Half term is always busy.
This year, we are without Teen 1 as he’s away at university. However, Teen 2 is working incredibly hard and has barely left his bedroom. Teen 3 has exams when school resumes so he’s been revising too. But we managed to persuade him to join us (and Munchkin) for a day out.
We set off bright and early and headed towards Huddersfield, to the Kirklees Light Railway. It’s not a place I knew a lot about – and it wasn’t particularly well signposted (however the SatNav got us right to the door without any problem) but I am SO pleased we went.
The Kirklees Light Railway is a 3 and a half mile long 15 inch gauge railway. It was opened in 1991 and runs from Clayton West to Shelley, via Cuckoo’s Nest and Skelmanthorpe. We were incredibly lucky with the weather. It was the beginning of November, yet we didn’t need our coats; the sun shone brightly and the changing colours of the leaves were stunning.
Munchkin needed to stretch his legs after a long car journey so he took advantage of the outdoor adventure playground, situated next to the large car park. Then we ventured in to the main building to get our tickets (a family ticket for two adults and two children currently costs £24 at the time of writing) and look around the gift shop.
Tickets last all day and you can ride the train as many times as you would like during that time. We took our first trip out. We took our seats in brightly painted, little wooden carriages. The scenery was beautiful and we spotted squirrels, rabbits and a heron along the line.
When we arrived in Shelley we took full advantage of the tea room and ordered hot drinks and slices of cake. Munchkin headed off to the playground that was alongside the track whilst we took in the spectacular views. We were able to have a chat with the lovely train driver who told us that during the summer months there is a bouncy castle and lawn games available. Then we headed back on the return journey.
Mr Sixdegrees nipped to the car and brought our picnic to one of the tables so that we could eat in the sunshine and we watched the miniature train take children around the pond.
We enjoyed our trip so much that after lunch we travelled to Shelley again for another brew. Again we chatted to the train driver who told us that all the locomotives were built by the founder, Brian Taylor, and that volunteers assist in the maintenance of the railway.
The Kirklees Light Railway has special events throughout the year. Unfortunately we missed the Halloween ghost train but there are days out with Thomas The Tank Engine and even a Santa special!