Take a train trip to the big top, on Ireland's only circus train!


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This event is running on Sunday 27th August

Special back to school offer for Sunday 27th August – a massive 50% off all tickets!
The first three trains are sold out – there are remaining seats on the 16:00 train.


Step right up to the Big Top for Magical Mayhem as the Circus Train pulls in to town!

Board the Circus Train as we embark on a journey out to the Big Top to meet Jarl, a clown aspiring to join the circus. But wait, Tilly, the seasoned circus veteran, is unsure if Jarl has what it takes to make the cut… It’s a nail-biting decision, and the fate of our lovable clown rests in the hands of our esteemed audience. Will he win your hearts with his clowning prowess and be able to run away to the circus after all?

But that’s not all, folks! Brace yourself for a laughter as mishaps and mayhem take centre stage in the colourful Big Top, making every moment unpredictable and thrilling.

Each show is a unique spectacle, so book your high seat onboard our gilley wagons and experience the wonder and excitement of “Magical Mayhem” aboard the Circus Train. Get ready to be part of the action as our clowns and the audience come together for an unforgettable and uproarious experience.

Hurry, the Circus Train is about to depart – it’s time for a clown-tastic adventure!

Prices & tickets

Charges are detailed below. Additional charges apply for food and drinks in the buffet and gifts in the shop. Donations are also welcome.

Sale prices – back to school 50% off!
  • Family ticket (2 adults + 2 children, or 1 adult + 3 children): £50   SALE! now £25
  • Additional adults: £13.50  SALE! now £6.75
  • Additional children (all ages): £13.50 SALE! now £6.75
  • Infants (not requiring a seat): FREE
  • Carers: FREE (Please see our Carers Policy for more details)

Summer events at DCDR are supported by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.


Circus Trains depart from Downpatrick at: 11:30, 13:00, 14:30 and 16:00.


Where does the train go?

The train runs to the platform at King Magnus Halt and will return back to Downpatrick station.  Passengers will leave the train at King Magnus Halt for a 30 minute circus show, with plenty of interaction and chances for photos etc.

I am a carer – do I have to pay?

Carers can travel free of charge if they meet the criteria in our Carers Policy. You can’t book this online, so please contact us after you book for the rest of your group to arrange this, explaining your requirements. You can contact us here to arrange your carer’s ticket.

How long does the visit last?

Your circus experience will last approximately an hour from boarding the train to the end of the show, but you are free to explore other areas of the railway including our museums, model railway, signal cabin and gift shop afterwards. This is an outdoor event and will proceed in any weather that County Down can throw at us, so bring a coat if it’s going to rain, or bring the factor 50 sun cream if it’s a rare sunny day.

Do I have to pre-book?

We strongly advise that you pre-book for this event, to avoid delays on the day.

I don’t have a printer, what do I do with my tickets?

Don’t worry. You don’t need to print your ticket out, though some people do find it handy. In fact, it’s environmentally friendly if you don’t. You can just show us your ticket on your phone, or you can even write down the booking reference and bring it with you.

What if I miss my train?

If you miss your booked time, we will try our best to accommodate you on the next train. If you manage to miss the last train of the day, then we will do our best to get you re-booked for another day.

Do you have wheelchair access?

Yes. We have wheelchair access into the main station building, as well as wheelchair friendly carriages with double-doors, and accessible toilets at Downpatrick Station building. Please ask a member of staff for help into the carriages, as a ramp will need to be used. At checkout, please select the option ‘Wheelchair space required’. You can also use our Contact Us page if you have specific requirements.

Note that the circus field at King Magnus Halt has a grass surface and may not be suitable for some larger wheelchairs. Please use our Contact Us page if you have questions regarding access.

Can I bring a pram or buggy?

Space is limited on our trains, and it is not possible to wheel a pram down the carriages of the train you travel on. There is an area for prams and wheelchairs on one of our carriages, but we can only carry a few prams at a time, and you may struggle a bit with larger prams on the grassy surface. If possible, we would prefer you leave the pram in the station or in your car. Please talk to our station volunteers if you need help with this.

Where is the railway station?

Downpatrick Station is on the main Downpatrick-Newcastle road (the Ballydugan Road). The entrance for the station is between Rathkeltair House (the tax office) and the Translink bus station. Look out for the brown road signs that say Railway Museum and follow those.

For more details, please see our How to Find Us page for maps and directions.

Where can I board the train?

You can only start your journey at Downpatrick Station. Inch Abbey Station will not be open to arriving passengers.

Are dogs allowed?

Due to the nature of the event we can only welcome Assistance Dogs onto the train.

Can you take Visa/Mastercard/etc.?

Yes, we can take credit cards and debit cards via our online booking system, or if you prefer email us at info@downrail.co.uk and we can arrange to make booking and take payment over the phone. We cannot take any payments on the day.

Will there be toilets on the train?

There are no toilet facilities on the train but we will have toilets at Downpatrick station and portable toilets ill be available at King Magnus Halt.

Will the shop and museum be open?

Yes, the station, shop and museum are all open as usual.

Will there be any food and drink available?

We will be operating a small buffet on the train where you will be able to purchase soft drinks and confectionery.

Can we eat on the train?

You can indeed. Our buffet carriage will be selling a range of snacks and drinks, but we would ask that you clean all rubbish away on exiting the train.

If you need to bring your own food for kids with special dietary requirements then this is OK, but again we ask that you clean away all your rubbish afterwards.