Schools’ Visits

Learning away from the classroom

The Midland Railway – Butterley offers a unique learning experience, some of it on the move on a heritage train journey and the rest exploring transport from a bygone era with the help of our experienced guides.  Most visits are from children in Key Stages 1 and 2, but we are happy to discuss alternatives for older students.

You can usually book a school visit on any day of your choice, with an itinerary to meet your requirements.  A typical visit starts with a train journey from Butterley to the museum complex at Swanwick Junction. Typically your party would then be split into three smaller groups to visit the museum, the road transport building and either the Golden Valley Light Railway or West Shed Experience by rotation, usually with one activity before lunch and two afterwards.  Each guide stays with the same group all day to maintain the personal touch.  Lunches (which can be provided) can be eaten on the train, in the Railwayman’s Church or in one of the lawned areas at the Swanwick Junction Complex.  Return to Butterley is by a train later in the day.

In the museum your children will learn how a steam locomotive works, and how people, horses and the mail travelled by train.  The children will be able to go into the horse box, look at the driver’s view from a more modern locomotive and post their own envelope (carefully prepared in advance at school or at home) into a pigeon hole in the Travelling Post Office.  As if by magic they will all appear at a later date back at school, each with a family ticket inside.

In the road transport building there is a talk about the development of road vehicles. The children get the opportunity to sit in old buses and a couple of them to put on drivers/conductors uniforms and operate ticket machines.

The Golden Valley Light Railway offers a trip on a narrow gauge line, usually in open air carriages, or the alternative of the West Shed Experience (a short walk away) offers another museum to explore.

For more information regarding costs and itineraries, and to discuss your  detailed requirements, contact us at Butterley Station.

Swanwick Junction