It’s a station on the North-West main line – ‘Oxenholme’ is how it is really written. If you set quiz questions, it’s a good one: what’s the only main line station in Britain to be found in a village?
Oxenholme is really on the outskirts of Kendal – as close as the main north-south line to Glasgow gets, but there’s another station in central Kendal so they had to call it something else.
If you’re going to Edinburgh, the line bifurcates somewhere around Carstairs and trundles off at a slower pace, cross-country to Scotland’s capital. Glasgow is more fun – and a lot faster.
It gets you to London, too, via The venerable stations of Lancaster, Preston, Wigan, and sometimes, Warrington and Crewe, before thundering south to Euston. But my working life contained a lot of that, as most of our large customers were in the City, and living on such trains, via Preston or Manchester, was a way of life I’m happy to have left behind, though it served me well.
Apart from happy visits like the Bloggers Bash, I’d rather face the other way and visit romantic Scotland – a place that Bernie and I love.
My happiest London moment was always the sight of Euston’s platforms sliding into the darkness as the train left for the North-West. This does not reflect a dislike of our capital – it’s a wonderful place; just a desire to ‘breathe’ again after the crush of the city and the necessary compression of the Tube.
When we bought our ‘old’ 1960s bungalow in 2010, and set about converting it so that we could ‘ part-retire’ to the Lakes, the prospect of having a main-line station on our doorstep was very appealing. If we wish, we can walk from our tiny village of Sedgwick (one horse, no shops, nearest pub 30 mins on foot) to Oxenholme station in 45 mins. If we want to amble and arrive less sweaty, an hour. There’s a top-class coffee shop just outside the station’s rear approach which is part of a local bakery.
Sometimes, I walk Tess there, we have coffee and Danish, and then we walk home with the bread. It’s different from London, though the latter has closer shops!
I love trains, and opt for them whenever possible. Bernie is very adept in scouring Virgin Rail’s online offers to get me or is two first-class singles for the price of a standard-class return… heaven.
And the lovely, historic station at Oxenholme makes all this possible for us Lake District dwellers…
We shall shortly be leaving for Scotland, to spend the weekend with friends who have treated us to a joint birthday present – a day’s cycling around the Scottish Isle of Tiree. We will train from Oxenholme to Glasgow, meeting up for dinner; then fly to Tiree in the morning for our day’s cycling.
I’ll bring back pictures, I promise…