Traveling through the United Kingdom is your chance to encounter some of the most scenic landscapes and pathways, lovely towns, and striking natural grounds. Obviously, the very best way for you to do that is by taking a train so that you can take your time admiring the surroundings without having to think about getting lost or navigating through unfamiliar locations! So, we present you with the top 10 most scenic railway journeys across the UK!
Glasgow to Mallaig
Indeed, one of the most popular routes is the stunning road between the two magnificent cities of Scotland. So before jumping on the train, make sure to explore the architecture and rich history of Glasgow, which you can easily reach from England by the London to Glasgow train. Then, after you feel like you have got to know the city in-depth, it is time to travel to Mallaig!
In the five-and-a-half-hour journey, you will get to see the most brilliant sites of the Scottish Highlands, some of the most impressive Lochs and rivers, and, of course, the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct – the road from Harry Potter. The locations are so magical and unreal-looking that you might as well be boarding the Hogwarts Express!
We recommend stopping at the Corrour Station House to try out the authentic Scottish cuisine at the remote and unique location in the middle of the Scottish Highlands.
Settle to Carlisle Railway
Discover the beauty of northern England by traveling the Settle-Carlisle line. Even being one of the newest significant railways in the UK, the road still holds plenty of historical interest and, most importantly, this is the best way for you to enjoy Victorian pavements and engines.
Established in 1876, the Settle-Carlisle line passes through the magnificent sites of the North Pennines, Eden Valley, and Yorkshire Dales. And it is more than just stunning views from the window, too! The railway crosses 21 viaducts and 14 tunnels, so the experience will be exciting without a dull moment!
Once you arrive, take your time exploring this small yet impressive historic town and all its museums. Carlisle is the main cultural, commercial and industrial center in the Borderlines!
Oxford to Hereford
A perfect journey for travelers seeking remote locations away from the city noise, Oxford to Hereford line allows you glimpses into the authentic rural life of the United Kingdom. Starting your adventure from the historical region of Oxfordshire, carry on to visiting Gloucestershire and Worcestershire to see some of the most picturesque lands and untouched natural beauty of the country.
Pay attention while passing the many villages of Cotswolds and take in the traditional English designs perfectly seen in the lined-up cottages and narrow, busy streets.
During this almost 3-hour-long journey, you will also pass the famous Roman road called The Fosse Way!
London to Fort William
Visiting Fort William is an essential part of any Scotland tours, and for a good reason, too! Not only is your final destination surrounded by mountains and hills, creating a stunning natural look, but the journey there is an entirely separate experience in itself! The railway from London to Fort William is called the Deerstalker, and due to its breath-taking setting, it has been proclaimed one of the best six train journeys in the world!
The line is also perfect for seeing the most famous Lochs of Scotland, including Loch Lomond and Treig. It also crosses the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct – basically a given during your journey through the Scottish Highlands.
Make sure to get comfortable seating – the trip is 13-hours-long!
The Scottish Highlands:
Belmond British Pullman
Quite a different route than the ones introduced before, the Belmond British Pullman is an opportunity for you to taste the luxurious way of traveling! The journey takes you from London to Folkstone, but apart from the starting and finishing point, the line is famous for the views in-between, as well as the style of traveling.
Operating mainly out of London Victoria Station, Belmond British Pullman passes many monuments and sites, such as castles, palaces, of course, other cities, and even events! Make sure to stop by the Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, the only non-episcopal country house in England that holds the title of a palace!
South Devon Railway
Uncover the natural beauty and wildlife that envelops the lovely county of Devon. Traveling through the green valleys and remote villages, you will get to see the untouched side of England, complete with riversides and unrestrained animals.
Completed in the late 19th century, South Devon Railway is the longest steam railway in the southwest, and since there are not many of those in the area, this might be your only chance to travel like this. It crosses several idyllic locations, such as River Dart and even Rare Breeds Farm, for any of you animal-lovers! If possible, make sure to stop by the market towns of Buckfastleigh and Totnes to get a taste of local life.
Derry to Coleraine
While the shortest one on our list, the Derry to Coleraine line is one of the most stunning ones, as it gives you the opportunity to see the beauty of Northern Ireland. In only 45 minutes, you will be convinced once again of Ireland’s natural beauty and its importance to the face of the United Kingdom.
Pass through the cliffs and beaches, valleys and coasts. Forests curved around the beaches will take your breath away, not to mention the wildlife you might encounter! Enjoy the unspoiled views of Lough Foyle and make the most of those 45 minutes. You will see why Derry to Coleraine has been proclaimed as one of the most scenic routes in the world.
A fun and light name for one of the most important railway routes in the United Kingdom! Poppy Line is significant for being the best heritage railways in Britain, as it takes you through Victorian seaside in a vintage steam train, making the whole experience feel quite unreal, as it has an impending sense of periodic travels.
Running from the town of Sheringham to Holt, this railway is your best chance to spend a day exploring old-school English towns and stunning little stations. You will also get the best of both worlds, as the route allows you views of both the coast and countryside!
A full English experience! The Bluebell Railway takes you through Sussex, starting at the Sheffield Park and arriving at the East Grinstead. It is the first preserved gauge steam-operated railway, making it one of the most authentic train-ride experiences in the UK. So pass through and maybe stop at Horsted Keyes to explore the sets of Downtown Abbey and spend time at the civil parish of Kingscote!
Wondering why we mentioned a full English experience? Well, you can choose a seat on the Afternoon Tea Train to drink a cup of the best English tea!
Prototype of Bluebell locomotive:
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Certainly, one of the most fulfilling train rides in the United Kingdom, Snowdon Mountain Railway, allows you landscapes of England, Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man! These extraordinary locations are scattered all across from the village of Llanberis to the summit of Mount Snowdon. Apart from the stunning sights, a few locomotives run the line, so you can choose from the old-school, vintage vehicle or the modern and newly built train! Both options are great, so use this opportunity to see the countries from above and learn about the history of Mount Snowdon. Especially the legends of King Arthur and a giant ogre!
Snowdon Mountain Railway:
Here you go! Ten stunning railway lines for you to enjoy while exploring the remote sites of the UK. As these are quite popular, make sure to buy tickets in advance – especially if you plan on choosing any of the unique locomotives. So all aboard, and have a good time!
Top 10 Most Scenic Railway Journeys Across the United Kingdom