Trans Pennine Rail Ale Trains

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Webbo

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Hi:

I am planning a trip next weekend with a couple of mates from York area to stalybridge and returning stopping a various station pubs. I have tried today to contact Northern about tickets but seem to be going round in circles - anybody any idea what the best ticket for such a ramble is please ?
 
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dave87016

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South Pennines Day Ranger is valid but from Leeds , so you would have to pay for a seperate return from York to Leeds
 

Puffing Devil

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Don't do this on a Saturday. The whole Ale Trail thing has turned into an unruly scrum. It's a lot nicer during the week, even on a Friday.
 

Webbo

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Thanks for that chaps, unfortunately we have to do it this saturday as work gets in the way for most of us during the week.

Having researched the ticket prices (some of us are travelling form Thirsk and some form York) it looks cheaper to get a return per person. Just thought there may be a cheaper option
 

hairyhandedfool

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When you say you've tried to contact Northern, I assume you mean the contracted-out-to-Carillion Customer Services department? IME what they know about tickets could be written on the back of a small screwed up postage stamp (before you unscrew it).

If it's just a 'there and back' arrangement, either stopping at each station in turn on the way there or the way back, a simple return is probably the best option. There may be options for 'splits', but as it's not my local area, I'm not aware of any.
 

Puffing Devil

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Thanks for that chaps, unfortunately we have to do it this saturday as work gets in the way for most of us during the week.

Do yourselves a favour, Google around the Real Ale Trail and the problems there are. Also have a search for other train-based wanderings around pubs in the region. I promise you a much nicer, and more civilised, day out.
 

aformeruser

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Do yourselves a favour, Google around the Real Ale Trail and the problems there are.

In summary the problem is some people see it as a train crawl and drink the cheapest lager available as quickly as possible and get very drunk, opposed to drinking the higher quality, more expensive local ales.
 

Webbo

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I am led to believe that most pubs en-route are now stopping large groups, hen parties etc and also stopping serving larger in an attempt to save the sensible real ale men from getting a bad name and trying to clean up the image.
 

telstarbox

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I did it last summer with some work colleagues - the trains did get livelier towards the evening but I've been on football trains which were worse. There were coppers and Northern 'bouncers' on the route to keep the peace.

The Stalybridge buffet bar was the best of the lot! Lager was however freely available.
 
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beeza1

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When a few of us from work did the"Ale Trail", we got Day Returns from Huddersfield, caught the fast TPExpress to Stalybridge, then returned on the Northern stopper.
I was in Slawit (Slaithwaite to the uninitiated) last Saturday afternoon,and whilst it was still fairly busy there wasn't the rowdiness I have witnessed in the past, mind you that big hill back up to the station puts some people off calling there.
 
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I did this at the end of January this year (using a Northern Rail Johnston Press rover). I started in Stalybridge and managed to get there before the crowd so could enjoy a pint and a gigantic slab of pie in the buffet. However, it got so crowded that I skipped one stop to get ahead of everyone. Most pubs after that were calm. Perhaps most folk also start the trip at Stalybridge? At Huddersfield I changed to the Penistone line as far as Barnsley. That's also worth a look for an ale trail without the crowds.
 

father_jack

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Watch out in case FC Stalybridge are at home- their ground is very near Stalyvegas station as I found out last year, 1200 onwards and it was wedged until 1430.
 

trickyvegas

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Watch out in case FC Stalybridge are at home- their ground is very near Stalyvegas station as I found out last year, 1200 onwards and it was wedged until 1430.

I'm not sure if you're getting confused with FC United of Manchester who were ground sharing with Stalybridge Celtic last year.

FC United have moved to their own ground in Moston, and Stalybridge Celtic games generally draw much smaller crowds. For the record Stalybridge Celtic's ground is about 2 miles away from the station.
 

Webbo

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Just a final update, did the journey yesterday, Bought a day return and all went well, trains on time, staff very friendly and even fitted in a few more stops on the way back. Second from last train out of York up to Thirsk was very busy with plenty of hen party singing but otherwise a very civilised and enjoyable day.

Thanks for all those that gave me advise, now looking to plan another similar trip on a different route - Any Ideas within Yorkshire are ???
 

Puffing Devil

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I'm really glad that it worked out for the OP and it doesn't seem to be the carnage on a Saturday that it has been in recent years.
 

Ianigsy

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Bradford Council and CAMRA produce a Keighley & Worth Valley Ale Trail leaflet- mostly Keighley and Haworth but also some options in Oxenhope and Oakworth.
 

danbushell

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a few years back there used to be a Rail Ale trail leaflet published for the Penistone line but I've not seen it for a few years. Has anyone got a link to this leaflet?
I know the trail got very busy with Huddersfield and Sheffield Uni students on a Saturday!!
 
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Some photographs of the guide are here and a useful, though slightly dated, blog post here.

On a chilly Saturday in January I preferred the Penistone line pubs to those between Stalybridge and Huddersfield. The Cask & Spindle and The Clothiers were serving food, plus plenty of nourishment available in Huddersfield. The hourly train service was an ideal pint spacer (for me anyway!).
 

telstarbox

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I'm doing the Derby to Matlock one soon (I don't think it gets crowds either!) so I'll report back.

The Derwent Valley one (Derby to Matlock) was good fun, if anyone's thinking of doing it:

Most of the pubs are 5-10 minutes away from the station and downhill from the railway, so allow enough time to get back up to the station. Plenty of good ales and beers available.

Whatstandwell doesn't have any surviving pubs so we skipped that one.

Cromford is a longer walk so we spent 2 hours there rather than 1 (visiting two pubs).

The trains weren't that busy except for a couple earlier in the afternoon as Derby County were at home.

As Matlock is a branch line you either have to return to Derby at the end or catch a bus onwards to Buxton or Chesterfield.
 
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