Sunday, 17 May 2009

Cumbria 2009

Life has been rather hectic of late - worked most weekends recently too. You may have noticed the complete lack of updates here. This weekend, however, a slight change from the norm. We've been to a friend's wedding in Carlisle, followed by a reception in Penrith - a few miles between the two but we can't judge, our guests had to go twenty five miles between the wedding and reception!

I'm writing this in a rather nice guest house, Bush Nook, just near Brampton - if you're ever up there, it's well worth considering! To make the most of the weekend, we stretched it out by a night to make it more like a short holiday! Today we decided to head west-ish further into Cumbria. We ended up at Lakeside, northern terminus of the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. It turned out that the Aquarium Suzi had seen in the leaflets and guides at the hotel was at Lakeside so we could combine the two very easily!

This was the first time I'd been since I was about three or four! I had some rather vague memories of the place - though strangely I had always remembered going into the shed building. It was the railway's 'Mixed Traction Weekend' but it didn't really have the feel of galas on the railways with which I am more familiar.

I couldn't remember very much else but Haverthwaite did have a feeling of familiarity. The site at Haverthwaite is quite pleasant; the station itself feels quite hemmed in by the surroundings and tunnel which has been blasted through the rock which looks decidedly un-British! The ease of access to some of the stock at Haverthwaite is rather refreshing when compared with some railways. The buildings are all maintained to a very high standard and are well presented. It's a shame that the shop doesn't really have a large selection which would appeal to enthusiasts. Perhaps a reflection that the Lakes are undoubtedly a tourist area. This is certainly reflected in the prices of some things. Food was very expensive at both ends of the line. Compared with what we would pay in Yorkshire's visitor attractions and popular areas, such as the Moors, it seemed very expensive indeed. This was quite disappointing. I don't like being critical of attractions but the prices meant that we set off and got food on our way to Brampton rather than stay longer and have lunch in the area. The fares themselves weren't too bad but with everything else a trip on the line could become rather expensive rather quickly.

It was a shame as the Railway's stock and infrastructure was to such a high standard. I would say that if you were in the area then it's worth calling in to see the railway.

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