Rudyard Lake Reviews
Rudyard Lake Jul 04, 2011
Rudyard Lake is a pretty reservoir built in the Industrial Revolution, to supply the canal network with water. It is in the rolling green landscape of the southern Peak district, just over the Staffordshire border. As time went on, people decided to use it as a place where workers could go to relax, and gradually over the years it has become a small, quiet tourist attraction. The two main attractions are the miniature steam railway and the lake itself.
Rudyard Lake Steam Railway is quite big, by miniature steam railway standards, with each carriage big enough to take four very squashed adults, as long as at least two of the adults aren’t very big. The engines are exactly the right size to hold an engine driver and nothing more but run on real steam, and they are very cute indeed. The railway line runs about two thirds of the length of the lake, past a dam and to a small lake front beach. Adult tickets are around £3.50 at the time of writing, with discounts for children and families. Of course, this is mainly a family attraction, and this means that as well as the carriages there is a special open truck where push chairs can be folded up and kept. The ride is about half an hour long, and trains run every half hour. I think this is a lovely place to go, especially if you have either a small child with you, or a nerdy great Sarah-Elaine who loves steam trains.
The lake itself has a small visitor centre, a rowing boat hire place and lots of people fishing. I don’t fish, so I can’t tell you how expensive it is or if it is good. But the rowing boat hire is £2.50 per person, with a minimum of £5 per boat. This is theoretically per hour but really, I don’t think anyone is paying very close attention and an hour is about as long as it takes to get tired. The boats are all named after Jungle Book characters. There are very few things as relaxing as sitting in a boat letting your boyfriend row you about, watching the swallows fly by and occasionally shouting at him not to crash into the dinghy behind you. I am not as keen on the idea of doing the rowing myself!
You can eat either at the café at the boat hire place at the dam, or at the Platform 2 café. I wouldn’t recommend the burgers, but the ice cream is nice and prices are very reasonable.
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