Ride the steam train

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


Please note that Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway closes for annual maintenance work over the Winter and is not open to the public at present. We will however open for special events on some weekends during November and December 2018, such as the Postal Express and traditional Family Christmas Events. The gardens and railway will reopen to the public on Monday 23rd March 2019.


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.

‘What could be better on a trip down to the New Forest than a walk in a beautiful garden, a ride on a steam train (which my grandson adored!) and a chance to see the Beaulieu river close up? A memorable day out and a gem of a place’

Rob Gregory, Oxford

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