A Day Out on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

29 November 2022 by Rachel Wilson

A Day Out on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Lovingly and locally known as La'al Ratty, which translates in old Cumbrian dialect as Little Railway, the narrow gauge Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is a great way to explore the Lake District National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The railway was first built in 1873, then opened commercially in May 1875. It was originally built to transport iron ore mined near Boot down to Ravenglass, where it then was transferred to the Furness Railway to arrive in Barrow. It was later opened to passengers in 1876 shuttling locals across the hills.

One way or return?

From either station - Ravenglass or Dalegarth - you can purchase a single or return ticket depending on your day's plans. A return allows you to explore around the stations, have lunch in the station cafes or maybe take a walk on a nearby fell then return via train back to where you started. Alternatively you can buy a one way ticket then hike the 7 miles back along the well signposted Eskdale Trail.

Things to do along the way

There are seven intermediate station stops where the railway links to numerous walking routes made famous by Alfred Wainwright in his 1978 book, Walks from Ratty. You can also pre-book your bike on board and explore some of the excellent cycle routes around Eskdale.

Nature spotting

There's no better way to experience the rich biodiversity of the wildlife in Cumbria than on board La'al Ratty. You have the opportunity to spot buzzards, birds of prey and even the elusive red squirrel en route. The steam engines travel across Barrow Marsh, which is home to oystercatchers, curlews and ringed lovers. The Eskdale Valley shows off some of the most spectacular sights in the Lake District, with beautiful waterfalls and impressive mountains.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway coaster

We have plenty of La'al Ratty souvenirs available at our online shop here.

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