Exbury Gardens chuffed to have its steam railway back on track for passengers

Train staff at Exbury ready to welcome visitors – from left to right Adam Brooks (in carriage), railway foreman Ian Wilson (in cab) and Alan Steadman (front)

TICKETS PLEASE! The popular Rhododendron Line steam railway at Exbury Gardens is now open to visitors. 

Passengers are once again able to enjoy a ride through one of the south’s most famous gardens on the 1 ½ mile narrow-gauge railway, after changes in Government guidance for visitor attractions. 

Lots of measures have been put in place to ensure visitors have a fun – and safe – journey. Passengers need to pre-book tickets at the visitor entrance on arrival and are required to wear a face mask during their train trip. Only half the train’s passenger compartments are used and protective screens divide them. Facemasks and hand sanitiser are also available on the railway platform.


Exbury was one of the first garden attractions to reopen in the UK, on 30 May, and has since safely welcomed thousands of visitors to its 200 acres of stunning woodland gardens. 

Ian Wilson, railway foreman at Exbury Gardens, said: “We’re so chuffed to be able to reopen our steam railway as we know how popular it is with visitors. Our team have worked really hard to put all the safety precautions in place.

“We’ve had fantastic feedback from visitors about the protective measures we’ve introduced in our gardens and we’re confident train passengers will feel the same. The gardens are looking spectacular at the moment in their summer finery, so what better time to visit.” 


To book a visit to Exbury Gardens, the public must pre-book tickets online. A daily visitor limit is in place, and there are time slots for entering the gardens, so arrivals can be staggered. Mr Eddy’s Restaurant is also now open every day serving refreshments, lunchtime snacks and sweet treats. Full details on how to book and tips on visiting can be found at www.exbury.co.uk

Visitors will be treated to a riot of plant colour in the herbaceous borders near Exbury House, the recently-opened Centenary Garden in full summer floral show, a revamped Iris Garden, a new Birch Walk, swathes of beautiful landscaped woodland and over 20 miles of meandering pathways.

Created by Lionel de Rothschild in 1919, a passionate collector of plants and a keen supporter and sponsor of the early 20th century plant hunters, Exbury has grown to become a stunning garden paradise filled with rare plants, shrubs and trees.


Its Centenary Garden, designed by Lionel’s great grand-daughter and RHS gold medal award-winning designer, Marie-Louise Agius, opened to the public last year. 

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Shannon Butcher

Let off some steam...