Thurgoland might seem like a small village, but we have certainly managed to find plenty to do while we have been living here. Especially with my love of local and family history and Ben’s love of the outdoors! We have a historical small tourist attraction on our doorstep – Wortley Top Forge.


Wortley Top Forge is a Heavy Iron Forge that dates back to around 1640. They used to make railway axles there, although the Forge didn’t have a railway itself. The nearest station was Thurgoland which was removed in 1847. Now that disused railway line is now part of the trans-pennine trail, which is where our family likes to walk and cycle regularly.

We were on a bike ride along the trans pennine trail, when we took a route down the hill and found the forge near the river. We hadn’t planned to go there, we just rocked up on our bikes and had a look around.

Taking Children to the Forge

They offer tours of the forge, which we decided not to do because our children with special needs find organised tours difficult. On a Wednesday and Sunday afternoon (Easter to November) a Model Engineering Group run a Miniature railway. We have taken the children here a few times since we have moved and it is just a lovely little railway. The whole family can sit on the carriage, and it goes around the track alongside the river and through a tunnel. The ride is only a couple of minutes long. Sometimes if it’s quiet they take you around twice. The people that operate the railway do it because they love it and they make it more enjoyable because of how much they care.

We have enjoyed a couple of quiet afternoons at the Top Forge in the summer, and I am sure we will go again this year. The season opens this weekend (15th March 2020).

If you want to visit Wortley Top Forge, it would be worth checking their website before you visit for opening times, and admission charges etc.

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