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Where Are The Most Beautiful Steam Train Rides In The Country? - News

It feels that the UK has always had a natural affinity with the steam train. As the original pioneers of the steam locomotive, which helped kickstart the Industrial Revolution, not only in the UK, but across the globe, their presence is always noticed whenever they billow across our glorious countryside.

Although the amount of working steam trains on our tracks has dwindled down to a small handful, there are still some which can be heard chugging away through some of the UK's most breath-taking landscapes.

You might be wondering why we're reveling in nostalgic bliss about the steam train, especially as we deal primarily with road-going machines. But our love for wheels stretches far and wide, and since we now offer the ability for you to learn how to drive a steam train, we felt it was the perfect moment to dive into some of the most beautiful tracks our steam trains travel along. All aboard!

  • The Jacobite Steam Train, Scotland

First up is a ride through the Scottish Highlands, where the landscape is a breathtaking tapestry of rolling hills, serene lochs, and rugged terrain. The Jacobite Steam Train, famously known as the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter films, offers a magical experience.

Its route stretches from Fort William to Mallaig, and the highlight of the journey is undoubtedly the crossing of the Glenfinnan Viaduct. This iconic viaduct, with its 21 arches, is a marvel of engineering and you can find people outside in the hills trying to get themselves a memorable snap of the train as it pulls its way through. The sense of nostalgia and wonder that fills the air on this journey is unparalleled.

  • The Settle-Carlisle Line, England

In the heart of England's countryside lies the Settle-Carlisle Line, a railway that weaves through the stunning Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines. As you board the steam train at Settle, you'll be immersed in a landscape of green hills and charming stone villages.

Then, just like the Jacobite Steam train, you'll be met with another majestic viaduct: Ribblehead. This viaduct, adorned with its 24 stone arches, is not just a symbol of Victorian ingenuity but also a symbol of the route's enduring beauty. Again, the viaduct is a popular postcard photo spot, in particular when it is basked in the golden hour glow.

  • The Welsh Highland Railway, Wales

Wales' rugged beauty is perfectly encapsulated by the Welsh Highland Railway, which takes you on a narrow-gauge adventure through Snowdonia National Park. Departing from Caernarfon, the journey leads you through enchanting forests, past serene lakes, and into the shadows of the mighty Mount Snowdon itself.

What sets this route apart is its passage through the Aberglaslyn Pass, where the train weaves its way along the dramatic and picturesque scenery of this stunning gorge. It's a ride that combines the charm of a narrow-gauge railway with the wild beauty of Wales' natural landscapes.

  • The North Yorkshire Moors Railway, England

For those seeking a journey through quintessential English countryside, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a perfect choice. This heritage railway traverses the North York Moors National Park, where heather-covered moorlands, ancient forests, and the rugged North Sea coastline unfold outside your window.

The natural landscapes make this a perfect route during the lazy late summer days, and even into autumn. The route extends from Pickering to Whitby, and as you approach Whitby, the surroundings take on an air of Gothic mystery, closely tied to Bram Stoker's Dracula. The steam train adds an extra layer of enchantment to this literary connection, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

  • The Bluebell Railway, England

Nestled in West Sussex, the Bluebell Railway is a charming journey back in time. It transports passengers from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead, winding through the English countryside. The route is lined with everything, from woodlands, to meadows, and quaint villages that seem frozen in time.

The Bluebell was one of the world's first preserved standard gauge passenger lines. Riding these vintage carriages, pulled by a steam locomotive, evokes the golden age of steam travel, and offers a delightful slice of nostalgia.

Each of these steam train routes in the UK has its own distinctive character and allure, whether it's the dramatic landscapes, historic viaducts, or cinematic associations. They all promise an unforgettable journey for train enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, where the past meets the present in a timeless embrace.

Visit our Steam Train Trips page today to browse and book from our selection of voyages by heritage steam at a wide selection of heritage railway sites across the UK, available to book through purchase of one of our open Gift Vouchers. We also have our Steam Train Driving Experiences available to book for those who fancy riding on the footplate with the driver and fireman!

Where Are The Most Beautiful Steam Train Rides In The Country?
12 October 2023
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