This is a lovely train ride with things to do at both ends and great walking opportunities along the way. The views are superb and contrast with the estuary at the Ravenglass end up to the high mountains surrounding the Dalegarth end. Trains are regular in the summer season and are both steam & diesel services.
There's a café at each end but the one at Dalegarth is the best. The adventure playground at Dalegarth has just been refurbished and will now not make your children's clothes quite so muddy!
There are a number of intermediate stations but for the smaller ones you must let the guard know you want to get off there. This can be worth doing as there are a number of good linear walks between stations, in particular the walk from Irton Road (about half way along) back to Ravenglass over Muncaster Fell. Excellent views and not too steep a climb although there are a few boggy sections.
One thing to note is that this attraction has a discount agreement with the Ullswater Steamers. So if you buy a full price ticket on one you get a 50% discount on the other any time within a year. Certainly worth doing if you're spending a few days in the Lakes. Also, if you're staying at the Pennington Hotel in Ravenglass, you can get a discount voucher for the railway.
If the weather is any good at all then you'll want to avoid the fully enclosed carriages as these are very cramped and restrict your view (and circulation!!). Best to get out in the open air. The trains don't go too fast and the train back at the end of a day at Ravenglass or Eskdale is a lovely time to unwind. Our children fell asleep on the journey back last time after a great day exploring Eskdale.
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