Britain’s Most Scenic Train Journeys

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Britain’s trains may lack the break-neck speeds of some other European countries, but the rail network of England, Scotland and Wales is just as well developed. And speed isn’t everything when you get more time to sit back and experience some of the most breathtaking scenery in the British Isles from the comfort of your chair.

Whether you’re making a cross-country journey to marvel at the changing landscape, such as the Deerstalker Express from London Euston to the Scottish Highlands, or simply a local trip along well-established routes, train travel is often the most convenient way to get where you’re going in the UK. Even if you live in the city, you’re never too far from rolling green fields and coastal views, and train journeys offer a relaxing and reflective alternative to dealing with noisy traffic on busy motorways.

One of the nation’s favourite train journeys is the route from Settle to Carlisle, connecting some of the major areas of the North of England, including Leeds. This charming 72-mile route travels through the spectacular Yorkshire Dales and also boasts a number of man-made attractions too, most notably the long tunnel at Blea Moor that’s always a favourite with younger travellers.

The other side of Carlisle is just as well represented by the westerly route along the Cumbrian coast to Lancaster, which offers a number of diverse sights for travellers – from the industrial towns of Barrow and Workington to mudflats and salt marshes. You’ll also get a tempting view of the spectacular Lake District, one of Britain’s most remarkable areas of natural beauty.

Some of Britain’s rail routes are tourist attractions themselves, rather than just being a convenient method of transport, and none more so than the charming steam trains which still carry passengers down heritage trails in many areas.

Some of the most delightful heritage routes can be found off the beaten track, such as the miniscule mile-and-a-quarter line from Craignure to Torosay Castle on the Scottish Isle of Mull. Others put passengers’ mountaineering skills to the test, like the exhilarating rack-and-pinion haul up Snowdon in Wales.

Train travel is moving with the times, and still one of the best options for getting to and from places in Britain. For short journeys, they’re a chance to save on petrol, and a more eco-friendly option for longer trips – that’s not to mention the savings that can be made when getting train tickets online before you travel.

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Britain’s Most Scenic Train Journeys

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This article was published on 2010/10/05