7 scenic railways to add to your post-lockdown adventure list
Looking forward to getting out and exploring Britain again after lockdown, but not sure where to start your planning?
Whether you're after ideas for days out, short breaks or longer holiday stays you're sure to find inspiration for your post-lockdown adventures right here.
Here's a short list to get you started, showcasing some of our favourite scenic railways from across Britain.
Please note you should only travel right now if your journey is necessary. The content in this blog is intended to help you plan your adventure ready for a time when travel restrictions are lifted, and leisure travel returns. Keep up to date with the latest government guidance on using public transport relevant to where you are: England, Scotland, Wales
Heart of Wales
Swansea to Shrewsbury
Stretching for 121 miles of scenic Welsh countryside, the Heart of Wales railway is ideal for those looking to spend a few days exploring the area. Starting from the quaint town of Shrewsbury, with it's wonderful architecture and history, travelling past idyllic villages and Victorian spa towns, before ending at the coastal city of Swansea.
Exploring the area on foot is simple with access to Brecon Beacons National Park, Offa's Dyke Path and the long-distance Heart of Wales Line Trail that weaves between stations allowing you to go from rail to trail with ease.
Hope Valley Line
Sheffield to Manchester Piccadilly
Whether you start your journey at Sheffield or Manchester, shortly after you leave these bustling cities behind you'll be rewarded with dramatic scenery from the train window.
Expand your journey beyond the railway and explore on foot, the rugged hillsides and beautiful valleys of Peak District National Park. Here you'll also find easy access to the start of the Pennine Way, a favourite among walkers since it opened in 1965.
Arun Valley Line
Gatwick to Bosham
If history is more your thing then you'll want to head to the magnificent Arundel Castle. Sitting high above the Sussex countryside the castle can be seen from the train, looking straight out of a fairy tale and it boasts nearly 1,000 years of history. Nearby Arundel Museum invites you to step back in time and experience life through the ages.
Highland Main Line
Glasgow/Edinburgh to Inverness
For those looking for outdoor adventures, head to one of the country's top ski areas of Aviemore to discover it's delights during the off-season (late May to late October) and explore the breath-taking and majestic landscapes of the Cairngorms, Britain's largest National Park both with easy access from the railway.
Norwich to Cromer/Sheringham
The journey connects the historic city of Norwich to the traditional seaside towns of Cromer and Sheringham, with the beautiful Broads National Park in between. Around a 45-minute walk from Salhouse Railway Station you'll reach Salhouse Broad. Featuring over forty acres of outstanding scenery, canoe hire, cycle paths and boardwalks, it's the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs and get closer to nature.
Expand your rail journey with a visit to the nearby heritage railways; Bure Valley Railway, with connections at Hoveton and Wroxham, or leave the train at Sheringham to join the North Norfolk Railway.
Barrow-in-Furness to Carlisle
Dip your toes in the waves at the start of Wainwright's coast to coast walk at St Bees, explore the lost industrial heritage of the area at Millom Discovery Centre, enjoy a trip on the nearby Ravenglass and Eskdale Heritage Railway and see the impressive Roman artifacts at Senhouse Museum in Maryport.
Tamar Valley Line
Plymouth to Gunnislake
Across the viaduct, the village of Calstock is well worth a visit. Enjoy top pub grub, treat yourself to an artisan ice cream and take a riverside walk to see the viaduct from below.
Leave the train at Gunnislake and after a short walk you'll reach the Tamar Valley Centre, home of the Tamar Valley AONB (Area of Outstanding natural Beauty). Here you can usually find more information about how you can explore the area and look out for special events held here throughout the year.
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