Times may have been hard during lockdown, but one business has come back with a bang – and plenty of new attractions for all to enjoy!

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway was thrilled to begin welcoming passengers back on board in April, as lockdown began to ease.

And with restrictions lifting even further, just in time for a sunny and joy-filled bank holiday weekend and half-term, the team couldn't be happier with how things are going – and neither could their visitors, making the La'al Ratty the Whitehaven News Trader of the Week.

Commenting on the slightly hectic time experienced by the team, customer experience manager Stuart Ross said: "When we first opened in April, it was quite steady, and as restrictions eased it really picked up.

"We're still following Covid guidelines and are limited on capacity, but so far it's been really encouraging to see so many people coming along. There's a good mix of locals and tourists coming to visit us, which is really good to see as well."

He continued: "It was quite intimidating at first to have so many visitors again! But most members of the public have been really friendly and understanding when it comes to the rules we all have to follow, so that's made it easier and nice for us."

And with a few days of half-term left, and the summer holidays just around the corner, Stuart and the railway team are keeping their fingers crossed for even more lovely visitors.

"We'll be very pleased if we stay at the levels we're currently at, because especially after the bank holiday, things are looking very promising," he said.

"We're a bit nervous about the uncertainty of the June 21 announcement, but our message to visitors is to still follow the restrictions and guidance even if you've been jabbed, because we want to keep everyone safe, and we really don't want to face another lockdown."

Stuart added: "Thank you to those who have come to visit us at the railway, and who really help us by following the restrictions.

"We need to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund as well, because we were able to refurbish our camping coaches with the funding.

"[The coaches] have been here for almost as long as the railway, which celebrated its sixtieth anniversary last year, so although we had to close, some of our projects have been able to continue, which we're really pleased with."

Everything from a luxury observation carriage named Joan, a first-class saloon carriage and picnic lunches to Camping Coaches and more are currently being offered at the railway, with so much more to explore at the Ravenglass Railway Museum.

To find out more about the La'al Ratty, and all the fantastic experiences available, visit ravenglass-railway.co.uk.