Please note that the dates for these tours may vary from the guide below. No tours will be offered until international borders are open.
Our last day in the field and what a day it was. A complete mixed bag indeed, but first, we had a few of our group who we left behind as they had appointments at the hospital and 2 others who were to take in York and the Art Exhibition that was there today. Now for our adventurers!
We left York at 0900 to start our day as "train spotters", yes, correct. The train we were to spot was the Flying Scotsman as it made its way out of Skipton towards Settle. A map reconnaissance the day before by Michael and I presented 3 choices as to a position to take up with our new role. Arriving at our first choice we found ample parking for our coach and a beaut view of the line that the Flying Scotsman would use to trundle past us. All good so, we settled down for a wait with the appropriate glass of champagne that we thought train spotters had while waiting.
While we were waiting we chatted to a couple who were passing on the canal in their canal boat and then took off to reserve our viewing location. Some went down near the line over the paddocks, others took to the bridge and others went "looking". It wasn't long until we were all sorted. Then, her she comes was the cry and we realised that we were actually in the ideal position for as she passed us we were looking down and across, an excellent view.
It was all over in a moment, but we had been prepared and many great shots were the result. Happily we boarded our coach to start the next phase of our adventure, a visit to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. The railway is only 5 miles in length but there is much to see visiting Bronte Country in the Yorkshire Dales that are wildly spectacular.
On our way to the railway we were entertained by the theme from the film, The Railway Children. The station at Oakworth featured in the1970s film that was about a family that were forced to relocate from a well to do life to the country following their father, a banker, who was wrongly jailed and the passing trains were a major theme in the film.
At the original terminus, Oxenhope, we found a fun day happening with a brass band playing on the platform and many waiting to board the Steam Train that was alongside. We had decided not to travel on the train today but to visit the various sites and inspect the Locomotives and Carriages that were on display. There was a café in a train carriage here and most bought a sandwich or pasty for lunch.
While having lunch the band was playing and we saw 2 steam trains arrive and pick up passengers for the return trip further down the line. After lunch we boarded our coach and made our way to Haworth, the home of the Locomotive shed. Our group split here with the train enthusiasts heading to the shed and the rest where taken up the hill to the village where the Bronte Parsonage Museum is located. The Bronte sisters lived here from 1820 until1861 and are buried, not in the cemetery but in a vault beneath the Church itself, in the south-east corner, near the Bronte Chapel.
The village is high up from the railway and is a tourist attraction with the shops, cafes, pubs and museum. A very busy place on a Sunday. A few of us had tea in Emma's Tea Room, very nice indeed. After such a wonderful day our group again came together and set off home, our last visit to the heritage railways for this tour. Tomorrow we say goodbye to the north and head south to London.