A 14-mile return trip journey, with a gradient of 1:55 at its steepest, awaits those travelling in open or closed carriages and steaming off to the foot of England’s highest mountains at the terminus at Dalegarth. The journey is often described as the most beautiful available on a narrow gauge railway and encompasses travel through two valleys and past imposing features such as Muncaster Fell.
Both stations offer level and close access to trains, retail opportunities in well-stocked gift shops and a range of food and drink options, from full home made meals to exquisite afternoon teas. Groups can book carriages and also tables for up to 60 at both the Turntable Café at Ravenglass and the Fellbites Eatery at Dalegarth, where a group menu is available. Children’s groups can also take advantage of picnic and play areas at both ends of the line.
Free train travel is offered to both drivers and group leaders and a discounted ticket price for members of groups numbering more than 10. There is free parking for coaches at both stations and a free visitor guide for tour leaders. A meet and greet service can be requested.
A minimum of two hours should be allocated for the trip, with the journey taking 40 minutes each way. This makes it an ideal component in any Western Lake District itinerary. Ravenglass and Eskdale has several suggestions available and is also located in an area rich in Roman history and home to parts of the Hadrian’s Wall fortifications network.
With its ‘Steam to the Hills’ option, groups can enjoy both a trip on the train and an afternoon tea. ‘Steam on the Wild Side’ combines train travel with a trip to the historic castle of Muncaster and the World Owl Trust. ‘Go West’ combines a train journey with a visit to Jennings Brewery or the Haig Mining Tour and other options include visits to attractions such as ‘The Rum Story’ in Whitehaven. Additionally, groups can take advantage of a packed events calendar and nature trail and guided tour options that are included within this.
Groups can also travel to Ravenglass without a coach, if they go greener and take a Northern Rail service. The ‘One Happy Family’ offer allows a group to have a return trip on the railway and then a one-way cruise with sister attraction, Ullswater ‘Steamers’
Schools will find lots of subject matter around the Railway, whether that is heritage, conservation, wildlife, or geography related. A ‘Santa Express’ service also gives schools something different to do with pupils in the run up to Christmas.
Head to www.ravenglass-
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