After our recent trip too Keighley and Worth Valley railway and enjoying it a lot we decided on a trip to Lakeside and Haverthwaite railway during our recent trip to the Lake District. I feel like I’m becoming some kind of train buff and railway enthusiast. Hubby has already suggested I need a notebook and anorak!
The railway is at the Southern end of Lake Windermere and is pretty easy to find. You can start your journey at either Lakeside or Havethwaite. We visited both prior to our journey and I would recommend parking and boarding the train at Havethwaite if you’re visiting by car as the parking is much cheap and the cafe is a lot nicer than the one at Lakeside.
There are combination offers available with your train tickets. You can combine a trip on the train with a trip on the steamers on the lake, or a lake cruise at Bowness. There are a variety of other combinations you can choose too. Rather than a boat trip we decided to combine a trip on the train with a trip to the Aquarium at Lakeside as we’d never visited before.
It cost £25 for hubby and I, with parking at Havethwaite. It was free for the little man as under 5’s travel for free. It’s by no means a cheap day out, especially if you have children over the age of 5 or a large family.
The train was fine, there was plenty of room in the carriages but there are no obvious staff around to help you and we did struggle a little getting onto the train with the pushchair as the doors are quite narrow. Once we were on though it was fine, thankfully it wasn’t too busy so we could watch out the windows and stand up without any problems.
The timetable for the trains is very regular though the journey only takes about 15 minutes, the stations are at Havethwaite, Newby Bridge Halt and Lakeside. You can stop at any of them but there’s very little at Newby Bridge, we were told you can go for some walks nearby but as we had the pushchair we just gave that stop a miss.
The passing scenery is very beautiful and there are plenty of landscape photo opportunities along the route. I was grateful for the sunshine during our visit.
The journey is over very quickly though, and all of a sudden we were at Lakeside and it was time to visit the Aquarium. Sadly it wasn’t great. It was quite small and all I could see were cobwebs! The little man did enjoy watching the fish swimming round though, especially in the glass tunnel that ran under one of the larger tanks.
I think we made a bit of a bad choice with our combination ticket. I think we probably should have just paid for return fares on the train rather than a combined one for the aquarium too.
After our trip on the train and visit to the Aquarium we headed back to Havethwaite on the return leg of the train journey. We ended up ordering food and a cuppa in the cafe. I was REALLY impressed. The portions sizes were huge (try a baguette) and it was delicious. The staff were really friendly and helpful too. Next time we visit the Lakes I think we’ll pop there just to eat, it was that nice!
Havethwaite and Lakeside are both worth a visit if you’re in the Lakes, but it’s not really a purse friendly day out.