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Afternoon Tea on the Wensleydale Railway


We had a very special afternoon tea on a train recently! Find out more about our enjoyable experience on the Wensleydale Railway.

Sign at Bedale station


Last weekend we drove into Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire in order to hop on the Wensleydale Express, with service and food provided by Institution cafe in Bedale. This special train takes visitors through the countryside and hosts a wide range of special events, including afternoon tea weekends.


Bedale station  Flowers at Bedale station

We got on at Bedale station, checked in and waited for the train to arrive. Bedale is a proper old-fashioned railway station... you won't find a Costa or Pumpkin coffee shop here!

The diesel train rolled into view and we got on board. Afternoon tea was held on two coaches, and there were fourteen people on our coach. Our coach was served by not one, but two waitresses, who introduced themselves before the train rolled away they and explained the itinerary for the trip.

If I was being honest, I was expecting the coach we were on to be a little bit more grandiose, but one of the waitresses mentioned that the original carriage had experienced a bit of a shunt and was not in operation at the moment. It was still nice though, I loved the crockery (which I overheard came from the V&A museum).

Teapot on Wensleydale railway  Cup of tea

When we got on the train we were offered a glass of prosecco or orange juice, and then some tea and coffee - as there were two waitresses looking after fourteen people the refills were very regular!

The waitresses talked us through the afternoon tea which I like, some afternoon teas don't do this and you have to make an educated guess about what you are eating! Sandwiches came first, the flavours were the traditional ones including ham, egg mayonnaise, cucumber and cheese. The cheese one was particularly delicious and came with homemade ginger and carrot relish. There was also a little pastry case filled with salmon mousse which was a nice touch.


Sandwiches on Wensleydale railway  Cheese sandwich

The bonus was there were unlimited refills on sandwiches, which we took advantage of! Not too many though, as there were still scones and cakes to go...


The afternoon tea came with two scones - a fruit scone and a cherry and almond scone. It's always nice to get two scones, plus the cherry scone was a pleasant surprise (it's usually fruit and plain!) The scones were good and full of plump fruit, and came with a decent-sized serving of jam and clotted cream

The desserts were very fruity, from the chocolate covered strawberry to the fruit covered meringue (with a little hidden blueberry inside!) Even the profiterole had a cherry flavour to it.

Dessert on Wensleydale railway  Chocolate strawberry  Chocolate cake on Wensleydale railway

Afternoon tea on the train lasted two hours in total and the waitresses explained where the train was going at the start of the trip. We headed off from Bedale and went through Leyburn, ending up in Redmire. The train then stopped for ten minutes and we could get off for a leg stretch before the train returned to Bedale station.

Look at the view we had from our window - isn't it lovely?

View out of train window

It cost £42.50 per person for afternoon tea, which some of you might raise an eyebrow at, but remember that you're not only getting a fab afternoon tea, but a trip through the Yorkshire Dales.

This would be a good afternoon tea to take parents or grandparents on as a special treat!

To find out more about the railway visit:

Afternoon tea menu on the Wensleydale Railway

  • Choice of tea or coffee, and a glass of prosecco
  • Sandwiches:
    • Cheese with homemade ginger and carrot relish
    • Ham 
    • Cucumber
    • Egg mayonnaise
    • Salmon mousse pastry
  • Luxury fruit scone and cherry and almond scone with jam and clotted cream
  • Desserts:
    • Chocolate covered strawberry
    • Meringue with fruit and whipped cream
    • Profiterole
    • Chocolate sponge cake

Scores on the doors for afternoon tea on the Wensleydale Railway

Check out the rest of our 'scores on the doors'. Which afternoon tea is the best?

  • Ambience - A little bit of a shame about the original coach being out of order, but the staff were very friendly and attentive... plus what a lovely view! 5/5
  • Sandwiches - Unlimited sandwiches and nice fresh flavours 4/5
  • Scones - The scones were fantastic, the cherry and almond scones were a great touch 4/5
  • Sweets - There weren't many desserts and they were very simple, but done very well 4/5
  • Value for money - The most expensive afternoon tea we've had so far, but a very memorable experience and something definitely worth trying once 4/5

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By Kate at 8 Oct 2018, 21:45 PM

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By Sam | North East Family Fun at 7 Aug 2017, 22:42 PM on Scone alone: is it okay to go for afternoon tea by yourself?

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