The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is a 7 mile journey from Ravenglass to Dalegarth
(for Boot) in the Eskdale Valley. It passes through some amazing scenery, includes a 1:40 gradient at times and was one of Wainwrights favourite Journeys.
So a little history on this wonderful Railway....
The original Ravenglass and Eskdale railway was built in 1873. It was built to transport Hematite Iron Ore from the village of Boot, where it was mined, to the coastal Village of Ravenglass. From there the Iron Ore could be transferred onto the mainline railway and taken to the town of Barrow In Furness. By 1913 the line and stock had begun to fall into disrepair, there was no longer the demand from the mines or passengers.
In 1915 Mr WJ Bassett-Lowke and Mr R Proctor-Mitchell purchased it and installed the current 15" line. It's route follows the original mostly, but now terminates at Dalegarth station (for Boot) whereas the original climbed the fellside to the village of Boot.
In the 1920's quarrying began in the area again, this time for Granite. Ownership passed to the Keswick Granite company in 1946 and by the mid 1950's Granite quarrying ceased. This led to the line being offered for sale in the late 1950's by Auction, with 1960 being advertised as the last season.
The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Preservation Society was formed by enthusiasts. Two generous investors stepped in and put up the remaining funds in order to purchase the Railway.
The Railway is owned by a private company and supported by the preservation society and has gone from strength to strength, building new locomotives, renovating both stations and most recently the Cafe at Dalegarth.
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravenglass_and_Eskdale_Railway http://ravenglass-railway.co.uk/
Trains run most days through the summer and a more limited service through the Winter months. Check out the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway website for more details.
Below are the prices, correct for 2015.
What do with think?
Our children (aged 1 and 3) and the dog, absolutely love this journey. We normally start from the Dalegarth side, staying at The Eskdale Camping & Caravanning Club Site in our Motorhome. Ravenglass is the only coastal village in the Lake District so is well worth spending some time at. It was an important location during the Roman Occupation, being the last defence point of Hadrians Wall. Some Roman ruins still remain now.
The trip itself is a perfect length. Just right to feel you've "had your money's worth" but not so long that the children at bored and wanting to get off.
There are plenty of "request stops" along the way and if you have the time it is well worth planning to get off at some points to have a look around. There is so much to see and do around this area.
There are great cafes at both the Dalegarth Platform and the Ravenglass Platform.
Ravenglass has several pubs, our favourite being the Ratty Arms which is on the Mainline station, just over the line from the La'al Ratty station. If you're looking for food in Boot then you're spoilt for choice there too.
What to See & Do locally
Eskdale Mill at Boot http://www.eskdalemill.co.uk/
Muncaster Castle at Ravenglass http://www.muncaster.co.uk/
Boot Beer Festival 4-7th June 2015 http://www.bootbeer.co.uk/
Roman Bath House - Ravenglass http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/ravenglass-roman-bath-house/
Where to Stay
South Lakes Motorhome Hire
based in Barrow-in-Furness on the edge of the Lake District National Park. Follow the adventures of our motorhome as they travel around the UK and Continental Europe