Woke up one morning in the comfortable Pennington Arms hotel, Ravenglass, and headed for the nearby railway station. The Ravenglass and Eskdale narrow gauge railway (https://ravenglass-railway.co.uk/) starts its journey alongside the mainline from Carlisle. On the way we passed the Ratty Arms where we had had a nice pint the previous night! We were going on the Ratty.
Admired the engine coming to pull us. Goggled at carriages, some enclosed, some completely open and some neither this nor that. A bit cramped for large folk! With a mournful whistle we set off up the single track railway to the foot of the Lake district’s highest fells.
We trundle sleepily up past monuments to bygone industry, views of modern farming and landscape, wee small halts, and bestirring camp sites framed by lazily nibbling sheep. Skirting through woods and passed mountain streams, with much mournful whistling and plumes of smoke
We finally pulled in to Dalegarth, the end of the line. All change for Boot, its remarkable reconstructed watermill, and the walking tracks to the high fells!
Back at Dalegarth station, we enjoyed a delicious cream ‘tea’ for lunch while the engine driver carefully checked over the engine and we watched the weather closing in. Precisely on time we left, before the rain really arrived, heading back down the track through the woods. Passed the wee small halts, and the old sidings. Passed the farmsteads. And then we stopped. And we waited. There was another train coming up the single track line! Two trains head to head!! No, there was a short section of parallel track next to us, but it brought back memories of travelling in the Ivory Coast many years ago.
After passing Muncaster mill – near to the site of an old Roman fort at Ravenglass – we glided back into Ravenglass station, passed the engine sheds and signal box.
A happy relaxing trip that set us up nicely for the next stage of our journey in the comfort of our car across the Lake district and Yorkshire dales to home.