, I got him an 8ft trampoline which cost more money than I have, but I figured was cheaper than counciling. It also doesn’t show that at 10am this morning I hadn’t even had a wee yet but my lovely little bundles were on their second breakfast… Minus the cornetos that I threw away because Noah wouldn’t stop screaming for them and had just punched me so I cut my losses and threw them away. Regretting it now, they were good. Also there’s no way it could show that I didn’t eat anything until about 10 tonight because I was too busy/stressed and then my attempt at ‘nutrition filled’ oven chips consisted of me pouring vinegar in to my hand because I’m too bloody tired and though it was the salt!

However this photo definitely does show my greasy unstyled hair and yesterdays eyeliner smudged under my eyes due to me having no time to give any shits how I look today.

The hardest thing about how happy this photo looks, even though I look on the verge of turning in to a zombie, it that my beautiful little people, as amazing and strong willed as they are, have exhausted me to the point where my nerves are frazzled and my hands don’t work.

I have a condition which affects my nerves and muscles and stress speeds the process up, usually just for a few days but recently I can’t get a break. My own kids are making me feel weak to the point of not being able to make a cup of tea without dropping pretty much everything I touch is bloody hard.

I’m hoping tomorrow brings a bit of light and Noah maybe finds his empathy that is hopefully around here somewhere, mummying is bloody hard people, stay strong 💪. If kids are fed, clothed and smell OK, your doing alright, if you have had a shower and can remember what day it is then you are winning!
Jess x

Toddler questions 

I knew I would always enjoy answering Noah’s questions about simple things like bugs and types of trees. I did think it would be a bit longer before he started asking more in depth questions that I have to actually think about. A couple of days ago he was asking how do babies get in your tummy? O jesus, he’s 3! So we went with when a mummy and daddy love eachother so so much they ask for a baby. OK that worked. The next day, “how do babies get out?” 😕  nope I’m not ready for this. Thankfully my mum decided to say they come out of a ‘hole’ 😆  she was not expecting Noah to keep asking where and how! So now he thinks babies come out of your bum. He didn’t understand that ladies have a different hole because he doesn’t have one.

Today I’ve also had to answer “mummy how to you know bananas are real?” and the corker “mummy what if Bananas have faces”. So on the surface level he could just be asking if they are real or maybe plastic? But I like to think he was somehow aware of the matrix or something similar and has an awareness of if something is real or in his mind. I’m ignoring asking if Bananas have faces because then I have to go in to “well we do eat things with faces but don’t worry!” and that’s too much for today! 

No blankets on buggies please! 

Now the sun have found its way back to us, do you know how to keep your baby safe and cool? 

I don’t use a buggy very often but more so in the summer when it is too hot and sticky to wear them.
I wanted to get the safest option to keep Oswin (1 year) out of the sun whilst in the buggy, I found the SnoozeShade and it is brilliant! 

The lovely people at SnoozeShade sent me a deluxe SnoozeShade to try out and this is how we got on. 
Firstly the brilliant stretchy design fits any standard buggy (we tried a Graco Evo, a Cosatto Giggle and a stroller) and it completely covers the seat and child. This means that if your little one is wearing shorts or a dress their legs will still be out of the sun. Gone are the days of fighting with a parasol and shade chasing when your out walking! 

There is a zip at the front to open fully or just one layer, depending on the level of shade needed. There is also a handy ‘peep’ zip to check on them, this bit is very handy for checking on little ones. 

We took it for a spin to the park this weekend and for the first time winnie fell asleep in the buggy! Noah thought it was a tent and wanted to get in too.

I will be lending it to my sister for her little one when they go to various places around Europe this summer. Like lots of mums she uses a muslin over the buggy. This is generally fine but on days when there isn’t much of a breeze or blistering heat, it can cause the baby to get hotter than they would be in the open air. Also the SnoozeShade is uv safe which is brilliant for added peace of mind with little ones, other covers don’t offer this protection, so babies can still catch the sun through them. 

The SnoozeShade comes in its own little mesh bag and goes back in to it without any issue to pop back under the buggy.

The SnoozeShade would also come in handy on very windy days as it cocoons the buggy, it is pretty snuggly in there but air can still circulate. 

Even with the SnoozeShade please still put suncream on little ones and out of the hottest part of the day if possible! 

I am looking forward to seeing if I can get my toddler to go to sleep under it now! 

If you are baby wearing in this heat, we do most of the time, please remember that the carrier or sling counts as a layer! We are very much showing off Oswin’s cloth nappy collection when she is carried at the moment.

Go check out SnoozeShade on amazon, they have quite a few handy variations.

Stay safe in the sun every one ☀  x

Banana launcher 

Today is one of those ‘falling through parenting day’s. I call them this because it literally feels like no matter how organised you try to be or how nicely you ask, you are just not going to get the playgroup that starts at 9:30. Ha! Even if it was pm I think we would struggle to be on time!

Today is pretty much stuck in a crappy cycle of this: 

Me: “Noah can you stop standing on your sisters dress please”.

Noah: blank look, stands on her foot.

Me: “Noah come on let’s not hurt Winnie”

Noah: apparently has no ears so doesn’t hear words (unless it sounds like chocolate or sweets).

Me: “OK last chance, move away”

Noah: growls

And this has pretty much been the conversation for everything today. 

So far his rein of destruction today has resulted in: 

  1. Ripped apart 4 make up sponges.
  2. Soaked a roll of toilet roll in the sink.
  3. Eaten half a jar of Nutella without a spoon.
  4. Noah drinking orange squash without water because he got it out before I was even down the stairs.
  5. Destroyed the living room, one cushion at a time.

So after planning to go to a playgroup this morning with a very optimistic attitude, I realised I have a very unrealistic view of what is possible with a 3 year old boy and a baby girl that just wants to cuddle and kiss everyone. It has ended in being a shouty mummy, noah going to his room 3 times for a ‘calm down’ and a drive to attempt to get him to sleep, aswell as letting winnie have a nap. 

An hour later he got annoyed at every song I put on and shouted that I was going the wrong way (I don’t even know where I’m goin shut up!!). So we have now got macdonalds, so I can have a coffee and he has a minion with a banana launcher, ofcourse he gives no shits about the food it came with! 

Jesus I said the day has ended up and it’s not even 1 o’clock, roll on bedtime.