A very windy but reasonably clear day showed itself as we headed north to our appointment with the Wensleydale Railway. We were to spend the day with this railway as it was a 25 kilometre run form Leeming Bar to Redmire across the Yorkshire Moors.
Arriving at 0945 gave us time to look around the site, photograph the steam train as it came and coupled up to the carriages that it was to pull. Wensleydale is mostly a diesel Locomotive Heritage Centre but does have the one steam train and it was pulling our reserved carriage today.
Michael was able to park the coach right next to the entrance and we spread out throughout the Centre, some going for tea, others into the shop and most others to watch the steam train arrive. After those little exercises were carried out, we boarded our carriage accompanied by Tony Eaton from the Wensleydale Association who has an avid interest in both the railway and military history. He was looking forward to meeting and speaking to members of our group.
The Railway Line has 5 stations along its route. Leeming Bar is the hub of the railway and trains are repaired and serviced here and Bedale is an attractive market town and has an historic parish Church of St Gregory. Next along the line is Finghall Lane which is a well preserved example of a minor rural station and was used in the filming of the TV series, All Creatures Great and Small. Then we have Leyburn which is the main market town of mid Wensleydale with shops and cafes clustered around the historic market place. Many were planning to return to Leyburn after they went to Redmire, at the end of the line.
From Leyburn to Redmire the scenery is spectacular looking across the Yorkshire Dales to the Pennines beyond. At Redmire one can walk 1200 metres to Bolton Castle which is a well preserved medieval fortress that in the Civil War survived a 6 month siege from the Cromwell Army. Better known as the fortress where Queen Mary of Scots was imprisoned. Also in the general area, Middleham was the early home of Richard III.
As we planned, many of use returned to Leyburn and left the train to walk into the town, mainly to find our lunch spot. This we did, The Sandpiper Inn and what a wonderful old country pub it was and we all enjoyed the atmosphere and the delicious food. All stated that the food was not the normal pub food. I will return there in 2018 for sure.
Following that delicious lunch, we returned to the station and boarded the diesel train that was to return us to Leeming Bar, not a steam train but one has to make sacrifices.
At Leeming Bar our coach awaited us an Michael delivered us safely to our hotel in York, again! Tomorrow we head out again but to the west for yet another steam railway.