For railway enthusiasts

Our superb 12 ¼” railway runs along a 1 ½ mile track and gives a sweeping view of the northernmost part of Exbury Gardens.


Opened in 2001, the railway was the inspiration of enthusiast Leopold de Rothschild and the culmination of ‘A Dream that Became Steam.’

The route

Visitors can enjoy a relaxing 20 minute journey as the train passes through the specially designed ‘Summer Lane’ Garden. Now reaching maturity, the huge swathes of colourful perennials, flowering grasses, a pool and maturing trees compliment one another in a free-flowing naturalistic style. The railway skirts the top of the Rock Garden, where passengers are given a bird’s eye view of the largest man-made Rock Garden in Europe.

For families

Children can enjoy looking out for Exbury’s sculpted woodland creatures, including deer, rabbits, lizards and meerkats. 

Passengers regularly see pheasants from the train, and the occasional glimpses of deer, herons and kingfishers.

The engine shed

After their railway journey, passengers are encouraged to explore Exbury’s roomy Engine Shed. Graphics, videos and memorabilia line the walls recalling steam’s heyday and the construction of the railway.

Additional information

  • Visitors that use wheelchairs are well catered for, with our fully accessible cariages (two at any one time).
  • Admission onto the steam train is only permitted by visitors who have purchased a Garden & Railway ticket. 

  • In exceptional circumstances, such as hot or dry weather, Exbury Gardens may use a diesel engine instead of a steam locomotive to reduce any risk of fire.

Take a ride with a train driver

New for 2018, enjoy a train ride next to a train driver as you sit and watch up close how a steam engine travels around our 1 1/2 mile track.

Participants must be 17+ yrs. Available to pre-book only.


Call 02380891203 for more information and to book.

‘We recently had some friends from London to visit and were looking for something to entertain our young children for the day. We decided to give Exbury Gardens a try and I thought it was wonderful. We had Sunday lunch in the restaurant and the food was far superior to other local attractions so compliments to the chef. Walking through the gardens was beautiful with lots of little pathways to explore. I have lived in the Romsey area for many years and always thought Exbury was a little out of the way but it only took me 20 minutes from the motorway. We will definitely be a regular visitor from now on.’

Philip Moulds, New Forest

Head Gardener's Notice Board

What to see in the garden on your visit


Juliet’s Jottings

What wildlife to spot in the gardens


HTA MEMBERS 2018 Yellow


2018 COE Logos Green-bkg translations en-US-UK
Visit England Logo


VE Accolade Best Told Story 2017


Go New Forest Logo 2018


Instagram Feed

Powered by Intergage