Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway Review

We were in the area visiting Bolton Abbey and I thought it would be nice after all that walking to take a relaxing ride on the steam train at the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. I had noted that the train station was just a short drive from Bolton Abbey and we arrived with around 20 minutes to spare.

It became increasingly strange that there was a general lack of cars arriving and there were no signs of life. We headed over to the entrance and spotted a sign saying that we couldn’t board the train at this station and that we needed to head for the station at Embsay. If you type Embsay and Bolton Abbey steam railway into Google it takes you to the Bolton Abbey station!

Luckily we still had time to drive to the station in Embsay which was about 9 minutes away. We literally only just made the train so I wanted to make sure no one else makes the same mistake that we did. (we had noticed two other cars arriving at the Bolton Abbey car park)

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway Review

The station at Embsay is lovely and quaint. The line itself is a heritage railway that runs trains for a distance of 4 miles. It was originally part of the former Midland Railway which ran from Skipton to Ilkley. This line closed in 1965 and it wasn’t reopened for another 15 years.

The line now runs from Embsay via Draughton Signs, Holywell and Stoneacre Loop to the Bolton Abbey Station. There are plans to extend the line further, eastwards to Addingham and southwest towards Skipton.

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway Review
Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway Review

The station is clearly well cared for. There is a gift shop, a buffet, toilets, a waiting room and a bookshop. The buffet is a coffee shop that sells homemade cakes, sandwiches, snacks and drinks. It’s very quaint as it can only seat 12 people.

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway Review

We had reserved seats on the train. I’d paid for first-class so that we would have our own cabin. I know we were cutting it fine catching the train but we were a bit shocked to find a family sitting in our cabin. They weren’t at all impressed that they were being asked to move. We felt bad but reserved seats are reserved seats.

Once we’d got comfy we enjoyed the journey through the pretty North Yorkshire countryside. The journey took about 15 minutes. We then stopped at the Bolton Abbey station for around 15 minutes before returning. The whole return journey took around an hour.

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway Review

We hadn’t even had a chance to look at the steam engine when we arrived so it was nice to watch it ‘swapping ends’ at the Bolton Abbey station. You can walk to Bolton Abbey from the station but it is 1.5 miles to the entrance and on some event days you may not be allowed to take a different return train back.

Our train also stopped at Holywell Halt on the outward journey. Here there is a picnic area and Craven Fault with a visible in rock cutting.

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway Review
Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway Review

It was a lovely end to our busy day in the area. They host a number of special events including family-friendly themed events in the school holidays. They also offer special service trains with dining such as afternoon teas, breakfast trains, fish and chips and more. You can even book special murder mystery train experiences.

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway FAQ & Further Information

Address: East Ln, Embsay, Skipton BD23 6QX, North Yorkshire. Phone: 01756 710614

Category – Heritage Railway – Mostly Indoors – Suitable for all ages.

What are the ticket prices?

Adults £13.50, children 3-15 £7.50. Family tickets and other pricing options are available. Dining experiences cost more.

What are the main facilities and things to do?

Heritage steam train rides on 4 miles of track in North Yorkshire. They hold many special events and dining experiences. There are toilets and places to purchase food and drinks.

When are they open?

The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway runs a varied running schedule. Please see their website for up-to-date opening times.

Is there food available?

There are places to purchase hot and cold food and drinks.

Is there parking?

There is free parking.

Are they dog friendly?

Dogs are welcome on the trains and in the cafe areas. They are not permitted on the seats.

Are they accessible?

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