Sunday we finally went and did what we’ve been talking about for ages, we road on a steam train! With the nice weather we thought a walk around Matlock would be nice, so we chose to drive to Rowsley to hop on the Peak Rail. All of the trains are steam and diesel, and they have those satisfying ‘chuga chuga’ sounds as the wheels turn as you set off.The trains run the four miles between Rowsley South and Matlock, with a stop off in Darley Dale (which we didn’t have time to stop at, maybe next time). Everyone was staring at us as we were taking pictures, no shame. The tickets you purchase (£8 when we bought ours) entitle you to ride the train for as long as you’d like that day, unlimited journeys back and forth. This means you could stay on the train all day admiring the views, or hop off at one of the train stations for a while for a picnic and a wander. What I loved most was the differing coaches. You could sit in booths in one of the coaches which was our favourite. It reminded me so much of Harry Potter, and as Fran said, we would have loved it if someone came by asking if we wanted anything from the trolley. It was too sunny to think any dementors were coming for us though.Adam’s “quit taking pictures of me” face. Along the four mile stretch you are rewarded with gorgeous views of Derbyshire. Rebel sticking his head out of the window. The railway advises against this but really who can resist? We arrived at Matlock station and made our way into the town center where there were really nice antique shops and furniture shops. We didn’t realise how far away we were from Matlock Bath and kept thinking we would come across it “just around the next bend”. In reality it is probably about a half an hour to forty minutes walk. Oh well, it was nice out. We stopped off at a cafe to have a quick sandwich and ice cream, then pretty much headed straight back. We didn’t realise how long it would take us to get there so we had to make sure we caught the last train back to Rowsley South. If you catch an early train, you’ll have plenty of time to go on the cable cars of Heights of Abraham, which gives you amazing views of the rolling hills, and you get to go in a cave!
We arrived back at the Matlock station with enough time for more ice cream and made our journey back. I was much more willing to sink into the springy seats on our way back than stick my head out of the window after all our walking in the sun. I don’t know when I’ve become completely enamoured with trains (possibly when we went to the National Railway Museum) but I’m sufficiently obsessed. I can’t wait to go another journey, we’ve got our eye on one that goes to Whitby.
If you want more information about Peal Rail, check out their website for timetables and special events. I know the venue of my dream wedding now, or maybe my next birthday party.
Have you ever been on a steam train?