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Footplate Experiences and Footplate Rides on the Lynton & Barnstaple

PLEASE NOTE: Our Footplate Experience days are now fully booked until October 2017.
Footplate Rides are still available throughout the year - except during special events.

We can make childhood dreams come true with either a ride or a complete day on the footplate of an historic narrow gauge steam locomotive.  A great and memorable gift for a loved one which family and friends can also enjoy or as a corporate gift for someone special.

We offer both Footplate Rides; a return journey as a guest riding on the footplate of one of our steam locos for just £20.00, and complete Footplate Experiences; an entire day with a working loco crew - an all day experience for you alone - a taste of what it takes to operate a steam loco as well as what is involved in running a heritage railway for £300.00.

Footplate Ride - Booking

You can book a Footplate Ride in advance by choosing any day (apart from special events including galas) that we are operating a steam service. If this is to be a gift we strongly recommend that you book in advance. Alternatively just turn up and hopefully we will be able to accommodate you. Although footplates rides are normally available on any day we are operating steam train we do not guarantee the availability of footplate rides unless already booked/confirmed.

To book your Footplate Ride ONLINE CLICK HERE
or Download and fill in an Application Form


A Footplate Ride is a return journey as a guest riding on the footplate. 

Please ensure that you have read the Terms and Conditions at the bottom of this page before arrival at Woody Bay.

FOOTPLATE EXPERIENCE DAY- Booking - PLEASE NOTE: Fully booked until October 2017 - Footplate Rides are still available.

Choose a day we are operating a steam service - please select more than one day to give the best opportunity of obtaining a date.

To book your Footplate Experience ONLINE CLICK HERE or Download and fill in an Application Form

A Footplate Experience Day takes place on a normal operating day. You will have the opportunity to fire and drive the locomotive and also take your friends and family for a ride with you in charge of a train.

Included in the price are one year’s membership of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust and a special ticket for your family and friends to travel all day should they wish.

Commencing at 07.00am, here is an outline of the day’s activities (subject to operational requirements):

  • Health and Safety briefing
  • Light fire and clean engine
  • Instruction on driving a diesel
  • Drive a diesel up the main line light engine
  • Instruction on firing and driving the steam loco within station limits
  • Receive firing instructions Depart to Killington Lane
  • Fire for the whole return trip and run round
  • Continue firing and driver training on run rounds
  • Lunch
  • Back to the footplate for more driving and firing

Finally: Assist with the disposal of the engine. Empty the smoke box, clean the fire and empty the ash pan. Celebrate your achievement with the presentation of a certificate.

No previous experience is required but you will need to be able to stand for some hours as well as have the agility to handle a shovel in a confined space.

Although a part of the total experience, we would understand if you did not want to arrive at 07.00am or dispose of the engine at the end of the day - please indicate this when applying.

Please ensure that you have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions at the bottom of this page.

Footplate Experience Testimonial 1

"I would just like to thank you to all the willing helpers at Woody Bay, for making my surprise birthday treat a completely enjoyable, and memorable event. I have to say you all did a grand job. The welcome was perfect, and the friendliness of everyone was just right - it seems more like a family than a business. I was completely at home, relaxed and felt secure in the knowledge that I would not cause any damage to me or anyone or indeed anything else! The tea ladies made me feel even more at home, supplying continuous coffee, and even a birthday cake with a little train on it. The fact that that they knew my name, and used it throughout the day, made me feel even more welcome, like one of the family, and not at all like a paying customer.

The tuition (for a complete novice) was excellent, with me getting dirty and fully involved in the whole day. The content was great, with a degree of variety and as I developed my knowledge as the day went on, I was allowed to use that knowledge, so that by the end of the day, I felt that I really knew what I was doing.

Would I change anything? - I don't think so.  Would I do it again? Without hesitation.  Would I recommend it to anyone else? Absolutely.  Did I go home happy?  You bet I did!  My sincere thanks to you and all your wonderful crew. "

Barrie Cann - July 2011

Footplate Experience Testimonial 2

Colin Charsley -  October 2011


Participants. Must be aged 18 years or over and be in reasonably good health sufficient to cope physically with being on the footplate as well as capable of receiving and acting on verbal instructions from L&B staff. Please contact us if you need further advice.

Zero-tolerance policy on alcohol, drugs or similar. We require that such substances have not been taken in the eight hours prior to your experience and that you are not under the influence of any medication that could have similar effects.

Appropriate clothing for a footplate ride. Please be advised you will not be allowed onto the footplate if you arrive wearing inappropriate clothing. Bare arms/legs are not acceptable, so no T shirts, skirts, kilts or shorts.Please also wear stout footwear. Casual footwear such as trainers or sandals are not permitted.

Additional Terms and Conditions for Footplate Experience Days

Appropriate clothing for a Footplate Experience Day.  Stout footwear is essential with "Toetectors" - steel capped shoes/boots - preferred. We also recommend you wear protective overalls such as a cotton boiler suit or "bib and brace".  

As we have a legal responsibility for your safety, before you begin, all participants will be given a written safety information sheet which they will be expected to read and to signify that they understand it.  In addition an oral safety briefing will also be given by the Driver on the day.

You are in our safe keeping, so you must - at all times - follow our guidance and behave appropriately as and when advised by  our staff.

Footplate Experience Days must be paid in full at least 28 days prior to the date of the course.  Failure to do so may result in cancellation. Cancellations or transfers of date will be accepted up to 28 days before the booked date, subject to an additional administration charge of £25. After that, refunds will be entirely at the discretion of the L&B and will depend upon our ability to resell the vacancy.

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