I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Saturday 13 February 2010

LA’AL RATTY (13/02/10)


image  Better late than never, forgot about a map.

Funny title but it is the nickname of the Ravenglass/Eskdale narrow gauge railway. I’m not sure if it’s me but I really didn’t get a grip on things today so not only a funny title a funny day.  It started out much as normal got the paper, took Molly for her morning constitutional and whilst out realised the camera was all over the place. It does this once every few months and resetting sorts things out. It did but I left ISO and White Balance on auto…….Silly Billy that I am. Thank heaven I shoot in RAW!

We went off at half nine to purchase tickets for the first train up the valley at half ten, no problems here. For what it is, reasonable at £11.50p for me and £1.50p for Molly. For this you can travel all day, getting on and off as suits, sounds good but there is not really anything to get off for.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Decided on an open carriage as it would be better for pictures………………………..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA           Had a quick look at the traction unit for my trip out, it was only built five years ago but one can’t be too careful. Gave it the benefit of my ignorance, kicked the tyres, made sure the windscreen was clean, it was spotless as is everything here.

Picked my seat, cursed the dog for knocking the camera bag over………Then the family from hell arrived, mum, dad, grandparents and two children, as wide as they were tall. We could hear them coming ten minutes before they arrived, upon arrival they had to try every carriage and every seat in every carriage. I’m not a religious man but I was praying….Please, please don’t sit near me. Near me! One decided to sit next to me, or on me, difficult to tell, the rest flowed or oozed in directly behind. Whistles blowing and flags waving our journey commenced.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Not a breath of wind to ripple the water filling the salt marsh. We even have perfect upside down sheep.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          A pretty bridge but the overriding impression of the journey was of immature Birch to the left and mature conifers to the right. Correction, the overriding impression was of the dysfunctional morons behind bleating at sheep, only terminated by a heated discussion over whether seagulls were black and went Caw, Caw!

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is the odd Alder.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    As I said it could just be me, this view of Scawfell…….Nothing wrong at all. Were it not accompanied by the kids echoing the train horn continuously and badly……Did I say kids, the whole bloody family were at it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    It’s not a bad ride. Apart from being about minus three hundred the weather couldn’t have been better. I saw a pair of Buzzard and a Kestrel. Forty minutes later we arrived at Dalegarth and the end of the line. I must admit I thanked the Lord. may even head to church in the morning and thank him in person.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA        The view over the head of Eskdale towards Cam Spout crag and Scawfell covered in snow, both a rare and beautiful sight. (It rains now and again in the Lake District).

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPower for the journey home, this fine locomotive is called The River Irt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Turning round for the run back down the valley.


That’s me on the left, what a Slim Jim! A little tip for any steam buffs out there, if you go to the signal box at Ravenglass they will give you a footplate pass so you can ride with the driver and keep your feet warm. No extra charge but they don’t advertise it. There is also a smashing little museum……Free…..This gives a comprehensive history of the line from it’s conception as a three foot gauge way built to transport hermatite. (Iron Ore). To it’s take over by Bassett Lowke and a reduction to fifteen inch gauge. Worth a visit. The cafe at Dalegarth is a real rip off, the one at Ravenglass is fine. To finish here is one of Bassett Lowke’s original locomotives it’s in the museum and with the sun streaming in was near impossible to photograph.


That’s all for today, hopefully I will wake with a less jaundiced view of the world tomorrow.


  1. Those engines are pretty clean, and scenery is also. Where are the dog ends, sweet wrappers and coke cans (alchol cans)?

  2. Adrian, I find your jaundiced view very entertaining. And I wouldn't have wanted you to miss that train ride on such a perfect day (despite the family from hell). My then two year old twin grand-daughters and I were that family about nine years ago. I gave up work to care for them, they were turning (had turned?) into savages. I took them on a ferry ride once, had a firm grip on each, they could well have jumped overboard, they were wild and fearless, brainless as well, and my handbag strung around my neck. I'm chuckling now thinking about it.

  3. Bob, Cloned out an empty gallon can on the bridge picture otherwise the place is clean.
    Pauline, no you weren't! I saw three generations of the same family and can assure you that breeding without assistance would be impossible. There are a choice of six orifices in the human body and not a cat in hells chance of any of that lot selecting the right one.
    Still managed a few pics. So far from a wasted day.

  4. Hi Adrian.

    You got some nice shots on your whistle stop ride. The landscapes are really good and I love the snow capped mountains of the Lakes.A great place to photograph mother nature.

  5. Entertaining text and good visuals - as always. I'm trying to catch up. Great way to enjoy my coffee.

  6. Hi Adrian
    Love train rides especially with lovely scenery. We have lots of little trains in Wales, oh, and lots of nice scenery too. I'm not biased of course!

  7. Trevor, yes it is a great area and what weather, it helps.
    Gb, Thanks, We have had what seems like two weeks of great winter weather, all change tonight though.
    Gwentman, I know and love Wales your steam runs are better and the scenery is just as impressive and more importantly different.

  8. The mention of Basset Lowke brought back memories of me drooling over the 'model' engines they had on display in the windows of their London shop.

    The description of your travelling companions behaviour is the reason I won't use the railways until they bring back compartments in carriages. ;)

  9. Aye John, if they can't have an efective guard on the train then they should supply one with a gun. Every kids dream a Basset Lowke locomotive, outside my wherewithal then and now.

  10. I am sure I met your traveling companions on a flight to Portugal once,if it was not them it must have been their relatives.!!
    Loved the commentary to your post and the photographs are lovely,the mountain views and the old bridge are my favorites.

  11. Thanks Matron, It is a great area to be in some fellow humans excepted.

  12. Such memories. And the colours - I think February with itrs snow and bracken has to show the Lakes at their very best. That has to be my favourite post of yours yet.

  13. Great post Adrian.
    Despite the family from hell, the journey looks beautiful.

  14. John, I think if there is a covering of snow it helps. For Windemere I think autumn is the best. Soon be spring when everything will turn a vivid green. Glad you enjoyed it.
    Keith, Thanks, yes it's all grand some bits are stunning. I tend to forget that even the not so good bits are still good. It's only seven miles long.

  15. Great story, and stunning images!! I particularly loved the stone wall with the mountains in the background. I wish we had made it up to that area while we were living in London, but we could never quite figure out how to do that without being able to drive.

  16. Gwen, thanks, if you are ever back train to Carlisle then Carlisle to Ravenglass, plenty of B&bs.

  17. hello Adrian.. I was directed to her by a buddy form ALBATAT site.
    What a find.. loved your comments and your pix are great. I didnt know of you but doubtless my eldest a real train buff will know of it.
    I have to find out how to get to you from Darlington where I live but I am sure it would be well worth the visit. I have been here just a short while.. am a southerner but I love it more every day

    Keep up the good work Adrian

  18. Hi Rosie, welcome to the loony bin. I have nothing to do with the railway. I'm an Old Age Traveller. Two hours from Darlington.
    Most places are better than Darlington........I spend a fair amount of time there. It's okay and you are within a short drive of the Lakes and a shorter drive of Northumberland and the Yorkshire Dales. Have fun.

  19. Adrian you are a judgmental prick.

  20. Art, that makes two of us at least. Judgement is good. Prick! Your choice of adjective not mine. Have fun.