Shipley Glen Tramway – Baildon, England - Atlas Obscura
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Baildon, England

Shipley Glen Tramway

This quaint funicular has been ferrying people up and down an English valley since the Victorian era. 

Originally built and operated as a way to ferry Victorian thrill seekers to and from an amusement park built at the top of a wooded valley in Yorkshire, the Shipley Glen Tramway has served several generations in a variety of capacities.

Built by local publican Sam Wilson in 1895, the tramway runs between Baildon and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire, two villages at opposite ends of the track. At the summit of the tramway is the Shipley Glen itself, a large expanse of countryside popular with walkers and families, and playing host to pubs, a hotel, and various sights of local interest.

The amusement park that once sat next to the tramway was demolished in the early 2000s, but visitors still enjoy riding the cablecars to and from Saltaire, a popular destination for anyone familiar with artist David Hockney or Industrial Revolution-era Britain.

Despite a few small closures, and switching from gas to electrical power in the 1920s, the tramway has remained open and active for over 120 years—a pretty mean feat in this day and age, and is a fascinating little time-warped gem.

Know Before You Go

As the tramway is run by volunteers as part of a charity, opening times are limited so check before you travel. It's usually open on Sundays and some Saturdays, along with school holidays.

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