Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Station, Richmond

The Station - Richmond's former railway station. once the terminus of a branch line from Darlington - advertises itself as "the region's most exciting tourist destination":
beneath the sympathetically restored, high vaulted ceiling of this historic Victorian railway station sits a contemporary cafĂ© bar and restaurant; a modern, two-screen cinema; an art gallery over two floors; a free heritage centre; and a collection of meeting rooms available for private hire. 
There is no visitor attraction quite like it. Pulling in 350,000 tourists a year and offering each and every one a unique experience, The Station is also home to six artisan food producers - open to the public and selling their produce. Visitors can buy from a medley of Yorkshire delights from a bakery, cheese-maker, micro brewery, ice-cream parlour, fudge house and honey-maker. 
The Station also runs a full programme of events throughout the year, including live music, literary festivals and seasonal food and craft fairs, and is a hive of activity among local residents, many of whom attend workshops in a wide range of subjects from jewellery-making, to painting, photography and creative writing. 
No wonder this innovative £2.7million not-for-profit community enterprise has attracted national attention and won several prestigious awards. Why not come and see for yourself?
I am not sure I would rank it as more exciting than Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, but The Station is well worth a visit and saved from an excess of worthiness by the presence of those cinemas.

Even so, I found the audio-visual presentations about the station's history (passenger services ended in 1969) the most interesting thing there. The ice cream is very good too.

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