Do you remember the school trip you went on as a child? The chances are that you will have happy memories of at least some of them, particularly because of the a particular activity or place you visited which you will never forget. The age of steam and trains is one that thanks to the number of preserved railways (around 181 at the last count) keeps alive for our children the magic of this era and brings learning outside the classroom to life.
Nor is it is not just little boys that are interested in trains as has been proven recently by the television series made about the North Yorkshire Moors Railway where it shows both young men and women working on the railways. Engineering, marketing and a good accountant looking after the finances are just three of the essential requirements of running a successful heritage these days, as without the trains running and visitors coming they would soon disappear.
Fortunately there are many successful heritage railways which have been saved around the country, and make a great day out combining history and nature and for many children particularly from the cities a new experience of walking and immersing themselves in the countryside. Here are a few of our favourite lines:-
The East Lancashire Railway is a 12 ¹⁄₂-mile heritage railway line in north west England which runs between Heywood and Rawtenstall with intermediate stations at Bury Bolton Street, Burrs Country Park, Summerseat, Ramsbottom and Irwell Vale. Here you can explore the life of a 1940s evacuee, find out how the Industrial Revolution shaped the North West or delve into the wonderful world of wheels. Discover the fascinating history of the region with guided tours, steam train rides and itineraries suitable for all ability levels in Key Stages 1,2,3,and 4 as well as lifelong learners.
The Kirklees Light Railway in West Yorkshire is a delightful narrow gauge railway that runs the for 31/2 miles through the glorious countryside just outside Leeds. It is another popular railway with families and in particular teenagers who give up their weekends to volunteer, it is a great railway with a strong community.
Another narrow gauge railway is the North Bay Railway at Scarborough which links the main town up with the Sealife Centre Scarborough situated at North Bay, The two venues make an ideal combined day trip and combined with the hire wire course keeps your students involved and interested all day..
Yorkshire is particularly blessed with heritage railways with 9 in the county but one of the most famous is the North Yorkshire Moors Railway that links up the pretty town of Pickering winding its way through miles of spectacular scenery to the seaside town of Whitby where you can visit the Abbey, discover the bravery and amazing travels of Captain Cook at the Captain Cook Museum and learn about the rich history of Whitby and its seafaring past at Whitby Museum.
So for your next school trip a visit to a local heritage line sill b us the ticket!