TWO of Cumbria’s most popular visitor attractions will be helping families make the most of half term with some special activities to help keep the kids entertained this February.

The RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) will be joining passengers on the platform at Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway both this weekend, February 10 and 11, and the following Saturday, February 17 - to give people a unique insight in the vast array of birdlife they could see as they chug along the famous seven-mile route.

The charity will be basing itself at Dalegarth Station on both days, giving children and adults alike the chance to find out more about the rich biodiversity of Cumbrian wildlife.

Setting off from Ravenglass – the only coastal village in the Lake District World Heritage site – the distinctive steam engines cross the tidal Barrow Marsh, giving passengers the chance to see waders including curlews, oyster-catchers and ringed plovers.

Travelling up through Eskdale Valley, there are spectacular peaks and beautiful waterfalls created by the sparkling River Esk – an ideal habitat for a range of birdlife including large birds of prey like buzzards. The eagle-eyed might spot other fascinating wildlife like the iconic red squirrel too.

Across the county at Ullswater Steamers, there’s a chance to sample complimentary samples of a famous Lakeland delicacy on Tuesday, February 13 and Tuesday, February 20, as the team from Grasmere Gingerbread jump on board scheduled services in their traditional Victorian dress.

The team plan to board the 11.05am sailing from Glenridding on February 13, staying on the boat most of the day until the services returns at 3.45pm. The following week, on February 20, they will join the 12.05pm sailing and stay on the same vessel until the service returns to Glenridding at 5.05pm. 

It’s just the start of an action-packed programme of events for all ages on both attractions this spring. Staying on Ullswater Steamers, there is an ‘Early Bird Photography Dawn Cruise’ on Thursday, March 21, with a Marmalade Gin Tasting Cruise in association with Dalemain’s famous World Marmalade Festival on Saturday, April 20.

New Teddy Mountain ‘Make a Bear’ workshops feature at Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway over the Easter holiday period, along with a ‘high speed Easter Egg hunt’ for children to complete on their train journey.

Other upcoming highlights at La’al Ratty include a Fish & Chip train on Friday, April 26, the Steam Gala over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, and a ‘Pie and Mash’ train on Friday, May 17.