Dunster is a fascinating medieval village that has plenty to offer visitors. There is a stunning castle and plenty of history and just over a mile away from the village is Dunster Station which is part of the West Somerset railway.
It’s a bit like stepping back in time, as the route runs using steam trains, offering something completely unique. Takes about 20 minutes to walk from the station into the village, and it is an uphill walk. You can also walk to Dunster Beach from the station and this is much closer.
Preserved in history, Dunster Station is a Grade 2 listed building and still retains the original features, including the goods shed, which is opposite the platform. It is so iconic that Hornby actually produced a 4mm scale model of the glorious station, one of which has been skilfully restored and is on display at the station.
The West Somerset Railway uses the goods yard as its permanent way department and stores various supplies to maintain its buildings, stations, bridges, and tracks. It was a very busy station in its heyday, and even now, on a summer’s day, it can get quite crowded with tourists. Between the wars, Dunster Castle hosted a polo ground and regular matches in the parkland. Ponies visiting the event would arrive by train and be unloaded in the goods yard. It was also heavily used by Dunster port, but this has since been silted up and is no longer operational.
Visiting Dunster Station
Messages using the West Somerset Railway can begin their journey at any stop. Dunster has a small car park on offer if you wish to start your adventures from there. The booking office offers the full range of fairs for the West Somerset Railway. There is a café serving light refreshments and a shop with second-hand, model railway equipment and railway lamps on sale. There are toilet facilities but nothing for disabled passengers.
The West Somerset Railway
The West Somerset Railway is a stretch of track between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead. Day ticket explorers can enjoy any of the stops along the way, including Crowcombe Heathfield, Stogumber, Williton, Doniford Halt, Watchet, Washford, Blue Anchor, and Dunster.
Each of these towns and villages has something special and unique to offer, so it’s certainly well worth spending the time to visit them all. The trains used will vary, and currently, there are three steam engines running the tracks.
There is something very magical about the rhythm and noise of a steam train, and over 200,000 visitors a year head to the Southwest to experience hey step back in time. The railway runs with 50 paid staff and over 900 volunteers. The trains run some part of every month throughout the year, although services become somewhat sparse from November to March.
The full timetable runs from April to October. As well as the general journeys, you can also book special events, including fish and chips with cream tea and cider and cheese with cream tea journeys.