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Days out in the UK

Watercress Line - Steam railway in Hampshire
Formerly part of Britain's national rail network (between the towns of Alton and Alresford) the line is now run by dedicated volunteers for the enjoyment of all. www.watercressline.co.uk

Settle-Carlisle Railway
This scenic and historic route is one of the most spectacular in Britain, passing through lowland valleys and the Yorkshire Dales National Park before climbing to the dramatic mountain landscape of the High Pennines, then descending to the fertile Eden Valley and the Border City of Carlisle. Local guide books can be purchased through the Tourist Information Centres. There are daily rail services between Leeds, Settle and Carlisle all year round, stopping at various stations. In summer there are special DalesRail trains between Blackpool, Hellifield and Carlisle on most Sundays. All trains are operated by Sprinter diesel; the full journey Leeds-Carlisle, takes a little more than 2.5 hours. Visit the www.scrblg.co.uk/shop site for more details. Occasional steam trains run along this track. (If you have any more information about steam services email us at the address below and we will include details here.)

The Jacobite Steam train
The "Jacobite Steam" train follows the famous Road to the Isles between Fort William and the Port of Mallaig. Described as one of the great railway journeys of the world this 84 mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. It starts near the highest mountain in Britain (Ben Nevis), visits Britain's most westerly mainland railway station (Arisaig), then passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain (Loch Morar), and the shortest river in Britain (River Morar) and finally arrives next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe - Loch Nevis. The train leaves Fort William at 10:20am and returns to Fort William at 4:00pm with an hour and a half in Mallaig. It is a great way to spend the day! Visit http://www.westcoastrailway.co.uk/ or  http://www.scotrail.co.uk/scotrwhl.htm

The North Norfolk Railway - Poppy line
The North Norfolk Railway offers a 10.5 mile round trip by steam train (vintage diesel trains on some journeys) through a delightful area of North Norfolk designated as being of outstanding natural beauty. To the south are wooded hills and the Norfolk beauty spots of Kelling Heath and Sheringham Park. To the north, the sea. All within easy walking distance from the various stations. More details at www.nnrailway.co.uk 

The Rudyard Lake Steam Railway
The Rudyard Lake Steam Railway is just North of Leek in Staffordshire.The lake railway uses miniature narrow gauge steam locomotives on its trains to give a 3 mile return trip along the side of Rudyard Lake. The 200 year old lake gave Rudyard Kipling his name. It has a long history of leisure attractions being actively developed and promoted by the old North Staffordshire Railway in the early 1900's to offer days out trips to the workers of the North West and Midlands. The lake is a family centre for picnics, sailing, boating, walking and fishing as well as riding the train and makes a superb day out ideal for kids. For more information visit http://web.ukonline.co.uk/hanson.mike/rudlake.htm  

The Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway - Near Skipton, Yorkshire 
Now you can travel on a train pulled by a steam locomotive from the historic station at Embsay, built in 1888, or Bolton Abbey Station. The culmination of a dream stretching back almost thirty years, the newly completed track extension and the opening of the award winning Bolton Abbey station offers a whole new experience for the visitor.

The site of the Bolton Abbey station boasts to being home to a number of rare plants and flowers such as the Bee Orchid and lies adjacent to a newly created wetland area developed with greatly appreciated financial assistance from Yorventure. More details at http://www.pogo.org.uk/railway/index.html  

The West Somerset Railway
The West Somerset Railway recaptures the era of the branch line country railway in the days of steam. Enjoy 20 miles of glorious Somerset scenery as the train gently rolls back the years on its journey beside the Quantock Hills to the Bristol Channel coast. Just sit back in your seat and watch the steam and the countryside drift past the window.

From Bishops Lydeard, trains run beside the Quantock Hills northwards to the Bristol Channel coast at Watchet and Blue Anchor. The end of the line is the holiday town of Minehead, with its sandy beach, thrilling fun fair, beautiful gardens and lots of shops to explore. Buses run on Exmoor and steamers call at the harbour. Visit www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/

The Living Rainforest
The Living Rainforest is an international conservation education charity, launched in July 2000. We aim to promote a sustainable future by providing education and research on the relationship between humanity and the world's rainforests.

The Living Rainforest runs a visitor centre in Berkshire, UK, open year-round and featuring a tropical rainforest-inspired ecological garden.

Our interpretation programme focuses on six broad themes: plants, animals, ecosystems, human needs, economies and cultures. Visit www.livingrainforest.org 

Marwell Zoo
Situated in Hampshire, Marwell Zoological Park has over 200 species of animals, many are endangered species. The scimitar-horned oryx, an animal classed as extinct in the wild, is Marwell’s symbol and is being successfully reintroduced to reserves in Africa.

You can see the largest collection of hoofed animals in the United Kingdom including Przewalski’s horses, zebra, white rhino, pudu, tapir, bongo and kudu. Some, such as dorcas gazelle and Somali wild ass can only be seen in the UK at Marwell.

Cats are also one of Marwell’s specialities – nine species are represented in the zoo. The largest of the tigers – the Amur – can be seen as well as snow leopards, jaguar, cheetah and Amur leopard. At the other end of the scale are the sand cats and the black-footed cat – the smallest in the world. There are many other carnivores from meerkats to fossa and red panda.

There is a wide variety of primates – from tiny tamarins to the Siamang gibbon with its extraordinary arm-span and stunning jungle call. Rodents and marsupials also have their place. Marwell has a growing collection of birds from tiny lovebirds to cranes, storks, owls, ducks, pheasants and penguins.

Invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and fish are mainly to be found in Tropical World in a beautiful rainforest environment www.marwell.org.uk/animals.htm 

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