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Rail Ale Trail

Every stop is a stout….or a bitter, or a mild, or a lager!


A ride on the East Lancashire Railway offers not only stunning countryside but tucked away villages, hidden gems (and pubs) and plenty of fascinating history!

The Rail Ale Trail takes you on a voyage to discover some of the Irwell Valley’s most beautiful locations and exceptional pubs, all linked together by the railway. Whether you are an ale lover, cider aficionado or cream soda supporter, you will find something to suit your tastes buds at every station along the route.

Follow the Trail…

Download the Rail Ale Trail guide to follow the trail at your own pace. The guide is designed as a handy accompaniment to find a good pint or two and is helpful whichever ELR station you decide to start or finish your tour at. What could be better than a steam-powered pub crawl through the Lancashire countryside?

You can always combine your own trail with a Resident’s Permit for reduced travel fares or with a visit to one of our Steam or Diesel Galas, stopping for a hearty breakfast at The Trackside! Take a look at our events list for even more ideas.

Guided Rail Ale Tours

Our popular guided tours are available at selected dates throughout the year. Whether you choose The Folk Train, a Hike for your Hops special or a Classic Summerseat and Ramsbottom tour, one thing is certain; great local ales, plenty of good stories and a jolly crowd are guaranteed.Rail Ale Trail to Ramsbottom

All of our tours focus on the history and heritage of the local area,  its brewing traditions and the people who shaped them over the centuries. We aim to provide a quality experience for everyone by offering a maximum of  25 places for each tour. Please note that hen and stag parties are prohibited on the public guided tours. The East Lancashire Railway reserves the right to refuse entry or boarding the train if customers are too heavily under the influence of alcohol.

Pick your Tour and Date

Our programme for 2014 is packed with new and exciting tours as well as old favourites! Find out more about the tours available.

Follow us on Twitter @Rail_Ale for the latest news and updates.

Special Rail Ale Trail Offers

Hamers Arms in SummerseatWe have teamed up with some of the local pubs to offer some great foodie deals to help you soak up the ale! Simply show your valid ELR train travel ticket and make use of the following offers:

Hamer’s Arms, Summerseat: Bowl of home-made soup and a sandwich for just £4.00!

First Chop, Ramsbottom: 10% off on drinks at the bar and 20% off on food (excluding Friday and Saturday after 7pm).

Irwell Works Brewery, Ramsbottom: Free 3rd of a pint sampler of ale on production of a valid ELR travel ticket.

The Railway, Ramsbottom: 20% off on food.