Heritage Train Weekends (cancelled)

Sarah Gaffney-Lang, Families Editor
Ravenglass and Eskdale heritage Steam Train experiences
Courtesy of Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Heritage Train Weekends at Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway, Cumbria 26 — 27 December 2020 Tickets from £12

All aboard the La’al Ratty! Enjoy a return steam train expedition on The Ravenglass & Eskdale heritage railway.

Put your feet up and enjoy breathtaking views on one of the oldest, and longest, narrow gauge railways in England.

The route covers seven miles, with seven stops and takes 40 minutes each way – covering a vast landscape with estuaries, open countryside, and England’s highest mountains as a spectacular backdrop.

The Ravenglass Railway Museum and Preservation Society are now running ‘Heritage Train Weekends’ with revered steam engines ‘Synolda’ and ‘Katie’ in charge of chugging along the track known locally as the La’al Ratty (which in olde Cumbrian dialect means “little railway.”)

Following a period of retirement for the historic route, in 1915, the La’al Ratty was born. And the journey has been enjoyed on a 15in track ever since. It was notably one of Alfred Wainwright’s favourites trips and immortalised in his walks from Ratty to ‘Britain’s Favourite View’ – Wastwater.

Departing at Ravenglass – the only coastal village located in two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the route covers seven miles, with seven stops and takes 40 minutes each way – covering a vast landscape with estuaries, open countryside, and England’s highest mountains as a spectacular backdrop from some 210ft above sea level.

Choose from the open top upper carriage or the cosier half-covered option if it is raining. Both provide stunning views for the not-to-be-missed photo opportunities at Irton Road (on the outward leg) and Murthwaite Crushing Plant (on the return).

If you’re feeling adventurous, and want to stretch your legs, then why not head off on a walk from one of the stops – just let the conductor know in advance where you would like to disembark.

Keep hunger at bay with a specially prepared picnic box available to pre-order online and collect when you travel (the collection points are The Ice Cream Window at Dalegarth station, and the service counter at Ravenglass).

On arrival at the final stop – Dalegarth, there is something for everyone, with a gift shop to browse (full of pocket money friendly gifts) and the coveted Eskdale Mill a mere 5-minute walk away.

So, whether you are a family of rail enthusiasts or new to the heritage steam train experience, we think a ride on the ‘La’al Ratty’ is an excellent way to spend a day with your youngsters.

Heritage Train Weekends at Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway, Cumbria 26 — 27 December 2020 Tickets from £12

Accessibility

  • Parent and Baby

Where to go near Heritage Train Weekends (cancelled)

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Muncaster Castle

The Muncaster Castle estate takes in a haunted castle, bluebell woods, Hawk and Owl Centre and more.

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Wastwater

Wastwater is the deepest lake in England at 258 feet and one of the most dramatic spots in the country to swim.

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Florence Arts Centre

Florence Mine has been transformed into a centre for cultural activity, offering workshops, gallery space, cinema and music venue.

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The Beacon in Whitehaven provides a well-used museum service for local families and visitors, drawing on rich collections – fine and decorative arts, social history, archaeology and natural sciences.

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Lowes Court Gallery in Egremont aims to showcase the quality of traditional and contemporary Cumbrian craft, led by a membership of artists.

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The Ruskin Museum tells the story of Coniston in Cumbria – a place of copper mines and slate quarries, Swallows & Amazons country where Beatrix Potter owned farms and Stone Age fell walkers once dwelled.

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Lawson Park Farm Cottage

Award-winning self-catering holiday accommodation that is not only beautiful but also supports the pioneering work of Grizedale Arts.

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Grizedale Arts

Grizedale Arts continues to explore the role of art in society from its award winning eco-base near Coniston.

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The Lake District home of the radical social and cultural thinker, John Ruskin.

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