Jump aboard Yorkshire’s Great Little Steam trains at the Kirklees Light Railway in Clayton West, near Huddersfield. The light railway opened to the public in 1991 and is situated in the picturesque foothills of the South Pennines, running for three and-a-half miles along the track-bed of an old Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway branch line. The branch line originally opened in 1879 to serve the local mining and textile communities but closed to the public in 1983 amid dwindling traffic.
The journey from Clayton West to Shelley offers fine views of the Grade II listed Emley Transmitting Station and passes through the ancient woodland of Blacker Wood which is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The trip also includes passage through the Shelley Woodhouse Tunnel which – at 467m long – is the longest tunnel on any 15-inch narrow gauge line in Great Britain!
Given the area’s rich cultural history, the railway makes a fantastic venue for an educational or group visit. With visits tailored to individual groups’ exacting needs, it’s definitely worth stopping by for a memorable day out!
The railway is open from mid-February to Christmas, allowing passengers the opportunity to take a nostalgic ride behind the fleet of unique steam and diesel engines as they travel through the glorious countryside.
Younger visitors can run wild on the adventure playgrounds at both stations – with a brand new playground opening at Clayton West in the spring of 2018 – or in the sandpit and bouncy castle at Shelley (weather permitting). There is an extensive gift shop to browse at Clayton West Station which also sells a selection of model railway equipment, or one can simply relax with a cuppa and slice of cake in The Buffer Stop Café or the Shelley Tea Room. With spacious outdoor picnic areas, visitors are welcome to bring their own food and make a day of it! The railway is a dog-friendly attraction, so passengers can even bring the family pooch along for a ride or a walk along one of the many surrounding footpaths!
In addition to the train ride, the railway also offers a number of experiences including Afternoon Tea & Steam, Driver Experience Courses, Photography Day Courses and children’s birthday parties in a dedicated birthday party carriage. Details can be found at the railway’s website: www.kirkleeslightrailway.com.
The railway is also proud to offer a full programme of special events throughout the year including Days Out with Thomas, the Easter Eggspress, vintage vehicle rallies, Halloween Ghost Trains and Santa Specials – details and ticket information can be found at the railway’s website or by calling 01484 865727.
Telephone: 01484 865727