Looking forward to exploring National Parks by rail

  • Contributor information: CNP

Experience breathtakingly beautiful views from your window as you enjoy exploring National Parks by rail. From the spectacular highlands of Scotland to the dramatic coasts of Cumbria, make the journey part of your experience and take the train. By choosing to explore car-free, not only will your journey be enjoyable for all the family, but you’ll also be helping to preserve the natural beauty of the landscape.

The Esk Valley Line takes visitors into the heart of the North York Moors National Park on an impressive journey passing through picturesque villages and charming towns. Along the journey you’ll pass Roseberry Topping and travel across the High Moor before dropping down into the wooded Esk Valley. For visitors wanting to explore the Land of Iron on foot, there are several impressive walking routes, available to download from the National Park website, that begin at railway stations along the line.

Cairngorms National Park is the largest out of all the National Parks in the UK and is home to four out of the five highest mountains in Britain. Travel along the Highland Main Line to experience the Cairngorms by rail. Discover the historic station and signal box at Dunkeld & Birnam, the beautiful and well-kept Victorian station at Pitlochry and onwards to Dalwhinnie, the highest station on the line, home to a famous whisky distillery. Towards the end of this spectacular railway line you’ll pass the Drumochter Summit before arriving in Aviemore, a winter sports favourite.

The Bittern Line is a gem of a railway located in the east of England. Running from Norwich, the line connects the city with the coast and passes through the Broads National Park. You may even catch a glimpse of the North Sea from the train window. The line comes to an end at Sheringham, but your journey doesn’t have to stop there! From here you can catch the superbly restored North Norfolk Railway which runs steam and diesel services to Holt.

Explore stunning coastline, rural countryside and pass through the spectacular Lake District fells with a trip along the Cumbrian Coast Line. This journey is perfect for those wanting to explore the great outdoors providing easy access to the Lake District National Park. We recommend leaving the train at St Bees for the start of Alfred Wainwright’s famous coast-to-coast walk.

The Conwy Valley Line, at 27 miles long, offers one of the most beautiful rail experiences in Britain. You glimpse fairytale landscapes, the imposing 12th century Dolwyddelan Castle, ancient quarries and tracks, forests and the high peaks of Snowdonia National Park before entering the heart of the mountain to emerge some minutes later in the imposing and historic industrial landscape of Blaenau Ffestiniog, the very centre of Wales’ slate quarrying and mining industry.

Discover more inspiring ideas of post-lockdown adventures by rail on ScenicRailBritain.com – but for now #StayHomeSaveLives.