Want to know the secrets of the UK’s most scenic rail journeys? Read our guide and get on board…
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is one of the UK’s most scenic railway routes. As it travels, 24 miles through some of North Yorkshire’s most picturesque spots, guests on board can enjoy travelling in some of the UK’s most historic carriages on a steam locomotive. The best way to enjoy the view is when you team it with an-onboard afternoon tea and if seafood is your thing, you can even disembark for a seafood lunch in historic Whitby, which is regularly voted as the top fish and chip spot in the world.
Settle to Carlisle Railway
The Settle to Carlisle Railway runs through some of the most beautiful scenery in northern England. It travels through the famous Yorkshire Dales and Cumbrian Fells. On this historic rail route, you will see amazing Victorian architecture, towering viaducts and stations that look like they have been stuck in time. Passengers can enjoy a picturesque train trip from Settle in North Yorkshire to Carlisle which is on the English/Scottish border.
Belmond Royal Scotsman
Yes, it’s expensive but the total luxury you’ll find as you step on board the Belmond Royal Scotsman will make you realise it is worth every penny. And did we mention the view? Scotland is one of the most picturesque places on the planet and travelling on this train you will get to see it at its very best. Trip highlights include Loch Lomond and Ben Nevis and what could be better than sitting with a whisky in hand, and watching the Scottish countryside roll by….
West Highland Line
It’s no surprise that the West Highland Line in Scotland is regularly voted as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. On this famous line you will travel from Glasgow to Mallaig in the Scottish Highlands. This leisurely train journey takes 5 hours, 30 minutes. On the way you’ll enjoy jaw-dropping views of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, the Rannoch Moor with its insta-perfect red deer and heather. If there’s only one train you take in Scotland, this should be it.
The Jacobite Train
Described by many as the greatest railway journey in the world, the Jacobite Train lives up to its hype. On 84-mile round trip lucky passengers on board will get to enjoy some of the most picturesque sights of the Scottish Highlands. The train trip starts near Ben Nevis before passing lochs, mountain passes and villages and stopping over in the port of Mallaig. It then makes its way back to Fort William. Got a Harry Potter fan in your family? Then they’ll love this train – both the scenery and the train have been featured in Harry Potter movies.
The Caledonian Sleeper
Yes, the idea is that you’ll be asleep for most of your journey on The Caledonian Sleeper. But if you wake up early (or set your alarm) you will get to experience seeing some of Scotland’s finest scenery at sunrise as you travel slowly into Glasgow or Edinburgh. Don’t miss this great opportunity.
Welsh Highland Railway
Running for 26 miles through Snowdonia National Park, the Welsh Highland Railway is the UK’s longest heritage railway line. Trains on this popular line depart from Caernarfon, run pass the foot of Snowdon then through Aberglaslyn Pass and on to Porthmadog. The full return journey is approximately six hours and there are plenty of refreshments on board. If time is tight you can also take shorter trips on the line. Booking is essential as this is a very popular tourist attraction.
The Ffestiniog Railway is one of the world’s most famous narrow-gauge heritage railways. Travellers on the line will enjoy travelling on historic steam trains through Snowdonia National Park. The 14-mile journey begins in Porthmadog and finishes in the historic slate-quarrying town of Blaenau. From your train window you will see stunning coastlines, spectacular rivers, ancient castles and wild rivers.