Welcome to Scenic Rail Britain

26 April 2017

By Jools Townsend, chief executive, Association of Community Rail Partnerships.

A warm welcome to Scenic Rail Britain. This website aims to help tourists and day-trippers, coming from near or far, to explore some of the most beautiful and fascinating corners of Britain via our wonderful community railways. If you're planning a trip, especially to more rural and remote areas, you may have assumed you need to drive. But using our railways can take you through stunning landscapes and historic towns, enabling you to hop on and off, access hidden gems, and get a different perspective. This is all while reducing your carbon footprint and avoiding the stresses of driving.

Here at the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, we are privileged to see this amazing side of Britain every day. We support community groups around Britain to connect local people with their railways. These groups work to ensure communities get the most from their railways and promote rail travel as key to active, sustainable living, and a vital part of our culture and heritage. Their work ranges from station gardening and arts projects, to helping people with disabilities access rail travel, to advising train operators on timetable changes. In recent years, these groups have grown, helping to keep our rural lines thriving, rejuvenating hundreds of stations, and engaging thousands in community events and projects.

What has this got to do with tourism? Through Scenic Rail Britain we want to share the enjoyment of travelling by community rail with foreign and domestic visitors, local families and day-trippers. There are so many places to visit, and it's a great way to get about: you can enjoy the views, chat, read, relax, while being taken through epic landscapes, breathtaking coastal routes, lively towns, and lovely villages. On community railway lines you will also find charming features at many of the stations themselves, from inviting community cafes to restored signal boxes. And of course by taking the train, your trip is greener: you can sit back in the knowledge you're not adding to traffic or producing as much pollution.

I am a convert, and can vouch for the liberating and exciting feeling of exploring Britain by rail. From my travels, my favourite place is Cornwall's stunning coastline, but I also love the green expanses of the Peak District, and villages and hills of Yorkshire. You can get to all these places and more by community railways.

I hope you find this site useful in planning your travels, and above all, enjoy Scenic Rail Britain.

Jools Townsend, Chief Executive of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships

Jools Townsend

Chief executive, Association of Community Rail Partnerships

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