Aquababies and Pramtime aren't on for a few weeks though as it's the school holidays. As Daddy Monkey is off this week too we decided to have a family day out.
Last time we went on a train Monkey seemed to really enjoy it so we thought she might like a ride on a steam train. So this morning we caught the tram to Bury to begin our journey.
The East Lancs Railway runs a steam service from Heywood to Bury. The main station and gift shop are at Bury - Bolton Street and there is also a transport museum opposite the station although we didn't visit this.
The staff were very friendly and were chatting away to Monkey as we got our tickets. The train is free for children under 5 but they still get their own ticket. This was great for Monkey who insists "Me big!" and sees no reason why she shouldn't have the same as everyone else!
|East Lancs Railway tickets - including one for Monkey!|
|Our train arriving at Bury - Bolton Street|
The ride out to Rawtenstall took about half an hour. Monkey spent most of the journey looking out of the window and telling us what she could see. She loved the sound of the whistle and watching all the steam go past and her face every time we went under a tunnel was brilliant.
|On the East Lancs Railway with Daddy|
We arrived in Rawtenstall at dinner time and had a picnic on the station while watching the train set off back to Bury. Then came the question - what do you actually do in Rawtenstall for 2.5 hours until it's time to get the train back? We were there because that's where the train went rather than any real wish to be in Rawtenstall.
I remembered a park I had visited there about twenty years ago and a quick google said it wasn't too far away so we headed there. They had a fab children's play area which was big enough for Monkey to feel big and grown up but not big enough for me to panic. She's always been quite wary of slides up until the last couple of weeks when she's decided she loves them. There were two here and she went on them both loads.
|At the top of the slide at Whitaker Park|
The most unexpected part of the day was meeting two owls - Tigger and Digger. There wasn't any kind of event going on there was just a woman walking through the park with one. She stopped to let us see him and told us she'd be back later with another one. We saw her again on her way out of the park with a smaller burrowing owl. We chatted more this time and she explained she had four owls that were part of a larger group that did school visits etc. Monkey has been very into owls lately and loved looking at them although she wasn't too sure about stroking them! Neither was I, although Daddy Monkey was much braver and gave Digger a tickle.
|Monkey, Daddy and Digger the owl|
|My big grown up girl|