On Sunday last, I had great pleasure in discovering Apedale Country Park, its railway and museum. I must say, I was thrilled to find such an interesting place right on our doorstep. I can guarantee that I’ll be going back again to check out the mine.
I did know that Apedale was a country park, but I wasn’t prepared to be kept amused and entertained for an entire afternoon.
It is a very reasonably priced day out for families or grown ups alone. If you take a ride on the steam train you’ll pay just £2 for adults for a trip which lasts about 15 minutes. The engine and carriages have been lovingly restored and they absolutely gleam. The station platform makes it easy to get on and off the train and looks lovely and clean. You can tell that everything has been created and restored with careful attention to detail.
I was pleased to speak to a couple of the volunteers there who were so enthusiastic. They told me all about the additional engines they have and the work being done restore them. There’s information on their website http://www.avlr.org.uk/ about the fares, timetables and special events.
From the railway I was drawn to the museum. Free entry by the way, and it’s certainly well worth a look. There are many mining exhibits and photographs as well as details of all the brick works that used to be in the area with samples of all the different bricks that were made. There’s lots of local items many which I didn’t know about previously, and many that I did but have now seen so much more.
I didn’t get a chance to go down the mine (didn’t have the correct and sturdy footware) but be assured that I will be on the case to get back there and try it out. I was talking to a couple from Wolverhampton who were visiting for the day. They had just been down the mine and were thrilled with their experience. You get to wear a pit helmet with a light on the front and the tour is around 45 minutes. They said it was cold down there so they were glad they wrapped up warm! It was a beautiful, warm day outside but down the mine it’s always cold so best to take a jacket if you intend to go down. Oh, and some good, sturdy shoes or boots. I’ll certainly remember to take these next time as I won’t be walking away from Apedale again untill I’ve been inside that footrail. So watch this space ……. I’m going down!
Here are some photos I took during today’s visit to Apedale. Best to see it first hand, but hope this gives you a taster