When we found out that Audley End Miniature Railway were giving away free tickets to NHS staff to enjoy their Woodland Adventure in September – we grabbed our besties and headed on down to enjoy a morning filled with fairy and elf spotting in the woods.
With Covid cases on the rise, it’s great to still have outdoor opportunities to spend quality time with friends and our own little fairies were delighted to be reunited again. Audley End have lots of fun social distance signs up to remind little fairies and elves to keep apart, there are ample hand sanitising stations and even cleaning sprays for the their outdoor equipment. On arrival we are given an activity pack and a pencil to keep track of all the wonderful creatures you can spot on the trail.
We started off with our train ride, the trains are cleaned after each journey and screens are placed to separate family groups from one another. Being a weekday morning it was fairly empty. Sophie and Olivia loved the train ride and spotting the woodland creatures displays hiding throughout the journey.
The ride lasted a good 15-20 minutes and took us on a journey around the wood leading to an amazing unicorn/dragon scene at the end of the ride. Once we jump off we are given a talk by an Elf who tells us how to make our pencils into wands (with extra feathers provided at no charge) and that we need to write a special wish to the fairy queen who will make them come true. Sophie wished to become a princess and have her own unicorn – the former is already true but not sure how we can make the latter a reality.
During the trail there are a lot of fairies and elves to find, they really have paid attention to the details in each scene with beautiful artistry. Lots of wonderful scenes to take pictures with.
After the trail there is a railway themed play area, suitable for all ages and lots of socially distanced picnic benches around, with reminders only 6 people per seating area. There are some reasonably priced huts to get some food if you have not brought your own. £6 will get you a kids lunch bag, with a ham/cheese/jam roll, biscuits, crisps and a drink. There are plenty of other reasonably priced options, however I would say for any food allergies/vegans best to bring your own.
It was a lovely morning all in all, not a whole day activity, but I can see why this place gets busy during the summer. Our fairies came away with lungs full of fresh country air and heads full of magical creatures.
Audley End Miniature Railway is located in Essex and they have a variety of special themed events throughout the year, at the time of writing they are preparing for their immersive Halloween event. Tickets are £15 for an adult and £7.50 for children under 92cm, there are also tickets available for carers and babies under 1. More info and booking on their website here.