Trams Galore At Crich

Now long gone from loads of places, trams once were one of the world’s most popular forms of urban transport. We are lucky enough to have trams in our city and use them regularly. They are sleek, modern and a great way to travel but are nothing like the beauties we saw at Crich in Derbyshire. We spent the most wonderful day at this lovely museum where they have Britain’s only large collection of old trams.

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Deep in the Derbyshire hills this place is in an old and disusued quarry. It is run by some of the most enthusiastic volunteers you’re ever likely to meet. Not exactly a cheap day out – it cost £14 each for Husband and me and £8 for Son, but the ticket lasts a year and you can return unlimited times.

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We arrived to a full car park and a couple of coaches. Cue sinking heart, however once inside the whole place did not feel even remotely crowded. We paid our entrance fee and were given an old penny each to use as the fare for the tram.

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They had three old trams running all day. You can ride unlimited times on these vintage beauties as they travel up and down the cobbled streets of a little recreated period village.

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They aim to have the right sort of tram for the weather too – no worries about getting wet in the open air models.

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The street scene is just the perfect backdrop to showcase this wonderful historic tram collection.

We rode all three trams a couple of times. One was a single decker and two were double deckers – tall and gaunt. A bumpy ride at times but those beautiful wooden interiors make up for anything.

Son’s favourite was the former horse drawn tram with a little brass railed staircase curling to the top deck. He was also intrigued that when we got to the end of the line the driver walked through, shifted the seat backs and everyone turned to face the other way.

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In the heart of the village is Tramway Street. We peeked in at the Eagle Press with all its print equipment but Son couldn’t wait to get inside the old fashioned sweet shop. Rows and rows of loose sweets – what a choice. He came away with a paper bag stuffed full of treats.

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Most of the buildings along the street have been rescued from towns and cities around the UK. A trip to the ice cream parlour then we headed indoors.

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There is a little museum with various exhibitions and a chance to look down on trams being restored in the Workshop Viewing Gallery.

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We found a massive collection of old trams in the depot. You can see them up close and read more about them, my favourite was most definitely the World War 1 recruitment tram, decorated to promote enlistment in the army in the war.

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Drinks and a snack in the old fashioned pub were most welcome before we began our afternoon exploring.

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44 thoughts on “Trams Galore At Crich

  1. An interesting place to visit, I’d definitely like to visit some time as I’m very fond of trams. When I was at primary school one year my parents organised an early birthday party for me on an illuminated Blackpool tram – it was the Rocket. I still have the photos!

    • That sounds like an amazing birthday party!! We love the Blackpool trams during the Illuminations, what a treat! This museum is great, even if you’re not into trams there is so much to see and do.

  2. This looks like such a lovely day out and the vintage trams look much nicer than their present-day counterparts! Flipping the seats to face the other way was something I noticed on the trains in Japan, quite a practical idea since a lot of people don’t like facing “the wrong way”. Old-fashioned sweet shops are a favourite of mine too, sherbet lemons and sherbet pips are something I miss when I’m not in the UK!

  3. I love trams Joy so would really enjoy a visit here! It’s such a pity so many towns and cities did away with them. We always love the European cities we visit as so many of them still have trams. When we lived in Melbourne we enjoyed travelling on them as they still have them there but Perth, alas, no longer has them.The sweet shop looks a real treat! Hope you’re having a lovely week 🙂

    • We had such a great day out Rosemary, we have a great tram network in Manchester but this was something extra special. Needless to say the sweet shop was a huge hit with our son! We’re on our second week of half term (flying past too quickly) and have been enjoying some fantastic sunshine and lovely days out. Normally we go away this time of year, but it’s been nice to recharge the batteries at home! Just had my dad for a week as well, he’s gone home and my sister is coming next weekend too so we’re looking forward to that. Hope your week is going well too.

      • I love spending time at home during holidays too Joy and doing day trips and outings. Sometimes it’s more relaxing than going away and as you say a good way to recharge batteries! Lovely to have your family coming for visits too! Great that the weather is nice and sunny too 🙂 Am counting down until the 2nd week of December when our younger daughter is coming back for nearly 3 weeks from London! We’re going to stay around Perth and do outings rather than go away – it’s always packed everywhere at Christmas and there are so many nice places to visit around here. Yes having a good week – we finally have some spring sunshine 🙂 It’s been a long time coming. We don’t normally long for warmer weather but this year has been exceptional (well maybe it’s the new norm for Perth and the south west – getting colder!). Have a lovely rest of the week and half term break 🙂

  4. Living in the Isle of Man, we have lots of trams on a (March to November) daily basis on three working lines to look at but a visit to Crich that we made a few years ago was well worthwhile – a great day out. (By the way, the Isle of Man also has four steam heritage railways.)

  5. As you know, we also have trams in Helsinki! I hardly use them though. I think there’s a vintage tram every summer too. This year I had fun trying out the Pub Tram 🙂

  6. I was a student in Sheffield and remember visiting Crich, but it wasn’t anything like as developed as this. Spotted the old Sheffield tram – well before my time, but the livery was still the same. And of course, Sheffield has trams again now. Also spotted the Glasgow tram for Bridgeton Cross which is where I now spend a lot of time at the Women’s Library.

  7. You go to such cool places, Joy. Love those trams, I wish we had them here. I know Cape Town had trams, a long time ago, but they were discontinued before I was born. The village scene looks delightful!

    • These trams were so beautiful inside and out – a bit different to the modern, sleek trams we have in our city!! It was a great day out and the old fashioned sweet shop – well what can I say!!

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