|The erstwhile seafront at Grange Over Sands:|
a westbound train is leaving the station
We were staying in Grange-Over-Sands, an interesting place in itself, for it has all the hallmarks of a seaside town including an esplanade, although the swimming pool on the esplanade had recently closed when we were there. But there is no beach. The course of the river which flows into the bay had changed and the erstwhile beach silted up and became salt marsh, so the view from all the seafront installations is of mud and grasses, grazed by sheep, rather than sand with deckchairs.
Our daughter joined us for a few days, arriving by train from London with a change at Lancaster. The station at Grange is charming, a great gateway to what had been a great beach resort and is still a very pleasant town in which to spend a holiday, so long as it is not a beach holiday you want. A couple of days later we made our way back to the station to catch a train through to Whitehaven. We chose that destination because it gave us a decent trip up the coast with a worthwhile amount of time there before catching a train back. Sandwiches and drinks were bought from the little shop at the station, along with postcards for sending home in due course.
|Laurel and Hardy Monument in Ulverston|
From Barrow-in-Furness our train headed north along the east side of Duddon Sands, the estuary of the River Duddon which rises high up in the Furness Fells near Scafell Pike. Crossing the estuary the train then headed south along the opposite side, turned west at Millom towards the Irish Sea coast and then made a more-or-less straight run northwards. North of Seascale the line is very close to the sea which was grey and foreboding on the day of our trip, certainly atmospheric as we paused at the station at Sellafield, adjacent to the famous nuclear power station and reprocessing establishment. A nuclear waste flask train was waiting in an adjacent siding.
Just before Whitehaven we missed the sea again as the train crossed a headland and plunged into a tunnel to emerge at Whitehaven station, where we left the train and walked the short distance into the town centre. There was some drizzle when we arrived in the town but it soon passed. Whitehaven, like so many other places here, had been through some difficult times but was keeping its head above water economically, with some signs of new businesses and facilities, and the station itself was fairly new. My daughter and I visited a rum museum, Rum Story, and I learnt more about rum, sugar cane, and trade with the Caribbean than I realised there was to learn.
|Leaving Ravenglass for Dalegarth|
|Train standing at Dalegarth|
We just watched the locomotive run round the train and rode back down to Ravenglass to have tea in the café await our train back to Grange-Over-Sands.
|View towards Seascale and Sellafield from Ravenglass as|
train approaches. The track in not really that rough - this
is an effect of the telephoto lens!