We love to explore and visit places that may sometimes be overlooked when it comes to a day out. We recently had a lovely day out at Middleton Railway and Middleton Park near Leeds in West Yorkshire. It’s a really sweet place to visit and we felt like we were contributing to somewhere that needs preserving for the future.
Middleton Railway Review
We decided rather than parking at Middleton Park we’d park at Middleton Railway and visit the park using the pleasure train. I call it a pleasure train as its only purpose now is to take passengers into and out of the park. It is the worlds oldest continuously working railway, now that’s saying something!
Trains run every Saturday. Sunday and bank holiday Monday as well as on Wednesdays during holidays. There is a small free car park that we had no trouble parking in. They also run a few special event trains including Santa specials.
You can visit their museum for free but there is a small charge to ride on the trains (see the FAQ at the end of the post). The museum is one long gallery of train engines some of which you can walk up to and through. You can even pull a chain and make the whistle blow in one engine which I admit I played on even more than my son.
The station is small but clearly well cared for, you just had to look at all the flowers to realise how well this place is cared for. As soon as we arrived at the station we were greeted by a lovely and friendly member of staff. This guy should win an award in customer relations. He was fantastic! He was engaging with our son and got him to help out on all matter of things.
On the outward journey, he encouraged my son to lift the breaks and turn the lights on and off for the tunnel. He helped with the same on the way back and he also carried the lamp. He made the effort to remember names and greeted everyone like he’d known them for years. This chap is a real asset to the place and if you visit I hope you have the pleasure of meeting him because he made my son feel very special and important.
They can be seen lifting the brake in the photo below.
The train takes around 10 minutes, perhaps less, to reach the station at Middleton Park. You can stay on the train for the return journey or you can hop off and explore the park. Return tickets are valid all day and you can enjoy more than one ride if you wish. Our train was pulled by a diesel engine but they do sometimes run steam engines.
Middleton Park Review
One thing to note is if you do choose to visit the park it is a long walk up an incline to the main section of the park. It’s not steep though so it isn’t too taxing. It’s also accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs both of which can use the train. If you’re not sure where to head make sure you check with a member of staff. There are plenty of signs in the park though so you shouldn’t struggle.
We made a note of the return train times and timed our walk up the hill so that we didn’t miss our return train. It took us around 10 minutes.
Once at the top of the hill there is a pretty lake with a cafe overlooking it. There were swans and some people fishing. The cafe is quite basic for hot food but it wasn’t expensive and they sell a good range of snacks and drinks. The cafe has toilets and there were also toilets at the train station (not the park end).
At the end of the lake, you will find the playground. There are a few more items of play equipment that I couldn’t quite fit in the photo below. There is a good choice for younger and older kids and my son was quite happy playing here for a while.
Middleton Park is around 470 acres in size and some of the paths can be quite steep but we managed to avoid them.
The signs and the website state that there are flower beds and a rose garden. We followed signs to the rose garden but it was sadly overgrown and not worthy of a photo. There are accessible paths up to here although do be aware of cyclists. There is a wheel with a plaque commemorating where Middleton Hall once stood. It wasn’t really worth the effort of walking up here but we did enjoy watching the bikes for a while at Leeds Urban bike hub plus of course it’s nice to just walk and get some exercise.
The track below extends much further around and it looks great fun for adventure cyclists. There is even a cafe up here although we didn’t spot it. If you can’t bring your own bike and helmets you can hire them and they also offer training. There are four different BMX trails with varying degrees of difficulty including smaller to more extreme bumps and even a bridge.
We had a really lovely day out. I don’t think we will return but we certainly would recommend a visit as it makes a nice change to the bigger attractions and places to visit. If you just want to visit the park there is parking near the cafe.
Middleton Railway and Middleton Park FAQ & Further Information
Address: Middleton Railway – Railway Trust Ltd, The Middleton, Moor Rd, Hunslet, Leeds LS10 2JQ. Middleton Park – Town St, Middleton, Leeds LS10 3SH
Category – Great Outdoors – Railway – Indoors and Outdoors – Suitable for all ages
What are the ticket prices?
The park is free to visit. An adult standard return on the train costs £7, £3 for children.
What are the main facilities and things to do?
Railway with steam or diesel train rides to Middleton Park. Park with walking paths, a play area and a BMX park with different trails. There are places to purchase food and drinks and there are toilets.
When are they open?
See above with regards to when the trains run. It’s best to check their website for up-to-date information. The park is open all year round.
Is there food available?
There are places where you can purchase hot and cold food and drinks.
Is there parking?
There is free parking.
Are they dog friendly?
Dogs can travel on the railway free of charge. They are also permitted in the park.
Are they accessible?
The trains are accessible and the park has accessible paths. Please contact the venues for further information.