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Things to do in Clayton West, West Yorkshire

Kirklees Light Railway at Clayton West © Joseph Braithwaite

Clayton West nestles in the Beautiful Dearne Valley overlooked by Emley Moor. It once boasted a thriving pit and textile industry. Clayton West affectionately known locally as Clayton is now residential.

One of the dominant features of the landscape is the Emley Moor television mast standing some 1084 feet high and which replaced the original which crashed to the ground in 1969 as a result of a heavy ice build up

Clayton boasts a big tourist attraction. The Kirklees Light Railway. KLR for short and is situated on the old railway sidings. The railway came to Clayton West because of the textile industry, but closed as a passenger carrying service in the 1970s.

KLR is a 15" gauge railway which runs from Clayton West to Sheply. There are four steam engines, which were all built on site in their own work shops.

The railway runs all year round and has many special feature weekends such as Thomas the Tank weekends and Steam Fairs. It is well worth checking out the Kirklees Light Railway Web site for further details.

KLR runs hourly trips along the six mile haul to Shepley, passing through a 200 yard long tunnel. Refreshments are available at both the Clayton and Shepley ends.

For the walking enthusiast there are numerous well marked public footpaths, where the rambler can walk through the beautiful country side such as along the banks of the River Dearne, which once fed the steam engine Victoria in Nortonthorpe Mill.

The Steam Engine Victoria can still be viewed at certain times of the year when she is steamed up and open to the public. The steam engine is a Pollit and Wigzell horizontal tandem engine, built in 1886,

After an enjoyable walk along one of the many local footpaths, the visitor can take a relaxing drink in one of the four friendly public houses.

Not so many years ago Clayton West boasted seven places of worship and seven places where you could drink alcohol. Now there are but four places of worship and four licensed premises.

In the summer, visitors can spend a relaxing day watching cricket at Clayton West Cricket Club, or visiting the Bowling green situated in Cliffewood.

As the visitor arrives in Clayton West along the A636 from the Wakefield direction, you pass within 20 yards of the Old Pack Horse Bridge. The Pack Horse Bridge is mentioned in the Doomsday book. It was once a pack horse track crossing, before the old turnpike road was constructed.

Description by Bob Riddell

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Kirklees Light Railway at Clayton West © Joseph Braithwaite

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