A Cheaper London – Thames Ditton Miniature Railway Open Days

We’re on a definite train theme this year, and were tipped off by a friend about Thames Ditton’s Miniature Railway which is operated by Malden and District Society of Model Engineers who have open days for the public on the first Sunday of every month after Easter and until October (as well as Bank Holiday Sundays).

Thames Ditton Miniature RailwayWe’re on the August Bank Holiday weekend right now and its open today and tomorrow – Bank Holiday Monday.

Admission to the site is free, where you get an option to buy various tickets to ride miniature trains on their two tracks – both of which go around twice. The coolest part of all this is it’s run by volunteers – there’s zero commercialism here – no sponsorship, just trains, people restoring them and the public getting to ride on them.

Thames Ditton Miniature Railway

We bought two unlimited travel tickets at £6.50 each (there’s no parent or child fares) and swapped them between us so one of us got to ride with H (while I gossiped with a friend mostly).

There’s a buggy storage area, and they don’t allow bags or baby slings onto the trains – but you can store them at the station safely.

The trains run every few minutes on two separate railways – and are usually hauled by model scale steam locomotives. Some trains are hauled by diesel and electric locomotives.

Thames Ditton Miniature Railway

On site there’s refreshments, and a large grass area which is perfect for picnics. You can access this via a footbridge from the main entrance. The site opens from 1pm, trains run from 2pm to 5.30pm.

Every year the club runs Santa Specials – pre booked rides to see Santa at a cost of £10 per child. I’ve no idea what it’ll be like, but I’m liking the sound of it.

Thames Ditton Miniature Railway

How to get there – this is the slightly difficult bit. It’s on a trading estate type area in Thames Ditton – there’s not much parking, so park around the nearby park on the Portsmouth Road (A307) – it’s just off Claygate Lane – postcode KT7 0DL. We turned from the Tolworth Roundabout on the A3 and it took under ten minutes to get there.


  1. Life has moved on since this article was first published in 2012.

    Here is an update:

    The railway is open on the first Sunday of the month from Easter until November plus any Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday. Trains in November run from 1.00pm until 4.00pm.

    There is still a Santa Special on the first Sunday of December. This is a ticket only event. Tickets go on sale in August and are usually sold ourtby October.

    Since 2012 the Railway has been captured by the Exchequer and is now VAT Registered. Pricing has changed and is now:

    A family of four : £27.50
    Additonal family members: £ 7.00
    An single all day pass: £7.50
    A single ride: £2.50

    Santa prices move with the price of toys. In 2017 a ticket cost £18.00. This includes tickets for two parents and FREE rides on the raised track railway.

    The railway now accepts credit cards.

    Finally the address:

    Claygate Lane
    Thames Ditton
    KT7 0LE

    For more information write to vlo@malden-dsme.co.uk

    Andrew Klimaytys
    Commercial Manager


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