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Kirklees Light Railway (England)

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A great family day out in West Yorkshire on board Yorkshire's Great Little Steam Trains - narrow gauge steam engines on a 4-mile countryside railway.

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      13.08.2009 21:31
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      A fantastic day out enjoyed by all

      I suggested Kirklees railway be added to the dooyoo catalogue a couple of weeks ago after visiting there for the first time at the beginning of August with my husband and daughter.

      **How to get there**

      Kirklees railways' station is called Clayton West, this is situated on the A636 just off junction 38 of the M1 motorway. It is very well signposted with tourist signs leading you there for around 3 miles. The tourist signs state 'Narrow gauge scenic railway' which I did find rather confusing and thought we were heading the wrong way! The actual station is situated at the top of an industrial estate.

      **Car Parking**

      There is a very large car park just outside the entrance which would easily hold a couple of hundred cars. The car park is free.

      **First Impressions**

      Pulling up at the railway the tourist attraction looked very, well attractive! The site was very well maintained and had much much more for children to do than I anticipated.

      **Admission**

      The play area and bouncy castle can be used free of charge, all you pay for is the actual train ride and also the miniature railway. The prices are:
      Miniature railway - 50p per person
      Return 50 minute journey -
      Adult - £6.50
      Child 3-15 yrs - £4.50
      Under 3 yrs - Free
      Concessions - £5.50
      Family Ticket (2 adults & 2 children) - £20.00

      **Whats there**

      - A large bouncy castle greets you at the entrance, which is free to use. This is not supervised although the castle is very enclosed. I'm pretty sure the bouncy castle would be seasonal however visiting in August we were lucky to have the use of it.
      - Opposite the castle there is a beautiful pond with a miniature railway track going around it. Adults can ride on with the children - but we warned it is very tiny! The cost for this is 50p per person.
      - A large gated children's play area is next to the miniature railway which is very well maintained and the play equipment looked fairly new and suitable for, in my opinion 2-12 year old. The play area is surrounded with picnic benches with parasols giving your children the freedom to play whilst you relax.
      - Next to the play area is a large selection of show home lodges which I found a little bizarre! However great if you are interested in purchasing one, or indeed just for a nosy!
      - A model train is available just outside the play area for you to explore which is filled with soft toys and comfy seats for you to relax whilst your children 'drive' the train! Parties are also held here with a lovely little function room to the back of the train which was decorated with Thomas the tank engine party wear.
      - There is a large cafe selling fresh food hot drinks and ice cream. In the same building you will find toilets and also a gift shop filled with Thomas the tank engine merchandise and traditional old steam trains.
      - And finally behind the cafe is the beautiful old steam train! It is a very old traditional train with separate carriages which seat 4.

      **The railway**

      The tickets fro the steam train are purchased from the gift shop next to the cafe. After purchasing your ticket you are free to choose your seats on the train. Trains leave on the hour, every hour between the hours of 11am - 4pm.
      There is a great atmosphere once on the train, people buzzing from excitement and steam filling the air! The train ride itself is rather uncomfortable at times as it is very 'wobbly' and some carriages don't have windows so I imagine can be super cold on a bad day.
      The train ride is a 50 minute return journey, after 25 minutes of riding through beautiful country side you arrive at a place called 'Shelley'. To our delight there was another play area and bouncy castle with a huge picnic area and ice cream shop! You can either wait 5 minutes for the train to turn around and head back, or spend as long as you like exploring the Shelley play area. We waited an hour and had a picnic before catching the next train back to the main station.
      I was surprised at how quiet the entire place was to be honest, it was a gorgeous sunday in August and it was very quiet indeed.

      **Special events**

      Kirklees run special events throughout the year including,
      - Thomas the tank engine days, where you can ride the famous engines
      - Halloween train
      - Santa train which is open throughout the festive period.

      Overall we had a fantastic day out at kirklees and our daughter had heaps of fun. We will be definitely going back again soon and cannot wait to ride the Santa train!

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