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Frequently Asked Questions

We look forward to welcoming you to Bassenthwaite Lake Station. Hopefully, our comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions should help to answer any queries you may have however, please don’t hesitate to telephone if you need further clarity.

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Do I need to book to go on the train?

Whilst it is not mandatory, it is strongly advisable to book a table on the train. Please use the Request a Table form on our website or give us a call. We cannot take booking requests on email or through Facebook or Messenger. 

Will our group be seated together?

The train seating comprises tables of four and two. Larger groups will be seated adjacent to one another but may be separated by the aisle or back to back. 

Can I bring my dog?

We love dogs and are dog-friendly in all areas. Our resident Labrador, Poppy, regularly patrols the train looking for strokes and vacuuming under tables. Guests should be aware that there will be dogs present. There are no areas or carriages where dogs are excluded. Dogs are expected to observe our dog etiquette and must be kept out of the aisles, must not bark, are NEVER allowed on the furniture (even on a rug), and must not be aggressive or reactive in any way. We will ask owners to remove from site any dog that contravenes our rules which are designed to enhance the enjoyment of all guests.

Is service automatically added to the bill?

We do not automatically add service to the majority of bills, preferring to allow guests to choose to show their appreciation should they wish. For groups of 7 and over, a 10% service charge is added to the final bill.

Can we book in a large group?

We will consider all booking requests and will consider the impact of a large group booking on other guests as larger groups can be quite overpowering in the enclosed train carriages.

Will I need to pay a deposit to finalise my booking?

For groups over 4 people, all afternoon teas, ticketed events and private hire bookings we require a non-returnable deposit to be paid at the time of booking. Sadly, we continue to find that, without this security, some bookings fail to turn up or bring fewer people without letting us know. Until the appropriate deposit has been paid, the booking will remain as Provisional and the table may be released if we have not received the deposit payment.

Can I have a look on the train even if I don’t have a booking?

Sadly, no. We are usually full of diners in all areas of the train and do not allow visitors to enter the train, in order to preserve the enjoyment of our diners. Visitors are welcome to look at the train from the outside.

Can I turn up early for my table?

This would be at your own risk but we always try to accommodate guests who have arrived early for their table. On occasion, the previous diners over-run and there may be a short wait for guests who have booked. We request a little patience and understanding should this occur and we will be doing our utmost to get you seated at the earliest possible opportunity.

Can you accommodate special diets and food preferences?

We can accommodate the majority of allergies and diets but not necessarily altogether! If you have special dietary requirements, please telephone when booking so we can discuss how we might best accommodate you. Our afternoon tea menus are fixed and usually made in the morning so we cannot usually accommodate likes and dislikes. We are able to accommodate the majority of allergies and diets. Please discuss this when booking. If we can adjust items, we will certainly try!

Can I leave a tip for one individual?

No, all tips are pooled and divided among everyone who works at the station (except Simon and Di) We firmly believe that delivery of a positive experience requires a contribution from everyone who works here and that everyone is valued for their personal contribution as a member of the team, whatever their role. 

Is the train accessible for buggies and wheelchairs?

We have ensured that all areas of the site have level access whenever practicable, including the train and outdoor pathways. There is a strong ramp and doorways which can accommodate most wheelchair widths but occasionally, larger electric chairs are unable to fit through the carriage doors. Several tables are suitable for accommodating wheelchairs including two special picnic benches. We have a wheelchair, and a mobility scooter, of our own which can access all areas of the train which guests are welcome to borrow. 
Buggies and prams can be accommodated on several tables but must not be allowed to block the aisle or affect the enjoyment of other guests. We have highchairs for younger children including an inflatable insert for tiny people unable to sit unaided. 
Please let us have as much information about your specific requirements at the time of booking so we can ensure that a suitable table is reserved for you. 

Can we reserve a specific table?

We cannot guarantee any specific table bookings in order to retain a degree of flexibility when accommodating all bookings, meal-types and group sizes. If you wish to request a specific table, we will always try to accommodate this but guests are reminded that there are never any guarantees. Afternoon teas are served in both carriages, meals are not able to be served in the Salon (far) carriage. For reservations where there is a mix of Afternoon Teas and meals from the menu, diners are likely to be seated in the Restaurant carriage due to its proximity to the kitchen.

Can we order from the main menu if we are sitting in the far Salon carriage?

We are unable to serve meals in the Salon carriage as it is so far from the kitchen. On occasion, this is unavoidable if there has been an over-run for a booking or to accommodate guests with special needs. Normally, the Salon is only bookable for Afternoon Teas and for drinks and cakes. 

Can we split our bill between all the members of our group?

The principle of this is ‘Yes’ however, if a deposit has been paid, when a service charge is automatically added or when some are using vouchers to pay, this can be a little too difficult for our payment system to cope with so please try and pay for a single booking with a single payment and transfer the money between yourselves if possible. 

Are we allowed to bring a birthday cake or a special bottle of wine?

Because we sell both wine and cake, this is generally not permitted, however, if you wish to serve your own cake, there will be a ‘cakeage’ charge of £3 per person in your party added to your bill in place of any cake or desserts that would otherwise be purchased. If you wish to bring a cake as a centrepiece for signing Happy Birthday or for a celebration, there is no charge for this as long as it is not consumed in our café or premises. Arrangements for bringing your own cake must be agreed in advance with the station. 
We do not allow customers to bring their own wine and pay corkage but we are happy to arrange the supply of a specific wine or tipple if you request this in advance. We may request advance payment for any specific order. 

Is there parking on site?

We have two spaces for disabled blue-badge holders in our small carpark and request that all customers who do not have mobility needs park along the roadside and walk the short distance to the entrance and leave the other carpark spaces for others who need to park closer. 

Are our children allowed to play outside while we eat our meals?

The site is not suitable for unaccompanied children as there is a deep pond, resident wildlife that should not be disturbed and several areas that simply are too tempting to climb! Children should not be allowed to roam unattended please. 

If I cancel, will I get a refund of any advance payment?

If you cancel, we will try to secure another booking for your table. If we are successful, we will telephone you to refund any payment. For ticketed events, no refunds will be made. If fewer guests arrive for pre-booked tables when a deposit has been paid, the deposit will be forfeit. We can pack up afternoon teas as a takeaway for you should any member of your party be unable to attend at the last minute. Tickets for events are not refundable. 

Do you have a train timetable?

Sadly, the Keswick to Cockermouth railway was closed in 1966 and there is no longer a train service between the two towns. The train is a replica, used in the 2017 film ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ and neither the loco nor the carriages have ever been operational. 

And these are some of the more unusual situations we have had to deal with.
The answer to all of these is No!!

  • Are my children allowed to climb on the train?

  • Can my children take off their shoes and socks and stand on the furniture?

  • Can we book a table for four and share only one meal/cake/bowl of chips/afternoon tea/drink between us?

  • We’ve changed our minds and want a meal off the menu instead of the Afternoon teas we have ordered. Is that OK?

  • Can we sit at the picnic bench in the front garden of the private house?

  • Can we go into the private garden of the house to get a better picture of the train?

  • Can I bring a Costas (or other proprietary food or drink) into your café?

  • Can I eat my own food at your picnic benches or anywhere on your site?

  • Can I eat my own food on your site if I buy a drink from you?

  • Is this a real train?

  • Can I consume my own food or drink while watching the birds in your bird hide?

  • Can I leave my car in your carpark overnight/while I go for a walk?

  • Can I buy a drink in the morning and stay all day working and using your internet without purchasing any other item from you?

Can we hire your mobility scooter to go for a walk on Dubwath Silver Meadows

Yes, our mobility scooter is available for use, free of charge, on Dubwath Silver Meadows. This is subject to availability. However,
we request a £5 donation towards bird seed and maintenance of the nature reserve which we can collect on their behalf. 

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