Heatherslaw Light Railway

Heatherslaw Light Railway Heatherslaw Light Railway Heatherslaw Light Railway Heatherslaw Light Railway

As seen on  Channel 4’s Travels with Mum and Dad, 2023

Heatherslaw Light Railway is the most northerly steam railway in England.
This fifteen-inch gauge railway runs through beautiful countryside alongside the River Till between Heatherslaw and Etal Castle, a return journey of 6.4km that takes 20-25 minutes each way. Carriages are pulled by the steam locomotives ‘Bunty’ and ‘Lady Augusta’, or by the diesel engine ‘Binky’. The service operates seven days a week in season (28th March-3rd November, 2024).

The first train runs from Heatherslaw Station at 11:00am and on the hour thereafter (2024 timetable below). Return journeys from Etal run on the half-hour with the first train at 11:30.

All tickets are for return journeys and can be purchased at Heatherslaw Station Ticket Office, or at Etal Station from the guard, see prices below. There is no advance booking system.

The railway runs along the banks of the River Till giving you wonderful views of the Northumberland countryside and Cheviot Hills. Swans, heron, ducks and the occasional otter are some of the wildlife you may spot along the way. On sunny days keep an eye out for hares basking in the fields.

A journey on Heatherslaw Light Railway is enchanting whatever the weather and there is a choice of fully enclosed or partly glazed coaches, subject to availability, to keep you dry, even on the wettest of days.

At Heatherslaw, a short walk across the bridge takes you to Heatherslaw Corn Mill, a working water mill and heritage museum where grain is ground into flour. Learn all about the local attractions at Ford & Etal Visitor Centre and find out more about the history of the Estates. You will also find craft and gift shops, and a cafe.

Why not break up your journey at Etal and visit Etal Castle, an English Heritage property, or walk the short distance up to picturesque Etal Village and visit the Lavender Tearoom or the Black Bull Inn for refreshments before catching the next train back to Heatherslaw. You can also walk down to the River Till where you might see a heron or a kingfisher. Pop into Madcap Gallery which is near the cauld on the river. There is a lovely riverside walk too.

Special events run throughout the season, please see the Heatherslaw Light Railway website for details or follow the Railway on Facebook. Santa specials run over two weekends in December, places must be booked in advance, details will be posted when tickets go on sale.

Dogs are welcome on the trains.

Trains from Heatherslaw: 11:00, 12:00. 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 

Trains  from Etal: 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, *15:30 (*in July and August the last return train from Etal will leave at 16:00).

THE RAILWAY WILL BE CLOSED on Friday 19th April and Friday 26th April, 2024.



  • Free car parking.
  • Wheelchair accessible (where possible please phone in advance).
  • Cafe across the bridge
  • Public toilets across the bridge

Group and party bookings are welcome – groups must be booked in advance, please telephone for details. Maximum capacity is 90 adults.



Adult return journey


Family of 4 return journey


Family of 3 return journey


Child under 18 return journey


Infant under 5 return journey


Babes in arms and under 2


Carer return journey




Single tickets are not available except for groups of 12 and over

Opening Times

Trains will run seven days a week from 28th March to the 3rd November 2024. CLOSED ON FRIDAY 19th and FRIDAY 26th APRIL 2024

switch website