Today we ventured out onto the Yorkshire Dales, James Herriot country. The scenery from our train as we rode on the Wensleydale Heritage Railway was spectacular indeed. Pictures cannot do justice to what we saw as we trundled along. This line starts at Leeming Bar in the low-lying Vale of Mowbray and heads West passing through 4 stations before reaching Redmire at the end of their heritage line. However, that is only the end of the Heritage line as the Wensleydale Railway is charged with keeping their line available for Defence purposes when called upon as the line past Redmire is a Defence Line and is used quite a lot to transport logistic supplies etc to the main training area a few miles further into the Dales.
The line passes through market towns, small villages, woodlands and farmland on its way to the splendour of the Yorkshire Dales with the Pennines able to be seen across the Dales. On our journey we saw many animals and birds including, cattle, horses, many sheep, rabbits and of the birds we were able to view close up were over 30 or so Grouse as they sunned themselves only about 1 metre from the line and then both male and female Pheasants either 20 metres away in the paddocks of very close to the line. We were very fortunate to see so many of these normally shy birds close up.
We arrived back at Leeming Bar and there were shown through the shed where the trains are repaired or serviced. Malcolm, who had been preparing their 0-6-0 Steam Train before it is taken for a trial tomorrow, escorted us through the area and was very knowledgeable concerning all the Locomotives that they had. The Steam Loco needed a trial as it had just been returned, by low loader, following a major refit at a cost of GBP 500,00. This refit had taken years to complete and they have another smaller Steam Loco at Darlington Repair Shop having its refit, expensive to run a Heritage Steam stable. We left the area where the Locomotives were sitting and as a few were interested in the Diesel Engines, Malcolm invited them up into the cabin of the one that had pulled us today. All enjoyed the experience.
We thanked Malcolm and as it was close to lunch, Michael made his way, in the coach with us aboard, to a small village, Scruton, where at the end of a narrow road lined with high hedges we found our country pub, Coore Arms. This was a great little pub, at first view, but inside it went back some way to a very nice restaurant. As the bar area had spare tables therein, we decided to remain in the bar area for lunch and we ordered both lunch and a drink. Lunch arrived and all enjoyed what they had ordered, Sarah, Rob and I had ordered the Ploughman’s lunch and I was one of the best on the tour.
Following our lunch stop we continued South back to York for some free time in this wonderful city. Tomorrow Keithley and then south to the Petwood Hotel. We have enjoyed our time here in York.