The lake

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A view of late summer. Riding on the Rudyard lake light railway train, along the length of the lake. I saw this sailing boat over the other side. Too far away and slightly misty to get a clear view. I love the romance of the scene. Its a long, thin lake. Sheltered by hills on either side. Actually a reservoir for the canal system. I don’t think it ever gets stormy on there. No tides, no rise and fall of water, unless there is a period of drought. A lovely, if busy, place to visit.

It’s out in the hills on a little side road, we have cycled there down steep gradients when I was a lot younger. One road to it is very narrow, with passing places. The other is on the far side of the town of Leek and means an extra twenty to thirty minutes travelling to get there.

One day I will take paints and a canvas to capture the views.

White sails

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White sail, sailing, over the water.

Barely a breath to help you move.

White canvas, taut and stiff

Or billowing softly in the breeze.

Hot sun and morning mist,

A twinkle of ripples follow your wake.

Sails, tall and fair.

Sails standing out across the lake,

Bright against the wooded hill.

Your beacon shines to me.

Memories

August at Rudyard lake, DSC_2199_optimized

Heat, sunlight, memories of warmth. Memories of the lake and the little narrow gauge (miniature?) railway that runs along side it. I think it’s 18 inch gauge.

The lake surface was very smooth apart from ripples caused by a few rowing boats. We had sandwiches and ice creams at the cafe and caught the train there and back to see how far it was (one of my Dad’s phrases).

I miss the sunlight and the warmth. It’s only two months ago and it’s literally freezing outside tonight. We had frost this morning…. Let me go back into my memories, time travel, back, to summer.

Day out at Rudyard

Rudyard lake, Staffordshire, on a bank holiday Monday afternoon. There is a miniature railway on one side of the lake that takes you up from a little station at Rudyard, which is just next to the railway bridge I’m the way out of the village. It then runs for about a mile and a half. It follows the track bed of the Great Central railway which was removed several decades ago. It heads off to the top end of Rudyard Lake where it ends at a halt and the footpath carries on to another village a few miles away called Rushton Spencer I think?

They had a miniature steam engine and a miniature diesel train pulling the carriages today. We got off at the first stop called the Dam for a lunch at the cafe, then we got back on the train and travelled to the end of the and back to the station.

The only bother was the parking. But someone was leaving so we snuck in a space. Definitely worth a visit and not too expensive.

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Rudyard lake railway.

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This is a drawing I did last year of the dam, a little station on the Rudyard Lake railway, a miniature railway which runs over a railway bridge above the road going out of Rudyard village towards Macclesfield.

The station for the railway is situated just beyond the bridge on the land alongside it, you can drive up a slope to get into the car park. The miniature railway consists of small steam engines  (I’m not sure of the scale,  maybe a 5th or a 6th of the size of a fully grown one). There are small passenger carriages some with windows and some without that are towed behind the engine.

The line is open at weekends in the summer months to take you along the wooded valley that leads up to the lake.  (Not sure how much it costs sorry). The first stop is at the Dam  (pictured) which is where the lake has been dammed to collect water. That is because Rudyard Lake is a reservoir for the local canal system. The train journey then continues down the length if the lake to the far end of it.

The journey is very scenic, with views over the lake with boats sailing on it and the wooded hills beyond. Sometimes we get out of the train at the dam station so I can do a drawing or painting.

The railway was built by a school several years ago. It’s on the track bed of the Great Central railway which went from Manchester to Birmingham and then London. The track was taken up in the 1950’s  we think. It went through Rushton Spencer and on to Macclesfield then Manchester apparently.

Anyway, I think the lake was named after Rudyard Kipling? But it might be the other way round. His parents used to visit the area, but I don’t know the story about that I’m afraid.

The miniature railway has a snack bar with teas and coffees. Rudyard Lake has a tea room and other facilities. Parking can be difficult by the lake but you can also park at the railway and walk along the track bed which is also a footpath up to the dam where you can walk across to the little area with the tea room. This is where the boat club is based together with a little visitor centre. The footpath continues along the track bed up to the head of the lake and there are also little paths that you can follow to get closer to the lake.

Other access to the lake is along a narrow road which takes you into the Rudyard lake hotel carpark. I’m not sure about the parking there. I don’t remember having to pay but it can get crowded.

Rudyard lake is a couple of miles away from the main road between  Stoke-on-Trent and Leek. You can also get to it from the road between Leek and Macclesfield.

I’m not a travel writer so this may not be totally accurate.

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