A railway museum and a Steampunk festival may sound like an unlikely combination but it actually makes for a brilliant family day out, as we discovered at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.

Steampunk takes the Victorian engineering of the 19th century and gives it a science fiction twist to create some stunning fashions. If you don’t think you’re familiar with the Steampunk, chances are you’ve seen it on-screen as it’s inspired the style of Ripper Street and Peaky Blinders in no small way. On the big screen, films such as the Golden Compass, the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes and the City of Lost Children all create wonderful cinematic worlds based on the fantastical neo-Victorian Steampunk concept. Although ShireMum and I wouldn’t have the confidence to dress up ourselves, Steampunk is an aesthetic we very much admire.

The Buckinghamshire Railway Museum is itself based around what was once a station on the Metropolitan Railway and Great Central Railway. Located in a rural part of Buckinghamshire, north of Aylesbury, it is a remnant of the grand plans railway pioneers once had. Alas the Great Central closed under Beeching in the 1960s and the when the Metropolitan Railway was taken over by London Transport, its line far into the countryside was cut back much closer to the capital.

Today the museum beautifully preserves the setting of the steam age and it felt quite fitting that this setting full of hissing, clanking locomotives should host Steampunk, which is very much inspired by this era of technology.

A day out for everyone

It’s not often that we can go out as a family and all genuinely get something out of the day. Destinations are often geared for children or grown ups but there aren’t so many that keep biggies and little ones entertained throughout. We’d hoped that the steam train / Steampunk combo might do just that but we really weren’t expecting how well it worked in practice.

The museum was running two steam trains regularly throughout the day, while there are extensive museum displays, train sheds and a miniature railway at one end of the site. The Steampunk fair featured performances and music throughout the day and had a number of stalls.

Here’s a look at what we each enjoyed from the day:

For Tilly

  • Train track play area
  • Train rides
  • Miniature train rides
  • Train carriages to explore
  • Lucky dip
Photo of train set play tables at Bucks Railway Museum

Tilly enjoying the train set play tables

For ShireMum

  • Steampunk stalls
  • Admiring the fashion
  • Historical vehicles
Photo of people in Steampunk costumes

Some of the Steampunk fashion on display

For ShireDad

  • Local history
  • Style and historic photo opportunities
  • Steampunk performances
  • Vintage transport, signage and art

Photo of a knife juggler entertainer

Knife juggling entertainment

We spent four hours at the museum in total, far longer than I had expected, and we all felt we’d had a really enjoyable, full day of entertainment and activities. The museum site is much larger than we’d expected and combined with the Steampunk fair we spent all our time busy seeing it all. All in all it was a great day out and we’ll be keeping an eye out for more activities at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in the future.

Tickets normally cost £11 for adults and £8 for children over 5. Entrance is free for under £5s. Museum entry includes unlimited rides on the steam trains. The miniature railway costs £1 for adults and children over 3 years of age.

Disclaimer: We paid for our visit to the museum ourselves and the views are our own honest opinions.

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7 thoughts on “Review: Buckinghamshire Railway Centre’s Steampunk Weekend

  • 21 September 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Wow. Never been to a steampunk event before. That said, I imagine it would have been a great day out! #BrilliantBlogPosts

    • 23 September 2016 at 10:46 pm

      It was a new one for us too. We like the style but have never been to an event. I’d planning a trip to the railway centre for a while so when I saw they were hosting something is biggies would find interesting too I reckon it was worth a punt

    • 23 September 2016 at 10:50 pm

      Hi Greg! Great to have seen you and really enjoyed the vlog. Made me regret taking only stills and not having shot some footage from the day as it’s a great visual setting and occasion

  • 22 September 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you for coming , so glad you enjoyed yourselves, and many thanks for taking the time and trouble to write this review and share it with us. I organised the weekend, and while I was pretty sure it would be a good fit, it is great that others thought so too.

    • 23 September 2016 at 10:55 pm

      Thanks for organising the event. We took a chance on it not knowing a load about it but really enjoyed ourselves. Look forward to seeing it return.

  • 23 September 2016 at 8:01 am

    What a fun combination of themes. Sounds like it was a lot of fun. Always a really nice day out when there’s something that can be enjoyed by everyone. Can’t believe you spent 4 hours there.

    Sally @ Life Loving


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