Situated near Rudyard Lake, Staffordshire, the Rudyard Lake Steam Railway is the smallest of the steam and railway experiences found in the Peak District and is more orientated towards younger tourists.
Despite being only around 3 miles in length, the journey takes roughly 40 minutes, which gives you more than enough time to take in the unique sights the train offers of Rudyard Lake and nearby woodland areas. The novel size of the mini Victorian-styled train, alongside the whistles and flags provided, will surely light up the imagination of the younger passengers!
The Rudyard Lake Steam Railway terminates at a convenient spot next to the lake, so passengers can adventure along the fascinating banks of the reservoir immediately afterwards. Riding along in this fun locomotive is the perfect way to rest your legs after a walk through the Staffordshire countryside, even more so given that dogs are welcome on board too.
The Platform 2 café is open at the weekends and offers a wide range of refreshments, including ice
The Rudyard Lake Steam Railway line was constructed, between the years of 1985 and 1999, almost entirely by one individual: the Cheshire-born, steam engine enthusiast Peter Hanton.
It was bought over by Rudyard Lake Steam Railway Ltd. In 2000, who, with the help of volunteers and over the course of fifteen years, expanded the railway facility to how it appears today.
It was bought over again 2016, this time by Leek & Rudyard Railway, who brought over locomotives formerly used on the now defunct Isle of Mull Railway line.
Things to see and do at Rudyard Lake Steam Railway
Steam Engine Driver Experience Course – Out with the regular train timetables, Rudyard Steam Railway offers day courses that teach participants all there is to know about driving and operating a real steam-powered train! Learn how to fill the engine with coal, apply oil, and raise steam.
Santa Express Special – This seasonal special offers an exciting steam-powered trip to Santa’s Grotto – which is located inside the warmth of Rudyard Lake Visitor Centre. If the weather permits, passengers will also be able to see Santa riding to and from the grotto along the lake in his boat.
Platform 2 Café – Located within the old, full-sized platform of the now defunct Rudyard Train Station, the Platform 2 Café is open to both partakers in the steam engine ride, and members of the general public. The café serves coffee and tea, while also supplying crisps, cakes, and ice creams, amongst other snacks.
Explore Rudyard Lake – This man-made reservoir was constructed over 200 years ago at the peak of the Industrial Revolution and was one of the main water supplies of the emerging canals that were being built to transport Peak District produce. Today, Rudyard Lake is popular for fishing, kayaking, sailing, and rowing, and also features a number of great walking routes around its perimeter and through its nearby forestry.
Explore Rudyard – The ancient village of Rudyard dates back to 1002 and was recorded in the Domesday book in 1086 as ‘Rudierd’. The Hotel Rudyard offers carvery services and is open from 12-noon daily.
How to get there
By Car – If travelling via the A523: take the B5331, head through Rudyard, and turn left after the railway bridge. If travelling via the A53: take Dunwood Lane, follow it for roughly two miles, drive through Rudyard, and turn left after the railway bridge.
Postcode for Satnav – ST13 8PF
Carpark – There is a free carpark at Rudyard Station.
Public Transport – The 109 bus runs regularly between Leek and Rudyard town centre, from which point Rudyark Lake is only a 10-minute walk.
Good to Know
– There are plenty of picnic benches outside the café and of course around Rudyard Lake.
– Dogs are welcome onboard.
Sunday (Mid-February – the end of November) 11.00am – 4.00pm
Saturday (April – the end of September) 11.00am-4.00pm
Midweek openings tend to occur during school holidays, but its best to get in touch with them on the day to make sure.
Adult Return – £4.50
Children Return – £3.50
Day Rover Adult – £7.00
Day Rover Child – £5.00