Crich Tramway Village

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Whilst staying at Carsington Water Caravan & Motorhome Club site, we visited Crich Tramway Village. This isn’t something I’ve heard of, but it was on Mandy’s “bucket list”. Ok, not the most glamorous thing to have on one’s bucket list, but on her list it was.

In fact, a visit to the Tramway Village is the reason we were at Carsington Water, which, by the way is a good site. Some pitches are in need of a makeover and when I looked at the services pitches, they looked a little uneven. Anyway, back to Crich.

It’s about 30 minutes from the site and at time of writing there had been a landslide on one of the main approach roads, so the sat nav took us on a rather hilly detour. I suppose you shouldn’t be surprised at having to navigate hills in the peak district, but these were a bit on the steep side. However, navigate them we did, it wasn’t a long detour, just taking a different road to get to the same destination.

When we went in April 2024, Crich Tramway Village was priced at £23 each, pretty good value in our eyes. I did notice on the board that “seniors” (over 60s) were priced also at £23, I did query this, as it was weird that they listed “seniors” and then had them at the same price as a regular ticket, I mean, why list both? Apparenty last year seniors were £17, typical. Mind you as it’s a not for profit outfit – I say this because you can do gift aid – paying full price still felt like good value to us.

CAMC Discount

Interestingly, if you show your CAMC membership, two of you can get in for £23. There is a slight caveat here, weirdly, a full priced ticket gets you unlimited visits for 12 months, but the discounted price only gets one of you in for 12 months. If you were to use the CAMC discount and return within 12 months, one of you would have to pay again. I don’t know what would happen if you were going solo in the first place though, I mean, I’m not sure you’d get in half price as an individual. Still, it’s better than a kick in the teeth, as we did end up going twice, there wasn’t really any benefit for us.

Ride A Tram

The main attraction, at least for Mandy, was the fact that they have running trams. Any given day they have 3 trams running and they announce this on their Twitter (X) feed. It will always be Twitter, won’t it..

When you pay the entrance fee you’re given an old penny. This old penny is your tram fair, for which you get an all day ticket in return. A nice little thing to do, it’s in keeping of the era. The tram ride is about 10 minutes and goes to the top of a hill, then back down again. There are stops, should you wish to alight (tram jargon for “get off” haha) and maybe have a picnic. The weather was a bit wet when we went, but still an enjoyable day.

Pub Moved Brick by Brick

There are a number of things to do once you get in, apart from riding a tram, or two. They were in the process of rebuilding a tea room, but there’s a pub, which sells tea / coffee (and beer). There’s more than meets the eye to the Red Lion Pub. It was formerly a working pub in Stoke-on-Trent and was moved brick by brick to it’s location in the Tramway Village. It does serve real ale, amongst other things for you lovers of the darker beer. Being a Southerner it’s larger top all the way for me and possibly a Babycham.

Restoration

You can see Trams being restored in the workshop viewing area. Along side this there are a number of trams in sheds, maybe 20 or so, which are the ones that they run on a daily basis for visitors to ride. There’s no end of information to read about the trams and the village, too much for me to recreate here, in any case, I’m sure you don’t need me to spoil everything about the attraction.

One of the best parts for me is the Exhibition Hall, which houses lots of trams, all in great condition. You can’t get on these trams (apart from one) but they are arranged in chronological order which gives you a great insight in the the progress of trams, from horse drawn, through to electrification.

I was left with an overall feeling that in many ways we haven’t really progressed in a good way with transport. They electrified trams in 1901. Now in 2024 we’re again using electric for cars and buses, albeit via batteries and not a pantograph. Maybe that is progress, I can see the limitation of having tracks, but really, for “mass transportation” surely electric is the way to go and trams offer a great way to get around any given town. I know some places have reintroduced trams.

With the tram rides, the Exhibition Hall, as well as being able to see them being restored, it’s a great day out for all the family. Oh I didn’t even mention the sweet shop, gift shop and other ways of parting you with your cash!

Something that was really nice to see, when you’re riding on the trams, you see others walking down the hill and without exception, people where smiling as they set eyes on the trams moving along. That was really nice to see. Even kids, in fact I think kids were even more excited to ride on the trams.

That’s where the Crich Tramway Village appeals to all ages. You might be looking at it in a nostalgic way, or as a kid, you’ll just see exciting buses that you can ride on.

All in all a great day (or two in our case) out for all the family. Reasonably priced in my opinion, and enough to keep everyone occupied. There are kids playgrounds and a woodland walk, so it’s not all about spending money! Parking is free as well.

We will no doubt go again.

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