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.