The Wensleydale Railway Heritage Education Programme is based at Scruton Station, an authentically-restored Victorian station near Bedale. Built in the 1870s, the station is  complete with a Ticket Office, General Waiting Room, Ladies Waiting Room, Signal Box and original outside toilets! One of only two such stations to survive, it is now regarded as one of the best examples of a small wayside station in the country. In its heyday, a century ago, the station managed not only passenger traffic travelling up and down the dale, but a huge amount of mineral traffic (coal and limestone) and livestock (horses, cattle and sheep) as well as milk, being sent from the Dales to London, Leeds and Newcastle. The station fell into disuse when the line closed to passenger traffic in 1954, although the track remained in place for limestone traffic and Ministry of Defence use.

Over the last 15 years, volunteers from the Wensleydale Railway have restored the station from ruin. The restoration has been done as authentically as possible, using traditional materials and techniques and this painstaking attention to detail was recognised in 2016, by the award of a blue plaque for the ‘Best Station Restoration’ from the Railway Heritage Association.

Our Heritage Education Programme

The Heritage Education Programme was set up in 2015 with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Our award-winning programme, now in its fifth year of running, offers primary schools the opportunity to explore and experience what life was like on a country station about a hundred years ago, through interactive storytelling and a series of curriculum-linked activities using our extensive archive and artefact collections. The visit programme, which is available to pupils from Reception to KS2, provides multiple opportunities for hands-on, enquiry-based learning in an authentic period setting. We have received outstanding feedback from the schools who have visited to date, and we are delighted to be able to offer the programme again this year.

Our 2020 Programme

‘Step Back in Time’ visits are available on Mondays and Thursdays during the second half of the summer term (8 June-10 July). Other dates may be available throughout the year however, by special arrangement. Visits consist of either a half day ‘Step Back in Time’ session at Scruton Station (morning or afternoon), delivered by our Heritage Education Team, or a full day, with a half day ‘Step Back in Time’ session followed by a half day of other activities led by our Heritage Team with support from the school’s own staff.

Use the links below to download our documentation to plan your visit


Download Information Booklet

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Download Booking Form

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Download Site Activity & Risk Assesment

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Download Poster

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