Romantic Railways

31 January 2024

What is it about Britain's railways that makes them so attractive and romantic? Is it the Victorian engineering that still stands strong today with impressive viaducts stretching across the country? Perhaps it's the ornate features, lovingly restored, at charming lesser-known stations or maybe it's the journey itself with many routes passing through rolling green countryside, vast wild landscapes and epic coastal scenery? Whatever it is we can't get enough of it, especially during the month of love!

So below we've pulled together some suggestions of how you can explore Britain's romantic railways. Have a read and tell us if you've experienced any of these ideas before. Join in the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or TikTok.

Become the main character as you step into film locations

Carnforth Station, Lancashire, is home of one of the most romantic films ever made, Brief Encounter, so it's a perfect start to our list. Arrive by train along the picturesque Bentham Line and step back in time as you soak up the atmosphere of bygone times. Explore the station's Heritage Centre featuring Bateman Gallery – Life and Works of acclaimed film director David Lean, the 1940s Home Front and the Vintage Cinema. Don't forget to pay a visit to the gift shop to pick up a perfect souvenir of your visit before you head back on the train.

Take the slower version of the famous Hogwarts Express as you travel the same route as the famous wizard but on a ScotRail local service instead. Your journey will take you along the West Highland Line past glistening lochs, through mystical glens and stunning Scottish landscapes. Not forgetting a journey along the legendary Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Swop your main line train for a heritage one and step back in time to the Victorian era along the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. From here you can explore the charming Oakworth Station, made famous as being the set for the 1970's film, The Railway Children. Why not combine your trip with a scenic journey along the Bentham Line or Settle to Carlisle Railway, both are easy to access from Keighley Station.


Train travelling along viaductwith greenery and mountains in the background

Have a date with a difference

Looking to treat that special someone this February? Why not take the train and make your journey the date! By choosing the train you'll be safe in the knowledge that you're helping the environment by travelling greener and you get to enjoy the view, bonus! Pack your camera and a tupperware box full of snacks and head off on your adventure. Choose seats by the window, sit back and watch the scenery roll by as you spend quality time catching up with your loved one.

Take a trip to a romantic railway station

Why not combine a train trip with a visit to one of the most romantic railway stations in Britain? From the Edwardian masterpiece of Wemyss Bay Station in Scotland to the charming Grade II listed Great Malvern Station, see more suggestions here.

Train at station with stone brick station building in background

Romance in a Roman town

Lying just a scenic hour train ride south of Manchester's Piccadilly Station, along The Buxton Line, the highest spa resort in the country nestles in some of the prettiest hills of The Peak District.

Discovered by the Romans, who knew a thing or two about warm bathing, this lovely town, sometimes known as the 'Bath of the north', is blessed with water that naturally flows at a soothing 27.4°C.

It is possible to follow in the slippered footsteps of the ancient founders to "take the healing waters" at the recently opened five star luxurious Crescent Spa Hotel. It sits in the heart of the magnificent Crescent, a Grade 1 heritage jewel of a building, considered by many to be superior to the one in Bath. Pampering and romance go perfectly together with such sumptuous surroundings!

Although founded by the Romans, it was the Georgians that made Buxton famous – creating some of the most iconic architecture in the country, including The Crescent, Opera House and Devonshire Dome - when built, the world's largest unsupported one! It really is picture perfect and a stunningly romantic backdrop for those "two-up selfies."

As well as being the highest spa town and glamorous gateway to fabulous hand-in-hand countryside rambles, it is also England's highest market town, at 1,000 feet (300m) above sea level with a fair smattering of post-walk amorous eateries and passionate places to share a cosy cocktail or three.

It's easy to fall in love with this gorgeous place and simple to see why there's a romantic X in Buxton. Discover more with Visit Buxton here.

Stone built building with windows curved in a crescent shape with blue sky

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