Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Travel the lovely English countryside on this scenic train pulled by a steam locomotive, leaving from Bolton Abbey Station to the historic Embsay Station, built in 1888. Trains run every Sunday all year Tuesdays Saturdays & Sundays from April to end October and Daily late July to the end of August. We have very popular dining trains which include Afternoon Teas, Fish & Chip specials, The Curry Express, Murder Mystery's plus more!
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Claire O
    1 contribution
    Great Gatsby Murder Mystery
    We attended the Great Gatbsy murder mystery on 11 March and it was a fantastic evening. We were staying in Skipton and got a taxi to Bolton Abbey station as per the instructions provided. We arrived to a glass of prosecco and introduction to the characters and instructions on how to solve the murder before boarding the train. There was also an inspector who was on hand to provide any help and pointers if required. The snow was falling and providing a magical atmosphere. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the three course meal served on the train which was delicious. Drinks were served throughout. The characters and staff all worked incredibly hard throughout the experience. When back at the station the murderer was revealed and the super sleuths announced, sadly this wasn't us but we did solve the murder! Fancy dress is optional but we all embraced the theme and this really made our night even more enjoyable. It was so much fun and I would highly recommend this experience. All our group said they would love to do it all again. Thank you!
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 13 March 2023
  • Mr_MrsBeckett
    Colne, United Kingdom1,508 contributions
    Santa train
    Second year in a row we have done the 'Santa Train'. My 4 year old loves it and so do we. Got there in good time and check-in. Got our mince pie and boarded. The Santa was good, the staff got into their roles and the gift was good as well. Recommended
    Visited December 2022
    Written 23 March 2023
  • Brenda H
    1 contribution
    Full of atmosphere
    We had been given a 'breakfast on the train' experience as a gift. It couldn't have been better. All of the staff were delightful and very efficient. The train was just how a steam train should be, full of steam and atmosphere! And our delicious breakfast was served as promised. We could not fault it at all. Hopefully will travel with Embsay again
    Visited March 2023
    Written 28 March 2023
  • Helen-Brooki-Wilson
    Mirfield, United Kingdom18 contributions
    Meeting her Majesty Queen Victoria
    We booked to take our mother on the Queen Victoria Afternoon Tea train ride on Sunday. We were blessed with beautiful weather, lambs in the fields and daffodils on the side of the track. Our host gave us a background story to the beautiful restoration of the carriage and a little history about Her Majesty Queen Victoria and her habits. We ate lovely food and giggled together. It was a wonderful experience. I never thought I would be sitting next to Queen Victoria :)
    Visited April 2023
    Written 3 April 2023
  • G B E
    16 contributions
    A Gem of an Experience
    Bought this little gem of an experience for my mum and dad to enjoy. They had such a good time, loved the afternoon tea but especially appreciated the information provided by the owner of the carriage and all the history that went with it. Embsay station is a blast from the past and clearly well loved and well cared for. Super afternoon tea too. Highly recommended!
    Visited April 2023
    Written 3 April 2023
  • Dave C
    20 contributions
    Enjoyable trip out.
    Lovely location and helpful staff who were full of information and facts. Unfortunately the first 15 minutes were spent eating the breakfast stood still, not moving and when the journey did start the views were quite disappointing despite it being the sunniest day of the year! Lots of sheep and lambs to see which was nice and relaxing. Only vripe was that once the breakfast was served, then almost at the end bread and butter was offered.... surely this should have been toast and maybe marmalade or jam. Nevertheless it was a nice trip out and very enjoyable. Look out for signs to the station cafe as there isn't one for the station itself and we overshot it. Would return again if only to see the magnificent steam engines alone and it is great for children and us OLDER children who remember the age of steam.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 April 2023
  • Jill R
    1 contribution
    Amazing murder mystery evening.
    We went on a murder Mystery evening, death down the rabbit hole. From start to finish we had an amazing time. Easy, free parking. Very friendly staff. Food and drink was amazing. The actors where all fantastic and the whole experience was brilliant. Lovely train journey, would highly recommend. Thank you for a great evening.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 8 April 2023
  • Bob
    St. Neots, United Kingdom246 contributions
    Very enjoyable trip.
    We have been on quite a few preserved railways but hadn't heard of this one. We saw the signs for it when we drove to Skipton during our Easter break, staying at Haworth. It was a spur of the moment decision to stop and have a trip. We had a nice, sedate ride along the short route. Nice scenery and staff were very helpful and pleasant. There is a lot of work to do with the fabric of the railway but it was very enjoyable experience.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 April 2023
  • Morgan00000
    3 contributions
    Amazing
    We took the Bolton Abbey to Embsay return train on Easter Sunday. My Dad, husband, 3 yr daughter and I all absolutely loved it. Easy to park, volunteers are all great, it's all authentic and just generally a lovely thing to do. Would highly recommend.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 11 April 2023
  • Dylan65
    Ipswich, United Kingdom245 contributions
    Enjoyable Day Out
    Lovely experience from start to finish. All the station staff were friendly and helpful. Had a drink before embarking to Bolton Abbey and a short walk on to the Estate itself. If you arrive early, as I did, sit and enjoy your surroundings. Travel in First Class if you can, else try one of their dining packages.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 17 April 2023
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4.5
1,730 reviews
Excellent
1,265
Very good
284
Average
91
Poor
45
Terrible
45

Chris G
Lancashire, UK4 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
To anyone thinking of booking this..don’t bother! Way overpriced and we had a terrible badly organised experience! We complained several times and this company did not even reply!
Take your family somewhere else more worthy of your hard earned money!
Written 22 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle c
Hindley, UK1 contribution
Dec 2023 • Family
We went on the Polar Express in December and unfortunately had to complain and I have also seen several similar complaints online. This was our experience:

Last year we went to Wensleydale and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, so when we saw that the experience was coming to Skipton, which is closer to home we decided to not only book but to upgrade to the premium package and to be honest I think even if we'd pay the standard class price I would still feel disappointed tonight.

On 9th December 2023 we arrived at 6pm for the pre-show, which was great and the girls kept everyone entertained. We were booked onto the 7pm train in carriage G on and it looked fantastic. The conductor was quite entertaining and in fact was the best part of the train ride (they were at least one member of staff short).

As I previously mentioned we'd been on the experience last year at Wensleydale and it was fantastic, throughout the whole train ride there was singing, dancing, reading from the book by the chefs, the conductor, the hobo and Santa, most who spent time talking to each child.

Tonight however, we only had one chef in the carriage, who had no charisma at all. She didn't speak once to our son and walked through the carriage several times literally playing with her hair or with her head down. She didn't even speak when she served the hot chocolate, which brings me to the song. I honestly thought that there would have been characters singing and dancing along to it whilst refreshments were served. In fact the only time the characters danced was to the Polar Express song at the end of the journey.

When the conductor was clipping the tickets, the chef was beside him all along the carriage trying to guess people's name from their initials when she could have actually been entertaining/interacting with the other end of the carriage.

I quote the website:

"When you start on your journey, you’ll be astounded as iconic moments from the movie come to life around you. Singing, dancing chefs will serve everyone the most delicious warm hot chocolate, and glorious chocolatey cookies."

Later Santa 'came' on board at the north Pole with an elf (who was full of life and very funny) but Santa himself literally went to each table handed the bells out and then asked if you wanted a photo before moving on to the next table. I'm sorry but Santa should be speaking to each child, asking if they have been good, what would like they for Christmas etc, there was absolutely no interaction. In fact at Wensleydale he even knew our son's name from our booking/seat information (the elf whispered each name as he reached your table). There was a family of nine with four members sat opposite us, their Nan sat with us three and the other four were sat behind the glass divider. I told them early in the journey that I would offer to swap seats so that they could have two tables opposite each other but Santa knows the children's names from there seat reservations, how wrong was I! Instead they ended up in their separate groups, which most likely ruined their night too!

Our son brought his Polar Express book with him on both occasions (at Wensleydale and here) and had it signed by Santa last year, today Santa didn't even notice it, as he only seemed interested in moving onto the next table.

We also spent the majority of the train ride just listening to Christmas songs and talking between ourselves/the table opposite who also expected so much more after seeing videos that friends had shown them from their experiences.

We didn't see the naughty or nice scanner either, that could be because we just missed it, although I'm not so sure.

Even if this had been a 'normal' Santa train ride we don't think that we would have been happy with what we experienced tonight, as Santa definitely didn't live up to our expectations. In fact I have overhead our son has been telling people that he was a pretend Santa (we haven't told him that). We also can't take him to see another as they would look different and he would probably have even more doubt despite being only five years old

We booked the polar express experience because our son loves the film and watches it all year round. We were looking forward to the singing, acting, laughing and most of all the magic of it all but we came away feeling very underwhelmed.

We appreciate that there was a staff shortage but I think that even with the silver bells, mugs and bag £165.11 is a lot of money to pay when you don't receive the full experience. If this had been our first time on the polar express we definitely wouldn't be returning the following year.

After 52 days we finally heard back regarding our complaint, following a few emails back and forth they offered us 50% off the experience this year. Hmmm not likely! In fact we won't be returning to the railway at all! I think that their offer shows what really matters!
Written 10 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dizzy Yorkshire
4 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
This was a Gift &
What a Fabulous experience, for my Husband & Myself. The afternoon Tea was gorgeous, beautifully presented, plenty to eat & drink. The Staff were brilliant, so Friendly & helpful. Carriages were warm & cozy, which was just right for a Winter's afternoon. Highly recommended. 10/10
Written 3 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

461elainet
Manchester57 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
Excellent afternoon tea , on an old fashioned steam train , with authentic carriages , great friendly staff that haven’t been over trained in customer services and come across as genuine.
Unlimited tea and nice food .

Lovely time and would highly recommend
Written 29 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lucyrhay
County Durham, UK651 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
We really enjoyed our winter warmer experience. The experience of being on a steam train was fantastic. The views were pretty and the food was lovely. Staff were really kind and friendly and we would highly recommend this unique experience!
Written 28 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mykle
Rotherham, England, United Kingdom3 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
I went on The Polar Express from Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway on the 20th December with my family.

I would like to start by saying how good The Polar Express was. From the car park attendants to the performance in the tented area (which was amazing!) it was run very good and I was so impressed.

In the lead up to the night, I was so excited for my children to experience The Polar Express as it’s our first time doing something like this. I was telling everyone I work with about it and how excited I was for my children.

It was so enjoyable until we got on the train. The only thing I can say is that I had paid a lot to be insulted!

It started off great, dancing and so enjoyable. Then when one performer came to talk to us at our table, they did not like it because I (an adult) would not play along with sarcastic insults, I was bubbly and I really wanted my children to enjoy it, but apparently this was not enough.

The focus on the performer seemed to be on me, instead of my children! They came to our table and straight away they said to us that “I can’t deal with you” (me an adult), I was asked “are you a shy person” and then said, sarcastically, to my family “are you a shy family”, this confused my young daughter as she didn’t know what to say. I was dreading for them to come to our table again.

I was trying my best to make sure my children were happy, but every time the performer came to the table, I dreaded it. It was like I could not see to my children as I should have focus on them at all times. It made me that uncomfortable that I contemplated getting off when the train stopped and making our own way back to the station.

My wife recalls the performer saying “I feel at home making him uncomfortable”. From my understanding of other people’s experiences online and other people’s videos and also how other families on the carriage was being treated differently to us (engaging with the children) I did not expect it to be like this.

From the one performer there was no interaction with my children, like there was for the other families on the carriage, the performer just seemed to take a dislike to me and ignored my children throughout the experience. After being on the experience people have asked me if we enjoyed it, my response was “it was brilliant, but it was ruined by one performer”.

I would like to stress the other performers were brilliant and very professional and the rest of the experience was amazing however we was really let down by the above and felt it ruined it as a whole for my family, to the point I would never pay for this experience again!
Written 24 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lisa S
2 contributions
Jan 2024 • Friends
We booked the curry express, however our taxi took us to the wrong station and we had no time to make the train, all was not lost , a lovely gentleman named Colin allowed us to stay in the cafe that was supposed to be closed and phoned ahead asking for our food to be kept warm and we was allowed to join the train when it arrived at the station as it was the half way point. When the train arrived our food was immediately served and it was lovely, the staff where great and went above and beyond for us. It was a brilliant experience but please ensure you go to the correct station as another couple on the train also had to divert due to the post code confusion. Colin if you read this we would like to thank you for keeping us entertained and making it a unforgettable experience 😀.
Written 22 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alison
Wakefield, UK2 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
We travelled on 17th December. I can see other posive reviews but I'm sorry to say I was disappointed.

Not with the carriage actors who were fantastic but with the organisation of the event which was not good. 

Our carriage was over booked leading to people getting on and off the train in front of us. This resulted in my son being knocked to the platform floor. I'm sure you can imagine that this impacted massively in the magic of boarding!  Although our seats were not effected we were all the way down the carriage and had to wait a long time on the platform and then again on the train for it to start. My sceptical son was even more sceptical by the time we got going. 

I was also disappointed with the speed and distance that the train travelled although I accept this was my expectations being incorrect but it was slow to say the least. 

And then why on earth did santa on the sleigh outside have a long flowing fake beard and the one on our carriage (who was brilliant) have a short cropped real beard. Both my sons noticed this immediately and made it clear that this could not possibly be the real santa. 

What I was expecting to be a magical experience (that cost me £247!!!) was a bit of a palaver and let to both children doubting the magic more than cementing it as I hoped. I had been looking forward to this since July when I booked. I think my money would have been better spent elsewhere.

Every other santa experience we have done over the years was better (and cheaper!!) than this one purely due to the poor organisation and planning. Again I must stress that the actors did a wonderful job. 

I did not complain at the time as I did not want to spoil my childrens (and parents) fun. I do think it should have been magical. And would have been if it had been properly organised.

I have written to the company to express my dissatisfaction but disappointingly have not had a reply. I hope that others so not have the same experience as we did. 

Written 16 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ianandsheilasand2018
Bedale, UK3 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
We went for afternoon tea on the train. The tea selection was excellent with endless tea and coffee served by very pleasant and helpful staff. Would highly recommend.
Written 8 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

joomoo6162
Leeds, UK3 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
Amazing afternoon out, we went on the Polar Express with our Son, Daughter in law
& 2 small grandchildren & had a magical time. Polar Express ‘staff’ & Santa were amazing, to top the day off it was snowing when we left the train❄️🎄we would recommend this trip to everyone, young and old.
Written 30 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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EMBSAY & BOLTON ABBEY STEAM RAILWAY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway is open:
  • Tue - Tue 10:00 - 16:00
  • Sat - Sun 10:00 - 16:00