Friday, 11 August 2017

Family Fun at Kirklees Light Railway

Train rides are eternally popular with children and mine are no different. This week we paid a visit to Kirklees Light Railway and although the weather was a little chilly to start we had a lovely time.

Kirklees Light Railway is based at Clayton West near Huddersfield. The railway is well signposted and easy to find. Arriving at Clayton West there is a large free carpark for visitors to use,
We were booked on to the first train of the day so when we arrived we headed straight into the station to collect our family ticket and boarded the train which was pulled by Hawk the blue steam engine. The family rover means you can go back and forward on the trains as many times as you like on that day so you can make a real day of your visit.  Your ticket will be checked before setting off so make sure you don't lose it!

The journey from Clayton West to Shelley takes around 25 minutes and along the journey you get some lovely views along the way. If you live locally you will be familiar with Emley Moor mast which is visible for most of the journey and there are fields of cows, woodlands, bridges to cross and two stations. You can ask to get off at these stations before boarding if you wish to walk in the area. The trains are fully enclosed so even if it is cold or raining you are protected from the elements. Lucky for us as it was chilly and we did have a rain shower.
Most excitingly for the children is when the trains pass each other along the route and the tunnel! You will know it is coming because the spotlights in the carriages ping on just before you enter. My children absolutely love this part!

At Shelley there is a small childrens play area, a (free) bouncy castle, picnic areas and a tearooms. The views from Shelley are beautiful. We ate our picnic here with drinks from the tearooms which is cash only, drinks for four of us came to less than £4 (2 bottles of water, juice and a hot chocolate) which I think is really reasonable. We even made friends with a rather nosy horse.
There is also a mainline railway track at Shelley which you can see trains going along which the boys loved. You can stay at Shelley as long as you like before boarding  a train back to Clayton West.

Back at Clayton West there is a lovely sized play area for children (train themed of course!) with lots of picnic benches to sit on. There is also a minature train to ride on (50p per person).
There is a cafe and shop selling various train related items including lots of Thomas themed bits and wooden BigJigs track and trains (we love this brand).

We had a really lovely time at Kirklees LIght Railway. It can be difficult to find something to please all three boys at the same time but they all had a great time as you can see from the smiles. I was suprised how excited Barney got waving and choo chooing at the trains even at 16 months old.

Top Tips

  • If taking a baby or young toddler, use your carrier instead of the pushchair.
  • Pack a non messy snack for the train if you have a fidgety toddler to encourage them to sit still. 
  • Take cash along if you wish to use the tearooms at Shelley
  • Take some change for the minature train ride at Clayton West (50p per person)
  • Find the posters and work out the simple spotters sheet you get given with your ticket.  The boys received a lovely badge for their efforts. 
Check out my list of 60 things to do in West Yorkshire this summer for more family fun.

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