There are a number of obsessions going on in our house at the moment…. I am obsessed with running and red lipstick, the hubbie is obsessed with bikes and cat videos on You Tube and Chiplet is veering between dinosaurs and trains. The dinosaur thing can be almost totally blamed on Netflix screening The Land Before Time and the train thing just seems to be a toddler thing as I know lots of 2 years olds who love a ‘chuffa chuffa’.
So on the rainy Saturday before going back to work and the last day that my brother was with us for the holidays, we were looking for some inspiration… something slightly indoors with a possibility of outdoors if the weather perked up, something with wheels and steam or a tail and sharp teeth… we settled on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and their Mince Pie special.
KWVR is a 5 mile long preserved railway running steam and diesel trains from Keighley up thev beautiful Worth Valley to Haworth and Oxenhope in Bronte country. I have very happy memories of this train line from when I was a child and my uncle would visit me from far away… so it was a perfect choice for Chiplet and his uncle.
We had hoped to take the Santa Special in December but left it too late to book and it was sold out…. i didn’t even know about the Mince Pie special until I checked the website on a whim. As far as I could tell, it was just the normal train but with a mince pie thrown in and the decorations still on from Christmas…. all the best bits but Santa!
We parked in the free car park at Oakworth (think you have to pay at some of the others) and waited in the very cosy station by the roaring fire. My husband was fascinated by the ticket officers nook which had no electricity. They have to take cash payments only at that station and print onto the tickets in the old style. Oakworth station is pretty recognisable from the hugely famous film of the Railway Children. It is charming to say the least with original waiting rooms and WCs and great props on the station.
Chiplet face lit up when he saw the train arriving in a plume of smoke. I have to admit I was pretty impressed myself and didn’t expect it to look quite so huge for such a small railway. The people involved in running the railway should be very proud of the whole appearance of the train, carriage, stations and indeed their website.
We boarded the train and settled down with mince pies and Bailey’s Hot Chocolate then peered out into the crisp day, passing rivers, allotments, fields and factories. The ticket we had was a full line return, so we could hop off and on so long as we didn’t repeat any portions of the trip. If the weather had been better, we planned to walk the Railway Children trail from Oxenhope to Oakworth, but as it stood, it was a bit grim weatherwise. We were able to get off at Keighley and Oxenhope and see the engine move around the carriages…. it was brilliant to see all the enthusiastic customers.
I would definitely recommend the train and the mince pie special in general…. with a stop off for lunch at one of the stations, you can make a whole day of it… although we were done in about an hour and a bit.
You can find out more about the railway here. Do comment below if you have been on it too.