Posted 20th June 2019

Steam attraction Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway takes glory at Cumbria Tourism Awards

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway in the Western Lake District wins Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at Cumbria Tourism’s Annual Awards. The winners were announced last night [Wednesday 19 June] at a prestigious black-tie event at Cartmel Racecourse. Almost four hundred guests gathered to celebrate at Cumbria’s annual tourism ‘Oscars’.

An auspicious year for Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, this is the fourth significant accolade following hot on the heels of winning the British Coach Tourism Awards Heritage Railway Award, receiving the first Transport Trust 'Red Wheel' Plaque in Cumbria and the innovative ‘Train from Spain’ project in partnership with the Railway Preservation Society, recognised by a Heritage Railway Award.

Attracting 115,000 visitors last year, the Railway is focused on constantly improving the customer experience. There have been a range of new developments launched at the Railway over the last 12 months including; Whillan Beck steam engine joining the fleet, a new combined ticket with fellow rail attraction The Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, discounts for visitors arriving by Northern Rail’s Cumbria Coastal line, introducing locally sourced produce and new menu in the café, creating a viewing platform in the Engineering workshop and commencing an upgrade programme to introduce more comfortable carriages. The Railway also offers a dynamic pricing fare system so visitors pay less in the Winter months when there is run a reduced timetable and in 2019 extended the popular Residents Pass to include all CA and LA postcodes.

With sustainability high on the agenda it retained it Green Tourism Silver and Green at Heart Environmental accreditation, taking action to remove single use plastics from the Railway’s two popular cafés and signing up to the innovative national Refill campaign which highlights places to refill your reusable water bottle.

In the main school holidays, the Railway is a firm favourite with young families, with many free events such as Kids Free Fridays, Easter Teddies, Magical Station Gardens and National Trust wildlife activity days. Annual favourites for families include the Halloween Ghost Train and festival Santa Express. For older audiences the Cream Tea & Steam, Eskdale Belle Experience and Driver for A Fiver with the Museum, and heritage events such as a guided walks have proved popular. A complimentary programme of exhibitions in partnership with the National Trust in the café at Dalegarth celebrates cultural and historic events such as Beatrix Potter’s 150th anniversary and WW1 in the Eskdale valley. Walkers of all ages also enjoy the many varied walking routes along the line from gentle strolls beside waterfalls or a hike over Muncaster Fell.

Lisa Braithwaite, Attraction Marketing Manager says, ‘We are absolutely delighted that Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway has been recognised with Cumbria Tourism’s Large Visitor Attraction Award. The quality of visitor attractions in Cumbria is very high so it is a real achievement. We have been listening to our customers feedback and looking at how we can keep improving their experience, so they become lifelong supporters of the Railway.’

[ENDS]
Press contact: Sorcha Hunter PR & Content Executive | s.hunter@cumbriatourism.org | 07398 255654

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Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway is a family-owned business operating a heritage, narrow gauge steam railway on the Western Coast of the Lake District. The railway is surrounded by stunning views and walks and is based in Ravenglass, the only coastal village in the Lake District National Park. The business’s awards include a British Coach Tourism Award 2019, Transport Trust Red Wheel Plaque, Silver Green Tourism award, Coach Tourism's 2015 Heritage Railway award, Cumbria Tourism’s 2019 & 2015 Large Visitor Attraction of the Year award amongst others. www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk

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