Minehead Station has a booking office and the fares from the Station can be viewed at our Fares Pages. The Station also has full toilet facilities for both able and disabled passengers as well as baby changing facilities.
The Buffer Stop Shop has a large range of specialist books, DVDs and magazines. For the modeller we stock a range of Hornby, Peco and Bachmann Railway sets and accessories.
Do you need to keep warm? A colourful range of West Somerset Railway clothing can be purchased including, fleece jackets, sweatshirts, rugby shirts, t-shirts, hats and all manner of other items.
We have local interest books, maps, postcards, greeting cards and postage stamps, souvenir tea towels, calendars, fridge magnets, glassware, pottery and key rings. And much, much more!
For the younger visitor we have an extensive selection of Thomas and Friends merchandise, including the 'Take n Play' Thomas range, toys, books, playsets and individual models. We also have the largest range of Big Jigs wooden railway in the area. Pay us a visit at Minehead Station, shop online or telephone 01643 700383.
The Turntable Café offers a wide menu including a selection of sandwiches, hot food, chilled items, cakes, biscuits, confectionery and snacks. The Turntable Café also offers a range of freshly made speciality coffees and teas, whilst not forgetting our best selling mugs of original tea and filter coffee.
Our food options are fresh and where possible locally sourced. All sandwiches and rolls are freshly made each day. We offer the choice of a fast-track, take-away service or a more leisurely eat-in experience.
The Turntable, installed in 2008, works by carefully balancing the locomotive, which can weigh 165 tonnes, on a central pivot which is then manually rotated round. The benefit of this is that the railway able accept incoming steam charter trains from the national network, to turn and service them and send them back again.
The layout of Minehead Station means that visitors can stand on all sides of the turntable and see how one person can single-handedly turn around a locomotive.
The Turntable is used during special events and galas and on selected other days.
Today’s passenger arriving at Minehead has a choice of directions and destinations to follow from the station entrance. A left turn across the adjacent car park brings you to the Minehead Eye which is an exciting and innovative project which provides a dedicated, purpose-buil,t extreme sports skate park and youth centre. A right turn takes you along the seafront towards Butlins Resort. The path continues past the resort and the golf course and can be followed to Dunster Beach and Blue Anchor.
Crossing the road and walking along the esplanade takes you towards the tall feature of North Hill. Along the way you pass the start of the South West Coast Path, which if followed in its entirety will take you to Poole Harbour via Lands End in Cornwall. The road eventually reaches the harbour, which is the point where historic ships, the "Waverley” and the "Balmoral”, pay their periodic visits to the town, bringing loads of visitors (and some passengers to the Railway) in an evocation of the Great Days of Bristol Channel Shipping. For those seeking some quiet and tranquility turning off the esplanade and up into North Hill is recommended, but, be aware that there is some hard hill climbing involved.
The left turn out of the Station takes you past the former Beach Hotel to the tree-lined Avenue of independent and high street shops, cafes, tea rooms and pubs and Blenheim garden popular with coach companies as a base for touring the area and into the main shopping area of the town. As you would expect there is a variety of accommodation to suit all pockets in Minehead and apart from the railway journey it is a good base to explore Exmoor and the Quantock Hills.
Local Businesses helping promote the Railway include:
The Wheelhouse Snack Bar: 41 The Avenue, Minehead. A family business, with 20 years experience serving, full breakfasts, light meals, home made cakes and cream teas owned by Trevor and Katherine Willmetts
Atlantis: They sell a variety of beautiful gifts and unusual hand carved Fairtrade goods, to hand painted furniture using eco friendly products.
Alcombe Fish Bar: One of our resident fish and chips shops in Minehead, tucked away in Alcombe, serving beautiful food. What is the seaside without Fish and Chips!
Exmoor Producers Association Shop - 11 Friday Street
It has around 25 members, who make a wide variety of goods. Members include artists, craftspeople, food producers and miscellaneous businesses that are producing goods on and around Exmoor.
History of Minehead Station
Minehead is another town which grew rapidly as seaside holidays mushroomed in popularity, and particulary benefitted when the original West Somerset Railway extended into Minehead in 1874 from Watchet.
The Railway Station grew from being a small seaside terminal and its final stage of development took place in 1933 when the platform reached its present length of a quarter of a mile. The Signal box at the Station throat once saw service at Dunster, but was moved to Minehead as traffic grew in the early years of the "preservation era”. There was once a loco shed, but this was demolished by British Rail when steam finished on the national network. Today the former goods shed has been converted and extended to house the West Somerset Railway Locomotive Department’s workshops and facilities. The station building currently is home to the Railway’s administrative offices.
The booking office is at the front of the building, which dates from the 1980s and was constructed by volunteers, paid staff and participants in a job creation scheme. The internal woodwork and windows come from the old booking office at Cardiff Central Station.
Station Maintenance is carried out by the Friends of Minehead Station.
For more about places to stay and things to do in Minehead visit Stay in Minehead.