Whistlestop Valley (Kirklees Light Railway)

We visited Whistlestop Valley during the Autumn Gala on the 11th September and it is fair to say we had an enjoyable day all round. They was running plenty of different locos and the schedule was nice and tight meaning there was always something to go on.

The line itself offers spectacular scenery and also includes the longest tunnel on a 15″ railway in the UK, this is definitely an experience to have on such a small loco.

Whistlestop valley as a whole is a fantastic attraction, a full ticket offers unlimited rides on both the 3.5 mile narrow gauge railway, the Clayton Flyer and a number of amazing indoor and outdoor attractions and play parks for children. There is food served at both ends of the line, a shop and plenty of stunning walks if you need a change of pace. The range of locomotives, the facilities and the staff that work there made it an overall enjoyable day for us. Whistlestop valley can be found at Park Mill Way, Clayton West, Huddersfield HD8 9XJ and the car park is free, large and well looked after.

There is a 2m barrier on the car park but this can be opened upon request, just ask a member of the team once there. Overall as tourist lines go this has easily been one of the best value we have visited, it is definitely worth putting aside a full day for a visit as there is lots to do.

https://www.whistlestopvalley.co.uk/

Thompson Park – Burnley

https://www.thompsonparkrailway.co.uk/

Thompson park railway is a miniature railway in Lancashire. The track does two loops of Thompson Park and takes in some impressive scenery, crossing the paths a number of time allowing members of the public to get a close up view.

We had a lovely day out at the railway, the price is more than reasonable and the volunteers are what makes this place so special. We felt the length of the ride was well worth it and the park itself has fantastic facilities, including a boating lake! Unlike other miniature railways this is virtually in the heart of Burnley, meaning you can combine a visit with a number of other things. Add this to the fact that Burnley is well connected bus wise and also lucky enough to have three real train stations, it makes Thompson Park a really accessible day out for everybody.

We would definitely recommend exploring Thompson park itself as there is loads on offer, but if it is a busy day and you like a more gentle stroll you also have Queens park just over the road, we find this is often a bit quieter on hot sunny days and is perfect for a picnic.

Overall Thompson park is a fantastic day out, with the added bonus of being in a great central location, well worth a visit!

The railway can be found at BB11 2AA and parking is on site, or my top tip would be to park at Sainsburys and walk up through Thursby Gardens if you don’t mind a bit of an extra stroll, it is a nice walk.

Halton Miniature Railway – Runcorn

Halton miniature railway is a lovely little narrow gauge railway that I visited on the 5th September 2021. We was blessed with a day of sunshine which always helps make things look nice but the railway itself is set in a spectacular park called Town Park (WA7 6PT) and the park itself has amazing facilities for children (including a couple of bits of park equipment shaped like a train).

The line itself takes around 10 minutes to do a full loop, this is undertaken on a number of different locomotives and when we was there they was running two trains at once to keep the waiting time down, a train was pulling out of the station every 5 minutes. The track follows the park paths for around half of the route, giving little ones a chance to wave at people walking around (everybody did wave back) and then the back end of the track cuts through fields and trees.

There are toilets on site and a ski centre that also sells ice cream and other bits and bobs, all reasonably priced. The train itself is entirely run on donations but as the park and the parking are both free you really don’t mind chucking some coins in for the effort the volunteers are putting in to keep the place running.

Overall this was a brilliant day out, myself and my daughter both really enjoyed riding the train a number of times and wouldn’t think twice about visiting again.

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