New Year New Adventures
Have you thought about your new year resolutions yet? As we enter a new year and set our resolutions, it's an ideal time to reflect on how we can do our bit to help the natural environment fight the climate crisis. Taking the train is one of the greenest ways to travel, especially when combined with walking, cycling and bus. Why not take the I Came by Train pledge to take one more train journey this year and become a climate hero? Find out more and take the pledge here.
Remember, this time of year doesn't have to be about giving things up, it can provide a great opportunity to try new things and jump into new experiences.
We've pulled together some lesser-known railway routes below that are supported by community rail partnerships and volunteers across Britain that will make for delightful days out and splendid short breaks.
Photo: Strathallan Line
Explore green forests, towering mountains, vast lochs and a vibrant culture as you discover the beauty of Scotland by train. Start your journey in Stirling, along the Strathallan Line, and follow the riverbanks of Allan Water as you discover picturesque countryside and plenty of walking routes leading to the glens and peaks of the Ochils Hills.
Visit the site of the 1745 Battle of Prestonpans, see Meadowbank Stadium originally home to the 1970 Commonwealth Games and take a walk from Longniddry to Haddington and stroll along the old railway line as you take the train along the East Lothian Line. You'll want to grab yourself a window seat too as you look out for many of the country's finest golf courses, including Muirfield.
Photo: Conwy Valley Line, Transport for Wales
Wales & Borders
From the historic city of Chester, enjoy the picturesque scenery as you weave between the English and Welsh border, making your way to Shrewsbury along the Chester to Shrewsbury Line. Why not stop off and visit the World Heritage site at Pontcysyllte and wave to the boaters below as you travel in parallel to Chirk Aqueduct.
Head to the Welsh coast and join the Conwy Valley Line at Llandudno for a beautiful 30-mile journey. Watch as the scenery changes from lush rolling pastures in the countryside to the rugged mountain ranges of Snowdonia National Park.
Photo: Blackmore Vale Line, Paul Blowfield
Discover the historic TransWilts Line, meandering through the beautiful countryside of Wiltshire. Look out for a glimpse of the famous chalk white horse on the hillside from the train window.
Relax and enjoy the scenic route between Tisbury and Crewkerne as your train journeys across the three counties of Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire along the Blackmore Vale Line.
Journey through peaceful countryside and traditional English villages as you travel 87 miles along the Heart of Wessex Line. Start your journey in Bristol, buzzing with creativity and end at the seaside town of Weymouth on the Jurassic Coast.
Photo: Arun Valley Line
Leave the bright lights of Brighton behind and take a trip along the Sussex Downs Line. Pick up the South Downs Way for a refreshing walk and at the end of the line enjoy Seaford's shingle beach and tranquil, traditional vibe.
Often overlooked by travellers using Gatwick Airport as an international gateway, the Arun Valley Line is well worth exploring between the airport and Bosham. Along the way look out for the impressive Arundel Castle nestled in the countryside with the charming village of Arundel surrounding it.
Discover grand city galleries, quirky art trails or vibrant festivals as you uncover the arts with the Thameslink Art Trail by Rail.
From lush rolling countryside to the hustle and bustle of the capital and onwards to the coast, hop on a Thameslink train to explore quaint countryside villages, vibrant London attractions and onto charming coastal resorts. Take a look at some of the itineraries here.
Photo: Bittern Line
Experience the scenic beauty of North Norfolk as you journey along the Bittern Line, travelling through the heart of the Broads National Park. Travel along the East Suffolk Lines and combine your visit with some time in the bustling town of Ipswich, walking through the streets of Felixstowe's charming seaside town or head further up the coast and visit the most easterly part of mainland Britain in Lowestoft.
Photo: View from Heights of Abraham cable car of the Derwent Valley Line
Step back in time and combine a visit on the Derwent Valley Line with a ride on a cable car at the Heights of Abraham or a historic railway. Choose from Peak Rail or Ecclesbourne Valley Heritage Railway, both attached to stations along the main line. From the North Staffordshire Line you can explore Stoke-on-Trent, affectionately known as The Potteries that boasts award winning museums.
Photo: View from a Cumbrian Coast train
Further north you can discover Cumbria's dramatic scenery by rail with a ride on the Cumbrian Coast Line from Barrow-in-Furness to the historic city of Carlisle. Take the train from Preston through the charming seaside towns of St Annes and Lytham and onwards to the popular seaside resort of Blackpool with a journey along the picturesque South Fylde Line.
Photo: Tyne Valley Line
Yorkshire & North East
Take the train from the vibrant city of Leeds direct to the coast of Morecambe or the historic town of Lancaster with a trip along the Bentham Line. Be sure to take your walking boots with you as there's lots of opportunities to leave the train and explore the beautiful countryside on foot.
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