Churnet Valley Railway
Visitors to the Churnet Valley Railway can take a step back in time and recreate the classic days of rail travel through some of Staffordshire’s most enchanting countryside – once known as Staffordshire’s “little Switzerland”.
An eleven mile round trip will take you from Cheddleton ( the spiritual home of The Churnet Valley Railway ) alongside the canal and river to Consall and on to Kingsley and Froghall.
Cheddleton was the original home of the Churnet Valley Railway with its Grade 2 listed Victorian station, small museum and locomotive sheds. Here you can see lots of railway memorabilia along with steam engines in varied state of repair. Cheddleton is very accessable and offers good car parking. Lovely walks, in either direction, along the towpath can be taken following the railway to Consall or alternatively toward the old village where you’ll come across St Edwards Church and Cheddleton Flint Mill.
Consall has a reputation as being “the jewel in the crown” of the Churnet Valley Railway as it’s such a picturesque spot with the canal, river and railway all sharing the valley floor. My tip is to walk along the canal from Cheddleton to Consall, have a well earned pint in the Black Lion Inn and catch the train back! Just be sure to keep an eye on the time and make sure you don’t miss the train back. It should be noted that it’s not possible to drive directly to the pub and Consall is not the easiest place to get to via road.
At Kingsley and Froghall you’ll find a staion with tea room, Churnet Valley Railway souvenir shop, picnic area and disabled facilities. Just a short walk away is the historic lime kilns and Froghall wharf on the Cauldon Canal. The Churnet Valley and Churnet Valley Railway are a testimony to the Industrial revolution.
The Churnet Valley Railway is hoping to extend the line further in the near future by incorporating the busy market town of Leek. Plans are underway to build a new station alongside a marina on the outskirts of Leek that is hoped will boost the local tourism industry and expand The Churnet Valley Railway.