The Whistlestop Valley Railway is a 3.5 mile long 15-inch narrow gauge railway in Kirklees, West Yorkshire. It was a lovely day out although we would probably only return on a special event day as my seven-year-old was a little bit too old for the play areas so would need something extra to entertain him.
Luckily when we went there was a couple of fairground rides which he enjoyed. (these aren’t always there and there was an additional charge to go on them). It’s certainly a great day out for families with younger children. You can find out more about the train rides and the things to do in my review below.
Whistlestop Valley Railway Things To Do Review
It was all very efficient when we arrived and we had timed it all well for catching our train. They have a few different steam trains that they use and it was lovely to be able to get so close to them.
It felt so quiet when we were there and instead of battling my way through people to take photos it all felt very relaxed and there were plenty of opportunities for photos. There was a lot of whistleblowing which was great fun for the kids and the journey to the other station took around 25 minutes.
There is some nice scenery along the way but the real highlight was the tunnel. It is the longest of any 15-inch railway in Britain. I’m pretty sure it’s the longest railway tunnel I’ve ever been in – the kids will love it!
The train stops at Shelley station where there is a train-themed adventure playground that would suit children up to about 5 years old. There is also a cafe, ice cream parlour and toilets here. We chose not to stay as it wasn’t quite lunchtime and my son was too big for the play area.
When we arrived back at the main Clayton West station we decided to have some lunch. The menu was quite limited but I can recommend the sausage sandwich. We also ordered some chips that were a really good portion size, enough to share.
After lunch, we went on the Clayton Flyer. This is their miniature 7 1/4 inch ride-on railway. I think there is supposed to be water in the centre of it for ducks but it was all dried up when we went. It costs £1 per person and it was great fun, well worth £1 each.
Afterwards, my son went on the visiting fairground rides (small charge) and then the playground. The playground here did suit his age range. There is as much there for little ones as there is for slightly older kids. It’s a lovely play area albeit very busy.
There was much more than the recommended 12 children at times and there was no one there monitoring how many kids were using the playground. No one was paying attention to the entry/exit gates either which was a shame. The playground is very new and was opened in 2018. It features a wooden train, swings, climbing frames and slides and is situated near the picnic area.
I believe on non-event days you can choose to ride on the trains again but after 3 hours there we decided to head home. The railway holds a great range of family-friendly events some of which would suit older children. There are a few events I have my eye on for the future.
Whistlestop Valley Railway FAQ & Further Information
Address: Park Mill Way, Clayton West, Huddersfield HD8 9XJ, West Yorkshire
Category – Railway – Indoors and Outdoors – Suitable for all ages, although more suited to younger primary age children and toddlers.
What are the ticket prices?
An adult standard ticket costs around £8, children £7, under 3s are free. Plus there are different prices for their different events and special days.
What are the main facilities and things to do?
Light railway with scenic train rides, two refurbished play areas, miniature railway and walks in the local area. There are toilets and places to purchase food and drinks.
When are they open?
Whistlestop Valley Railway runs a varied schedule throughout the year. For up to date opening times please visit their website.
Is there food available?
There is a cafe serving limited hot and cold food and drinks. You are welcome to bring a picnic.
Is there parking?
There is a large free car park at Clayton West station.
Are they dog friendly?
Dogs are welcome on non event days. Assistance dogs are permitted.