Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
4.5
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About
With its headquarters in the fine old Peak District market town of Wirksworth, the Ecclesboume Valley line, at nine miles, is Derbyshire's longest heritage railway. The line runs through some of the most pleasant scenery in the White Peak, from its joint station with the main line at Duffield to its northern terminus at Ravenstor, close to the High Peak Trail and the National Stone Centre. The line provides services mainly operated by heritage diesel railcars, with four trains a day on summer weekends and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the high summer. The timetable is designed to connect with East Midlands Trains' services to and from Derby and Nottingham. Visitors may wish to take advantage of a 'zigzag choo choo' all Day Rover Ticket issued by the railway and Trent Barton providing an excellent opportunity for discount travel through the beautiful derbyshire countryside by bus and rail. Steam hauled services are also operated at peak periods, please call us to check what is running. If you would prefer to see the line from the Driver's cab or realise a childhood dream by taking the controls of one of our heritage steam or diesel locomotives then you can book that day to remember direct on our website. We offer a range of experiences to suit any occasion and budget.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.5
524 reviews
Excellent
342
Very good
139
Average
25
Poor
10
Terrible
8

toxicgirl
Nottingham70 contributions
Dec 2021
We travelled in a first class coach on the Train Through the Christmas Countryside experience and it was fabulous. Absolutely great value for money at £75 considering there were 5 of us and we all got extremely good quality hot chocolate, freshly baked cookies and a 1 hour 45 minute train ride with entertainment. As an adult my favourite character was Vladimir (Santa's bodyguard) and the boys loved getting told they were on the nice list and the banter with Timmy Tinsel! All the actors were amazing and really put their heart and soul into making it such a wonderful experience.

We had booked for 2020 but had to cancel due to Covid isolation and Ecclesbourne Valley Railway were amazingly accommodating at short notice, letting us rebook for 2021.

Presents from Santa (included in the price) were numerous, age appropriate and really well thought through in terms of variety. We also ordered the treat boxes for the kids which were a lovely touch and brimming with goodies.

We will 100% book for next year!
Written January 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Adam F
United Kingdom3 contributions
Oct 2022 • Couples
Wirksworth to Duffield vintage steam Railway Breakfast. Firstly, the weather offered the perfect Autumn day, slightly warm sun with fluffy, billowed white clouds. We got there at 10:30 to be greeted by Ollie of Fox and Edwards Events. He welcomed us and immediately started to make this experience feel special. We boarded the 1954 steam engine carriage and were seated. The Train departed for Duffield at 10:50 with a ‘toot’ from the old fashioned train whistle. There followed a serene ride in a vintage railway Restaurant carriage through the Derbyshire countryside with a full English Breakfast served with toast, tea or coffee and orange juice (Prosecco is available for special occasions). We felt very relaxed and contented. On the return from Duffield to Wirksworth, we enjoyed another pot of tea and the autumn colours of the trees outside.
Can thoroughly recommend this lovely experience which is not just for the steam engine enthusiast. My wife & I enjoyed this immensely and it gave us special time together.
I enjoyed a visit onto the footplate to meet the Driver and Fireman after our journey. Smashing blokes who clearly enjoy telling folk about the role their role and with a full knowledge of a history of the engine and the Railway line. 5 Stars …
Written October 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

holidaymanWashington
Washington, UK2,006 contributions
Jul 2022 • Couples
We had pre-booked our steam adventure online, which saves you a little bit of money as opposed to the walk in price. It is not the best sign posted attraction in Derbyshire and the sat nav only gets you close, before trying to send you in the wrong direction. Once parked, we went into the ticket office come gift shop, to transfer our online booking into an actual ticket. There was a nice metal sign of Leyland busses that my wife admired and we decided to buy it after our trip. I asked the ticket man what time the shop closed and he replied about 5 'o' clock.

We boarded the train, which was steam hauled and departed at 13.20. The journey to Duffield and back was most enjoyable and we had a compartment to ourselves. There is time to get off there if you want. When we got back to Wirksworth, there was a mad scramble for the toilets. Don't know what everyone had been drinking on the 90 minute round trip. We had a look around the museum and bookstore. There are many interesting artifacts to see and lots of memorabilia to buy. The prices are very reasonable. On returning to the ticket office shop at half past three, it was closed. So much to opening until five. We didn't get our sign and the railway lost valuable money, all because Mr Ticket Man gave incorrect information. Had he said that they were closing after the last train departed, we would have gone there first. A disappointing end to the day and money that could have been made towards the 500k cost of rebuilding the station, was lost. Not the best result, considering the hard work and dedication given by most of the volunteers.
Written July 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elaine T
Derby, UK12 contributions
Dec 2021 • Family
My daughter took a cancellation at late notice for the Santa train costing £75. This was for one adult one just 3 year old and one 73 year old.
It was a lot of money so we were expecting something special, particularly for my granddaughter.
Arrived at Wirksworth at the suggested time of noon to be told we had to queue until half past, bearing in mind it was foggy and raining.
Eventually ushered onto the train and met by elves etc with coats on and pretty scary over excited youngsters doing their best!
The carriage was decorated in a mis match of cheap out of date decorations with windows steamed up. Never mind we entered into the spirit of it all.
Overall without all the details it was disappointing, not value for money and we thought a missed opportunity for it to be amazing. A bit more thought it could be a unique experience not to be missed.
We won’t be returning or recommending which is a great shame as we wanted to support you!
I feel others should know before parting with their hard earned cash!
Written December 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nim C
Worcester, UK159 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
Booked last minute for a trip today, the trip was in the afternoon (3.15pm) on a rainy day. The train ride was enjoyable. Lighting half way clearly gets darker given the clocks recently changed backwards too, so expect to see less if you booked the late afternoon slot. There are no toilets on the train but there are some at the station itself as well as a booth to purchase refreshments ahead of your journey.
Written October 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our railway. We are glad you had such a good time. Happy Christmas from everyone at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.
Written December 20, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rosie hague
10 contributions
Aug 2021 • Solo
I visited this railway yesterday with my elderly grandparents and was very disappointed at lack of disabled access. First bad sign of the day was that the timetable had changed but nowhere did it say that. We had to wait a long time for the staff to look for the ramp to get onto the train the staff didn't seem bothered that we were waiting ages and just kept chatting to themselves then we got put in a private party carriage which was full of party people so felt very awkward party crashing. Then the worst part of the trip was at Wirksworth where we couldn't get into the cafe train since there was steps and no ramp available for that when we asked which was upsetting for my grandma that needs a walking frame, to get to the toilet was awful since we had to cross over the train tracks to get there so we had to keep lifting the walker up every 5 seconds so she could get across members of staff at Wirksworth were very rude and we felt rushed the while there. Will not be returning as it is not safe or accessible for people with disabilities!!
Written August 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review. I shall try and deal with the points you raise objectively:- The railway has undertaken extensive building works and one of our aims was to improve facilities for people who are less able. We have opened two new toilets especially for people with such needs, one of which is suitable for nursing mothers/ fathers who have additional physical requirements. Due to the age of the rolling stock it is difficult to undertake physical changes to the width of the doors. That said our volunteers were keen to improve the experience for passengers who may be experiencing mobility issues and have adapted the doors for wheelchair access to two of the five coaches that made up the train yesterday. In addition, one coach has a specially adapted seating area so people in wheelchairs and their friends/ enablers can sit in comfort and enjoy the lovely vistas of the Ecclesbourne Valley just like other passengers rather than being tucked away in a guards van with no additional seating. We are confident we have good on train facilities for people with additional physical needs which can be booked in advanced. You will have noticed that there is much new building taking place at Wirksworth Station with the floor of the new dining facilities already laid. This facility is a much needed asset for the railway as the current station cafe is a temporary facility with access via a portable ramp for people with poor mobility. Although not perfect, it does offer access. The disabled toilets are adjacent to platform one and your train arrived on platform two which is next to platform one. The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway prides itself on the friendly, professional behaviour of its staff. There are countless reviews on social media that are a testament to their hard work and dedication and I am personally very proud to be associated with them. In conclusion, our railway has taken many steps to improve disabled access to our trains and toilets. We are also building new catering facilities which will offer ease of access to everyone. We are proud of our commitment to improving passenger facilities and will continue to do so. I do not recognise the experience you describe in your 'review'. However I note that 100% of your Trip Advisor reviews are ONE STAR ratings! If you are really serious about having facilities improved for people who have additional physical needs then I suggest you embark upon a different tactic to get your message across. Try praising those venues like ourselves who are providing such services rather than painting such a negative and untrue picture of our railway which has gone the 'extra' mile to ensure all our visitors can enjoy our friendly, fun railway.... together. Thank you for visiting the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. Tom Tait Commercial Director
Written August 28, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Leanne86
6 contributions
Dec 2021 • Family
Travelled on the Santa Train today with my 5 year old niece. All really enjoyed it from the lovely visit from Santa himself to the magician and porters making the whole journey fun filled. Great hot chocolate and cookie to. The gift for the children was lovely to and I feel the whole event was fantastic value for money for the experience. All feeling very festive now and will be booking again in the future.
Written December 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kamikazeCaz
Bourne, UK31 contributions
Jul 2022
What an experience! I was gifted this for my 40th Birthday but the pandemic delayed my booking. As a female railfan I was slightly apprehensive about how I'd be welcomed but the 2 chaps running the show (Lewis and David) put all those fears to rest. I was part of small group who were there for the Bronze 'Drive a diesel' day and this allowed for a good amount of chatter, enthusiasm and encouragement.
I had the controls of a railcar for a good time in the morning with my partner able to sit behind me, then after a good 'picnic style' lunch on board the fixed carriages, David led us to the loco shed to see the current stock being worked on by the team of volunteers. The Deltic was sat proud outside the shed which was a bonus.
Then it was time to board the Class 31 and once again travel the line in complete control of the loco. All the while being under the supervision of Lewis. His teaching skills and support are to be commended.
I left Ecclesbourne railway very happy. It was a fantastic day and certainly one to never forget. Not many people can say they've driven a train - when it's not their profession.
Written July 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are so glad you had an enjoyable time with us.
Written August 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hatina
Rayne, UK43 contributions
May 2021
We were staying in Derbyshire for the early bank holiday weekend and booked a compartment on the steam train for the Saturday; we enjoyed it so much that we booked again on the bank holiday Monday!
It was lovely to have a compartment to ourselves and there was something quite romantic about it.
The staff were outstanding and it was obvious how much they enjoyed what they were doing.
The only thing that let it down were some of the other passengers on the platform not adhering to social distancing etc, despite all the railway had done to comply.
Written May 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mr C
Derby, England, United Kingdom58 contributions
Dec 2021 • Family
Was looking forward to this trip and a 'magical' ride through the countryside but it fell well short of expectations. The staff are very trying to polish the proverbial terd but not sure why they need to do it with American accents. The train is a wonder but when in our carriage the temperature was unbearably hot, the decorations also amounted to 6 baubles. Whilst the train idles in the station there is steam everywhere and this actually caused the windows to steam. Something that didn't clear for the entire journey so seeing anything out of the window was impossible. There isn't actually anything to see unless you count the sewage works and peoples back gardens. Santa visited for a total of around 30 seconds and there was no personalisation. He just pulled a damp, musty smelling bag of the overhead rack and wished us merry Christmas. The hot chocolate was instant, the cookies slightly stale.

Where is the magic? Such a disappointment when such a lot of money spent. We shall not be booking again. In a very competitive Christmas Market this one needs to go on the naughty list.
Written December 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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