Bowes Railway
Bowes Railway
4.5
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
The Bowes Railway is unique amongst preserved railways. It is home to the only standard gauge rope hauled incline still in operation. A visit to Bowes includes a visitor trail around our scheduled industrial monument, the rope hauled inclines, a three mile steam hauled train ride and refreshment facilities. All of this can be found at a small but friendly railway at the heart of the North East.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
49 reviews
Excellent
34
Very good
13
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Traveller1999
Durham, UK318 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
Excellent 1940s event. Credit to all volunteers and participants.

But oh the tearoom/cafe. The coffee was the worst I have ever bought it was flavourless, just like barely coloured hot water. And charging £4 for a slice of cake and £2.50 for a decorated cookie! Rather exorbitant, methinks.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jab070139
Gateshead, UK19 contributions
Jun 2013 • Friends
Its a bit run down and not very clean there are some intersting bits of equipment there the trains do not run very often its a good concept but obviously needs much better funding to achieve more of its potential
Written November 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello Jab070139, thank you for taking time to write a review. We pride ourselves on keeping our site as original as possible to its working days, plus our workshops are still in daily use hence the untidy nature of the site in places. We hope to have trains running more regularly soon and money is always appreciated.
Written January 11, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

kikelmool
Birtley, UK212 contributions
May 2011 • Friends
This is all that remains of the middle section of an extenive, original, standard gauge rope-hauled railway, built by George Stephenson, that entusiastic volunteers are trying to save. Well worth a couple of hours visit to see how coal was transferred up and down steep hills from collieries about 10 miles to the coal staithes on the River Tyne. There are stationary engines and some preserved colliery locomotives.
Written April 5, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

robkitchuk
Stirling, UK92 contributions
Jul 2011 • Solo
After a few failed attempts to visit Bowes i finally managed to visit on a open day - the wait was worth it. The £2.50 admission charge was well worth it, especially when you consider what was on offer. Unlimited steam train rides, visiting railway locomotives and traction engines, a real ale bar, cafe, mining displays, blacksmiths displays and the ability to ander around the original workshop buildings - now a world heritage site. Rumour has it this railway is under threat. Yet the large numbers today show that it is worth a visit. The bar was well stocked with local beers and the train rides ran regualarly - taking visitors for about a 2 mile round trip. Couple this with the photographic ability of the site, which are unlike anthing to be seen at any other heritage railway. So reasonable prices, unlimited train rides, cheap beer and a amazing historical location. It worth a vist - use it or lose it!
Written July 24, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

280DavidC
Brookmans Park, UK128 contributions
Aug 2019
A museum on the site of one of the first and last coal Railways in the North East. At £2.00 per person to enter with a free guided tour this has to reflect the fact that it is staffed entirely by volunteers. The railway dates back to the time when Newcastle and Durham were large mining entries (hence the expression carrying coals to Newcastle); that was before Scargill and Thatcher between them destroyed the industry and the lives and the communities of the people who risked their health and life down the mines.
Well worth a visit for anyone interested in history and especially for train buffs.
Written August 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JohnAngieWalker
Gateshead, UK52 contributions
Oct 2016 • Solo
Been here twice, first time about a month ago to one of the heritage open days where a guided tour around the site and behind the scenes, very enjoyable and entertained by the guide, took a load of pictures, prices in snack shop very good and cheap.
Just been back today and once again enjoyed the visit and a load more pictures take. Also seen a kestrel flying around and hovering in the sky I guess it had it's eyes on a spot of sunday lunch
Written October 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jamespalmer2014
Rowlands Gill, UK9 contributions
Jun 2014 • Family
The atmosphere is very charming. There is not a great deal to see but if you're passing by or in Sunderland then go and have a look. Although it is small it is still a significant piece of history worth a squizz (look)
Written June 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for reviewing our railway. We are glad you enjoyed your visit, we are a small site but we are working hard to add more for our visitors. For 2015 we have revamped our mining display and we are in the process of creating a visitor trail around the site. Also hopefully later in the year, trains will start running again.
Written January 18, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joanne R
Dumfries, UK287 contributions
Sep 2019 • Family
Host to a mini car event. Fantastic lication and they offered plenty for children - colouring(they had tailored to cars) and construction/imaginative play - new addition from last year. Staff are so friendly and welcoming.
Written September 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

manxali
Milton Keynes, UK42 contributions
Jun 2019
It was very wet, but we had a personal tour with Wilf as we were the only people there. This really brought the place to life with his personal experiences and knowledge of all of the exhibits. Such recent history which will be lost without the dedication of the volunteers. Interesting exhibits showing how it was and what difficulties had to be overcome. Hands on experiences available!!
Written June 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Damien L
3 contributions
Sep 2018 • Solo
Popped in on advise of a friend, and what a pleasant afternoon. Free parking, free access, the #56 bus from Newcastle and Gateshead passes the door. Really easy to find by car. I could not believe that this was free, staffed by volunteers who knew all the interesting little bits you are not going to find on 'that thar interweb'. A must see for all those with a interest in NE history or anyone who has wondered about the ins and outs of the mechanics of coal mining in the 18th and 19th century.
Written September 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Bowes Railway - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)