The Lake District has two preserved railways,
each treating many hundreds of visitors and locals to stunning
views of the Lakeland Landscape as they enjoy the sights and sounds
of traveling on a steam train.
Originally part of a branch line built to
enable easy access for early tourists to the shore of Lake Windermere
the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway not only carried people
but also goods which were unloaded in sidings that stood where
the main car park now is, and then loaded onto boats to be delivered
to various points around the Lake. The station at Lakeside is
iconic in design, with rail platforms on one side and steamer
quay on the other. The Victorian buildings have been utilised
by many film makers, and it recently featured on a TV ad for a
supermarket, despite the fact that the nearest one is several
The line is 3 miles long, and the whilst
the engines are an eclectic mix of old British Railways tanks
and industrial engines, the rolling stock depicts the latter days
of steam and the early days of diesel. Pride of place in the engine
collection goes to Furness Railway no 20, the oldest working standard
gauge steam engine in Britain. The railway is owned and was restored
by the Furness Railway Trust and when not touring the country
(in steam engine terms it is a bit of a celebrity) it can be seen
out the railway web site here ....
Affectionately known known as L'ile Ratty,
The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway carries holiday makers and
locals alike along the Eskdale Valley from the coastal Village
of Ravenglass to the foot of England's highest mountains, a total
of 7 miles. It is a narrow gauge delight, with a mixture of open
and closed carriages catering for all ages and tastes. The line's
steam engines were immortalised by the Rev W Audrey, in his series
of Railway books for children, and along with the spectacular
scenery are undoubtedly the star of the show.
Now 15 inch gauge, the line has had a checkered
history. It started life as a 3 ft gauge railway for carrying
stone from the quarries at Dalegarth to the stone crushing plant
at Murthwaite, and then on to the coast and a junction with the
Cumbrian Coastal line at Ravenglass. Not long after opening it
began carrying passengers, however, by the time of the first world
war the line had gone bust. Re opened as a narrow gauge line,
it ran until 1960, when it went bust again. After being rescued
and refurbished the line now has an assured future.
Trains run regularly from the terminus at
Ravenglass, where there is a large car park, cafe, pub and museum.
The terminus at Dalegarth also has a cafe, shop and exhibition
room. Close to the station is Stanley Force waterfall, which is
well worth a visit.
the L'ile Ratty web site here....
According to the advertising blurb, Puzzling
Place is the Lake District's most unbelievable visitor attraction,
where seeing is not always believing! Basically it is an
interactive studio featuring optical illusions, from mystifying
artwork to an antigravity room. There is also a comprehensive
display of over 80 holograms. Puzzling Place is a good family
attraction, particularly on a rainy day.
out the puzzling place web site here ....
This is a very different kind of visitor
experience. Honister is England's only slate mine, (all the other
slate workings are quarries) and has been recently re opened as
a working mine and tourist experience. There are daily mine tours,
for which you should book in advance, as well as features such
as the "via ferrata", an adventure climbing system that
uses a permanently fixed cable to enable you to follow the old
miners' route up the fell. Plus there is the offer to fill the
boot of your car with all the slate you can carry for just £20.
A great idea. All you need now is somewhere to put your luggage.
out more about Honister slate mine here ...
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