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Doniford Halt (or Doniford Beach Halt as it's identified on the OS maps) is a pretty little platform with a heritage GWR 'pagoda' waiting room and views from the platform bench of the surrounding farmland, Quantock Hills and Steep Holm Island in the distance rising from the silvery Bristol Channel.
The recent opening of the free-entry Doniford Farm Animal Park has added to the attraction of the fossil beach to burgeon the use of the halt, particularly by families with young children. At present passengers have to walk along the narrow Doniford Road from the halt (negotiations for a footpath along the field are in hand).
The halt was built by the West Somerset Railway itself and opened in 1987 to serve the local community, self-catering and holiday campsites. Heritage materials were used: the 'pagoda' from the old Exe Valley line; and the platform sections from Montacute on the GWR's Taunton to Yeovil line.
Over the last few years Doniford Halt has been subject to a lot of tender loving care and now, set in its own lawned island in the fields, the quiet atmosphere, curved, flowered platform and lovely views have brought holiday-makers and locals just to sit on the benches and relax in the beautiful Somerset countryside. There is no ticket office, so you buy your tickets on the train, or at the holiday camp, or on the internet. Neither are there any other facilities - just peace, broken by the occasional passing steam train!
This is a request stop, so in order to catch a train you have to put your hand out to signal to the driver, just as if you were at a bus request stop! On the way back you need to be in one of the front coaches (the platform's too short for more than three) and tell the guard you want to get off at Doniford.
What to see and do nearby
on the West Somerset coast, have a large licensed tea room / coffee shop, with a farm shop.
Selling local fresh produce, local meats, free range eggs, Indoor and outdoor seating, for those wanting to enjoy the fantastic panoramic views of the Bristol channel, with free entry and access to the animal enclosures.
There are plenty of friendly farm animals to meet including Alpacas, plus some more exotic animals and birds of prey. They have their very own ‘Meerkat Manor’ and Lots of fantastic farmyard buildings to explore, with indoor and outdoor areas for the children to run off all that energy!
Right on the banks of the Bristol channel, with access to the beach, they cater for all sized parties, young and old, and have parking for over 40 vehicles.
Open 10-4 every day until March, then 10-5 Mon to Sat and 10-4 Sunday for the rest of the year.
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