Operated by West Coast Railways on behalf of the Lune Rivers Trust, this annual special steam train, formerly known as "The Lune Habitat", begins its trip at Carnforth.
The Lune Rivers Trust is an environmental charity. As the name implies, their work is focused on the Lune catchment. As well as the River Lune and its tributaries, their catchment also includes the River Keer, River Conder, River Cocker, Pilling Water and Ridgy Pool. For more details about the trust, please visit their website Lune Rivers Trust
This majestic journey passes a list of impressive views and landmarks, starting from Carnforth and returning via the Cumbrian Coast.
Leaving Carnforth, we pass the Brief Encounter café and continue north. At Oxenholme we pass by the junction for Kendal and Windermere for the Lake District. Continuing north we commence the long climb up to Grayrigg. We then travel through the beautiful Lune Gorge to Tebay, (Tebay was once the junction for a line east across to the Settle Carlisle route. Now closed of course.), before the notoriously steep ascent to Shap. Along this stretch we have spectacular views to the west across the Cumbrian mountains. After crossing the Cumbrian Fells, we descend to Penrith, and then head towards Carlisle.
Carlisle is a cathedral city in the ceremonial county of Cumbria which boasts a great deal of amenities to consume your free-time during this trip. Amongst the shops, restaurants and beautiful listed buildings, Carlisle has many other famous British landmarks and is well renowned for its Castle. For around 900 years the Castle has dominated the City's landscape and is an iconic place to visit and explore. Situated on Castle Way, it's great to stroll through the Castle grounds through the various tours on offer. The Castle has medieval rooms and Mary Queen of Scots was even held captive here.
There are carvings and markings which prisoners made when they were held at the Castle and further exploration shows off the arts, weapons and huge collection which span over hundreds of years.
Return Via Cumbrian Coast: After a break in Carlisle of around 2 hours, we continue steam hauled and our return journey to Carnforth takes the scenic coastal route around the Cumbrian Coast, an 82 mile journey with spectacular coastal and mountain views, enough to just take your breath away.
After Maryport, we run along the shoreline through to the industrialised district of Workington, once a centre for the production of iron and steel. There are spectacular cliff edge views as we journey southwards from Workington through to Whitehaven, with the Isle of Man visible on a clear day across the Irish Sea. We run very close to the shoreline for several miles prior to St Bees, famous for its priory and school. We pass Sellafield, where the British Nuclear Fuels plant dominates the landscape. At Ravenglass, we might catch a glimpse of the narrow gauge Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway which is normally steam operated.
At Millom, we head inland and follow the sweeping estuary through Foxfield and Kirkby in Furness. After Ulverston, we cross Leven Viaduct and curve along the edge of the bay through to Grange-over-Sands. There are more views across Morecambe Bay as we cross the lengthy Kent Viaduct at Arnside and approach Carnforth.
Once you have booked you will be given a booking reference, your tickets and confirmed timings will then be sent to you 7 days before travel. Early booking is advisable as this train has been oversubscribed in previous years.
This day has always proved to be a terrific family day out.