To celebrate World Gin Day (June 10th, 2017) my friend and I decided board the Wensleydale Gin Train. Tickets cost £25 each, which entitles you to a 3 hour scenic train journey and 4 artisan G&T’s. If you want to go and your other half or friend does not like Gin, they also offer beer!!
The train started out in Leeming Bar, where we were greeted with rain. The staff allowed us to sit in the fixed tea carriage until it was time to board at 6:30pm so we managed to avoid getting too wet. The train is nothing too flash, it’s just a train, so don’t go expecting the Orient Express. As I am not a train spotter, the type of train I was about to board didn’t mean anything to me…. I was there for the Gin!
First up we were served Purple Ram Gin (40% abv) served with Fever Tree indian tonic, pink grapefruit and basil. Purple Ram was created, developed and distilled at the Yorkshire Dales Distillery. It was absolutely delicious and refreshing and you could really taste the distinctive bitter citrus notes. This will be a one to add to my expanding Gin collection. (I have a birthday coming up in October if anyone is stuck for ideas, just saying!)
Next up we enjoyed one of my personal favourites, Whittakers Original Gin (42% abv) with Fever Tree tonic, juniper berries and thyme. Whittakers always goes down a treat with me.
Midway in to our journey, the sun made a blinding appearance (literally, I ended up having to move seats to avoid the glare) and the views across the countryside were spectacular.
We ordered cheese and crackers to enjoy on our journey. This cost £5.50 for the two of us. Being a total cheese fanatic, I was not disappointed. There was a good selection of local Yorkshire cheeses, grapes and crackers. My favourite cheese from those selected was the Cheddar and Balsamic Onion. It was so creamy and tasty and oh so moreish.
The third Gin presented to us was Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin (42% abv), Yorkshire Tea Edition. It was served with Fever Tree tonic and a slice of lemon. This Gin was ideal after our little cheese fest as it really cleansed the palette.
The fourth and final Gin that was part of the original package was Raisthorpe Manor Oak Aged Yorkshire Gin (42% abv). This was served with Fever Tree tonic and a slice of orange. It was one of the more bitter gins that I’ve tried.
We reached Redmire and the train stopped for 30 minutes. You are invited to disembark and have a little wander if you want to. As this was our first journey on the Gin Train we were a little unsure whether we had to wait for the staff to take our orders for further Gin. We couldn’t really see anyone so we just patiently waited. (Which for those that know me, is totally out of character, I am the least patient person in the world! It just goes to show how relaxed the Gin Train had made me) After a while my friend finally spotted a member of the staff and asked them how we could order more Gin. The staff member informed us there was a full bar at the back of the first class carriage. After breaking into a fit of laughter because we had wasted precious Gin drinking time and feeling like a pair of deeebs we ordered a further two G&T’s. The Gin of choice being time one of my absolute favourites, Edinburgh Gin, Rhubarb and Ginger Liquer in double measures to make up for lost time. 😂 The additional G&T’s available do not disappoint and are priced at a very reasonable £4.00!!
Going forward to avoid any confusion for people it would probably be a good idea for the staff to inform that there is a bar for further Gin purchases at the start of the journey. Don’t want others missing out on valuable Gin drinking time 😂
So, would I take a ride on the Gin Train again? Of course! It was a lovely chilled experience, just what I needed after a particularly stressful month, the G&T plus garnishes available were vast, the staff (who I believe are volunteers) were friendly and professional and quick with their service. The journey itself was very scenic. It allowed my friend and I to just chill out, have a good catch up, enjoy the views and more importantly sample some of the best gins around.
The Wensleydale Railway runs a series of events throughout the year. You can find more info here: http://www.wensleydalerail.com/2017/04/19/wensleyale-and-gin-train-june-10th-2017/
The great thing about the Wensleydale Railway events is that when you buy a ticket you are also helping the Railway continue to be maintained. Thus making us socially responsible Gin Drinkers, and that my friends, is another valid reason to drink more Gin.
Thank you Wensleydale Railway for a lovely experience.
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