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 café 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.