Running along side the the Till for 6.4km the 15" gauge steam railway takes you from Heatherslaw Mill to the village of Etal in Northumberland. The return journey takes about 50 minutes. Tickets can be bought from the office at Heatherslaw or from the guard at Etal, babies and dogs go free. The coaches are covered but the sides are open allowing plenty of fresh air tinged with a bit of smoke from the engine.
It's a dinkly little train, it just needs a smiley face on the front and you've got a real life Thomas the Tank Engine. The kids love it, it's a proper choo choo. Secretly I recon the adults get all affectionate about that little engine (I know I did). Wee but wirey it can haul up to a hundred passengers at a time.
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip but spent most of my time eyeing up the Till, a leisurely recognisance checking out the pools on what is a slow section of the river. The countryside is beautiful, the journey unhurried and there are things to do at either end of thed journey.
In Etal there is the 14th Century castle, a pub offering good beer and excellent food, the fish and chips was excellent. There a shop too selling locally produced goodies including Newcastle Broon Ale ice cream.
Back at Heatherslaw there is the Centre in the mill with top notch scones made from the flour produced in the flour mill. You can also hire bicycles to tour the area on and off road.
The train runs on the hour from 11am to 3pm from Heatherslaw and on the half hour 11.30am to 3.30pm from Etal.
You can off course go fishing on 4 beats on the river Till, Redscar, Upper and Lower Tindal and Ford Beat, Contact Brian Thompson on 01668 216223.
For more information and for group bookings Contact 01890 820338