Reviewed by Carron Charlesworth
The venue is well signposted, and their car park has ample parking. It’s a very short walk away down to the train station, so if you need to nip back to the car park for anything, you haven’t got far to go.
Upon walking down to the venue, my son made a beeline for the open air sit on miniature train. Initially I was disappointed as I thought it was closed due to the bad rain but as we got closer I realised that they’d just covered the seats up to stop them getting wet – no traipsing around with wet bums for us, brilliant. For two circles of the duck pond you pay 50p each, which I thought was excellent value. Both of my 3½ year old twins enjoyed it and, even though it was a sit on train, I felt we were all safe. There is also a small outdoor play area in this spot, plus the Party Train which you can hire out for birthday parties.
We picked up our tickets (£24 for a family ticket of 4), and chose what time train we’d like to travel on. There is a board on the wall displaying the times and you also receive a paper timetable with a game on the inside for the little ones. As it was lunchtime, we opted to grab a bite to eat first before boarding our train. The cafe area was clean and the staff friendly. Their menu is varied, with a selection of hot meals and sandwiches, and children’s lunch boxes. There is a small play area within the cafe with some train related toys for the little ones. We all enjoyed our lunch, and then used the toilet facilities which were clean and big.
The time arrived for us to board our train, there is an announcement of the train’s departure inside the cafe so you don’t miss it. We found the staff very safety conscious. Someone came and checked our tickets and made sure our doors were closed properly, and the driver also ran through some basic health and safety on the loud speaker.
We set off on time, and the train chuffed along up to Clayton West – 7 miles up the track which took us around 25 minutes. Some of the scenery is lovely to look at, and our children enjoyed waving at the other passengers who chuffed by on other trains.
When you arrive at Shelley station there is a small outdoor play area, a little cafe serving refreshments, and also an indoor area where you can sit and eat a picnic. If you prefer you can stay on the train and go back down the line to Clayton West. My son loved watching the engine turn round on the turntable and he thought it was fantastic seeing it get coupled onto the front of the carriages right in front of where he was standing – it made his day!
Overall, we had lots of fun at Kirklees Light Railway, and I would recommend it. I felt it was good value for money. There are additional things to do, it’s not just a train track, and on a nice day you could really make a day of it with a picnic. That said, the rain didn’t stop us enjoying ourselves and we’ll be going back again.
Fares start from £5.50 to £27 with children under 3 going free.
For more information or to book tickets visit www.kirkleeslightrailway.com.
Kirklees Light Railway, Park Mill Way, Clayton West, Nr Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD8 9XJ