North Yorkshire Steam Railway

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North Yorkshire railway
The Romance of  Steam!

North Yorkshire railway – the romance of steam

The North Yorkshire Moor Steam railway is very popular indeed. Run largely by enthusiastic volunteers, it runs from Whitby to Pickering and back again.

You can ride up and up and down the line or maybe book in to dine  in the Pullman car. The most popular Silver Footplate Experience, gives you the chance of a lifetime to drive and fire a steam locomotive yourself!

You can even rent out some of the refurbished station houses for the week if you feel the need for more steam train fun. Nostalgia is big business. People love the old trains and the different engines seem to be well recognised.

I can see that there is something appealing about harking back to a more romantic age when no one was in such a hurry, and life was just a little bit nicer. 

North Yorkshire
Just add water

The age of steam.

A visit to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is like taking a step back in time. It’s all very E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children – ‘get off the LINE Bobby!’  

From the smoke and steam pouring from the engines to the cosy wood-panelled carriages and jolly conductors, it’s all great fun.

The line starts at Grosmont, from a 1952 style British Rail station. This is home to the engine sheds where the locos are restored. The well upholstered carriage has wide plush seats. These old carriages have three seats in the same space that four seats are crammed into our ‘modern’ ones. They are a lot more comfortable.

Purchase a ‘Day Rover’ ticket for £19. The rover ticket feels slightly ironic as there is only one line there and back and only a few trains a day. So roving anywhere isn’t really an option. The journey was only about ten miles long so mile for mile, this is probably one of the most expensive train journeys in the world.

North Yorkshire
Carol the conductor

North Yorks Railway – train decor

Steam through the world’s earliest horse-drawn passenger railway tunnel, built between 1833-1835 by George Stephenson. Pass the Sir Nigel Gresley engine named after one of England’s most famous railway engineers.

The train chugs through the picturesque countryside.  Different carriages are from different from the different decades. Some have comfy velour headrests from the 60’s. The seventies carriages are all stripes and melamine back panels.

The older ones have elegant lamps you can dim, and individual compartments where you can close the doors and shut out the rest of the world. This is all about slow travel.

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A funny little basin you’re supposed to wash your face in!

Railway poems

I love railway poems. Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat has one of my all-time favourite lines in it. I took plenty of pictures of that ‘funny little basin, you’re supposed to wash your face in.’ Thank you T.S.Eliot.

I also love The Night mail by WH Auden which we read at school… ‘This is the Night mail crossing the border bringing the cheque and the postal order..’ Postal orders! Even cheques will soon be a thing of the past. More nostalgia.

On the return journey, we made sure we had plenty of supplies including fine wines from Lidl in Pickering. Things went a lot faster.

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Beautiful beach huts

North Yorkshire – Wonderful Whitby

Returning to Whitby, the north side beach is where the multi colored beach huts are. There are lots of them here and the surfers and plucky holiday makers were determined to make best use of them despite blustery conditions.

They are very close to the shore and regularly get battered by the unforgiving North Sea. Some of them were damaged during storms earlier this year and it wasn’t exactly calm the day we were there.

The British public are a stoic lot however. Folk were kitted out with coats and windbreaks and in some cases duvets. They made the most of the bracing August ozone.

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It’s not that cold really!

Lifeguards in good spirits were out looking for lives to save. Keeping an eye on the ever hopeful surfers who were struggling to stand up on some rather lack lustre grey waves. 

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Lifesaving lovelies

It’s not Hawaii, so wet suits are a must.

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Surfing Yorkshire style

Stunning Saltburn

Further up the coast is Saltburn, another bay popular with surfers. I updated my acquaintance with the knitted characters attached to the pier by the secretive Yarnstormers. They come at night and decorate the railings when no one is watching.

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Land of the rising sun

Their theme this year was the World Cup. Little knitted footballers representing the different countries sat gazing out across beach. The Japanese contingent looked inscrutable as they gazed out to the Horizon while. The knitted Cameroon character had button eyes, which I believe is a tell tale sign of drug use in knitted people. 

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I’ll have what he’s having!

There was even a knitted footballer’s wife. I love the creativity and the wit of this street art so much.

You can’t beat the North Yorkshire coast for a cracking day out – more about super Saltburn here.