9 Amazing Reasons to Visit the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway03/02/2016
Last weekend we paid a visit to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. This is our third visit in a year and I LOVE IT. It’s one of my favourite days out and here’s why:
1. Trainspotting is FREE!
You can travel all day on the railway for £16 or from around £5 for a return from one station to another (under 5s are free) but seeing the trains approach and leave is just as exciting when you’re 2 – or 28. At Oxenhope, the end of the line, there is a better view of the engine turning around from the picnic area than from the platform, but if you do want to see the train from the platform, tickets are only 50p.
2. Steam trains every weekend
Just wow! Slightly geeky I know but when they come chugging into view I never fail to get excited. Peep peep!
3. Vintage diesel trains
“BAH HUMBUG diesel trains – BORING!”
These diesel engines, which alternate with steamies, are like little pocket trains, SO cute and worth a visit in themselves. They are more like trams or a bus on rails, with a cab for the driver and passengers sitting in the rest of the carriage. Amazing. If you like that sort of thing!
4. Station hopping
The KWVR is quite short, around 5 miles, but has 6 stations. This means it’s really quick and easy to drive (or ride if you’ve invested in a ticket) from one station to the next for maximum excitement – and to kill time in between trains. We’ve been to all the stops except Damems and each station is well maintained and pretty.
Haworth is a fabulously vibrant little town jam packed full of independent boutiques and coffee shops just perfect for a moochy weekend afternoon stroll. Less relaxing with a loose toddler…
After a chocolate sample on the street we had a browse in And Chocolate and bought 3 bags of salted toffee and coconut truffles. These are now officially my favourite chocolates. Just up the hill at The Stirrup we had warm scones with cream and jam which were DELICIOUS – their evening menu made me want to go back soon (deep fried brie, scallops & squid – and that’s just the starters).
I’m a vicious reader but I’ve barely made a dent in my imaginary Pile Of Books I Feel I Ought To Read (Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, the Brontes…) so I’d feel a fraud visiting the Bronte Parsonage, but it’s there! The Bronte Waterfall is on my list for the future but almost 5 miles cross country is about 4.5 miles than we can walk without a trail of chocolate drops and promises of seeing a train/digger/tractor.
6. Oakworth urinals
Urinals outside, in the open air! Need I say more? I almost wish I was a man*. For a double whammy of excitement, Oakworth also has a level crossing right next to the platform.
*For ladies there is a Ladies’ Waiting Room with an inside toilet. Less exciting.
There are 2 museums at Ingrow station at the Keighley end of the line. For £4 each we bought a year long pass for the Vintage Carriages Trust which has several carriages which you can get inside and pretend you’re travelling to Hogwarts. There’s also a free museum at Oxenhope with information about the railway & how it was reopened in 1968 as a heritage railway after the 1952 Beeching cuts. Both museums tick my son’s “Good Museum Criteria” of a) trains and b) instant wow factor so they work for me!
8. The Railway Children
The movie was filmed on the KWVR in the 70s so if you’ve ever dreamed of recreating the scene where Bobby runs along the platform to daddy, head to Oakworth station.
9. Gift shops
Everyone knows the best bit is the gift shop, right? There are small but perfectly formed gift shops at both Oxenhope & Haworth with lots of serious train books, DVDs, models and magazines for grown ups, as well as Thomas & Friends models and BigJigs trains, track and accessories for kids. We added a Mallard to our Brio track and thanks to Wikipedia I now know a lot more about train engine speed records (they don’t need to be measured in both directions like car speed records so can take advantage of downhill stretches of track), aerodynamic design (using a wind tunnel) & non stop sleeper services (with a special corridor through the engine to allow a change of crew on the footplate).
Blog by HopscotchUK