Breath-taking vistas of mountain valleys, moorlands and forest. Stunning seascapes, and panoramas of rolling countryside, without a road in sight. Discovering little known routes and places, and sights that can’t be seen from a car or coach. For some, that means hiking boots, rucksacks and maps and, often, a hearty disregard for unfriendly weather. For some eleven million people each year, it means something much easier, and quite different: taking a ride on heritage railways.
On the west coast of the Lake District, 25 miles north of Barrow-in-Furness and 50 miles south of Carlisle, lies the tiny village of Ravenglass. Once a Roman port, part of a chain of defence and supply for north-west Britain, Ravenglass is now chiefly known for the almost unique distinction of laying within two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Hadrian’s Wall and the Lake District National Park – and, of course, its railway.