THE WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY IS THE LONGEST HERITAGE RAILWAY IN ENGLAND. Trains run between Bishops Lydeard (four miles from the county town of Taunton) and Minehead, making their way through the Quantock Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and along the Bristol Channel Coast, passing through many historical sites. Crowcombe Heathfield Station is where scenes from the Beatles’ first film, A Hard Day’s Night, were shot, while the old harbour town of Watchet dates back to Saxon times. It still boasts narrow streets, local shops and places to eat and drink as well as two museums. Alight at Washford Station for the walk to Cleeve Abbey and Torre Cider Farm or continue to Dunster Station to see a medieval village dominated by the castle. There is also a working water mill, the old Yarn Market building and the Dolls Museum, among its many attractions. At Minehead the beach is literally across the road from the station, while a left turn takes you into the town centre. The West Somerset Railway also offers many combined packages including the ‘Dunster Castle Express’, ‘Abbey and Apple Experience’, ‘Meet and Greet Days’ with children’s favourite characters and annual ‘Days Out with Thomas’ weekends. Railway enthusiasts are catered for by Steam Galas in March and October and a vintage diesel weekend at the start of June, while each September the line hosts the annual Somerset CAMRA Real Ale and Cider Festival. Seasonal trains run in December including Santa’s, Sherry and Mince Pie Specials and Carol Trains.