Arriving at Bury’s Bolton Street Station is like stepping back in time. There are traditional ticket booths, lovely signage, and helpful staff. We decided to go from Bury to Ramsbottom, but for a longer ride you can take the train from Heywood all the way to Rawtenstall.
At Bury Station, The Trackside pub on Platform 2 does children’s meals and they will warm up bottles or baby food. Baby-changing is in the disabled toilets at the end of the platform, there are also facilities at Ramsbottom Station. There are steps at Bury but staff are happy to help with pushchairs. Alternatively there is access to the platform by The Trackside and staff will accompany you across the track.
Ramsbottom is a 15-minute journey through some gorgeous countryside. We’ve travelled on both diesel and steam trains. Both are good but I think the romance of the steam train wins. The boys loved it and had their heads pressed against the window for the entire journey. There is a buffet car on board as well as toilets.
Ramsbottom station is only a five-minute walk away from shops and cafés including the wonderfully indulgent Chocolate Café. There are plenty of picnic tables by the station too, as well as a children’s park. A traditional country market can be found every Saturday, and on the second Sunday of each month, a farmers’ market.
The railway hosts a number of family friendly events throughout the year, including Days Out With ThomasTM and the Santa Specials in December; pre-booking is essential for the latter. Do stick your head into the Bury Transport Museum directly opposite – it’s recently had a super refurbishment.
Weekend Full Line Returns: Adult £14, Child £9, Family £36, under 5s free. Includes free entry to Bury Transport Museum. Check website for up-to-date information on seasonal dates and opening times. Steam trains only run on certain days. The Trackside food available Weds-Fri 9am-3pm, Sat & Sun plus Bank Holidays 9am-4pm.
East Lancashire Railway, Bolton Street Station, Bolton Street, Bury BL9 0EY
Tel 0161 764 7790