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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Oliver Berry

First opened in 1875, this 7-mile line from Ravenglass to Dalegarth chugs along a scenic valley, and was originally built to ferry iron ore from the mines out to the coast.

Affectionately known as La’al Ratty, the miniature trains puff up to the high point at Miterdale for spectacular views of the Scafell range.

Some of the trains are steam-powered, but others have diesel engines – so check the timetable if you’re particularly keen on steam.

Price from: £12
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around
Duration: 40 minutes

Getting there & doing it

The trains travel the 7-mile route between Ravenglass and Dalesgarth. You can join from either station – follow the brown road signs. The journey takes 40 minutes each way.

When to do it

Trains runs daily March to December, and weekends in January and February. Departures are hourly from Ravenglass and Dalesgarth stations.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Brimstone Hotel & Spa

Great Langdale, Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)[25.5 miles]

The Lakeland version of a deluxe ski lodge, offering supremely plush rooms, a lavish spa and a very private location on a Langdale estate. It’s also adults-only – making this an ideal place for couples looking for a place to pamper themselves.

Official star rating:

Daffodil Hotel

Grasmere, Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)[27.5 miles]

A large, lakeside hotel not far from Grasmere, with a variety of rooms to suit all kinds of visitors – families, couples, walkers and weekend breakers will all find a happy home here.

Official star rating:

Forest Side Hotel

Grasmere, Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)[28.1 miles]

One of the very best of the Lake District’s boutique hotels, a reinvented country mansion, brimming with wit, style and invention. In prime position for exploring the Lakes..

Official star rating:

The Samling

Windermere, Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)[30.3 miles]

A charming, cosy boutique hotel, perched on a private hillside on a 67-acre estate, with an excellent restaurant and grandstand views across Lake Windermere.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Lake District

Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)

Imposing mountains, wild landscapes, tranquil lakes and picturesque towns combine to make the Lake District uniquely beautiful, and one of the best places in Britain for walking, climbing, boating and biking.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Walk up Scafell Pike

Wasdale, Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)[16.8 miles]

Climb up to the highest point in England for a memorable view of the Wasdale fells – and a special sense of achievement. But don’t expect to be on your own if the weather’s fine

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | Full day

Underground tours of Honister Mine

Keswick, Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)[22 miles]

Venture underground into the dark mines under Honister Pass to discover the history of Lakeland slate mining – and, if you’re feeling brave, tackle an underground climbing expedition.

Best for ages: 3+ | £18

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Close up of the front of the castle

Muncaster Castle

Ravenglass, Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)[1.8 miles]

This castle near the Cumbrian coast belongs to the Pennington family, who have owned it for more than 800 years. It’s notoriously haunted, including by a playful spook though to be the original Tom Fool. It also has a hawk and owl centre that stages flying displays.

Best for ages: 8+ | £17 | 3 hours

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Overview >

Round-ups that include this experience