One of the UK’s most loved railway routes takes passengers through a 73-mile scenic journey across some of the most beautiful areas of northern England.
The Settle and Carlisle line speeds through the North Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales and runs between Settle Junction and Carlisle, and amazes its passengers with breathtaking landmarks like the Ribblehead Viaduct.
The iconic line has survived two attempted closures, with its most recent being in the 1980s, but after public outrage swept the nation it was saved and has since had millions of pounds spent on upgrades.
The famous route is hailed as one of the UK’s most scenic as passengers watch 20 viaducts, 14 tunnels, and endless picturesque locations pass by the 73-mile stretch.
Starting at Settle, the trip takes passengers past Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Ribblehead, Dent, Garsdale, Kirkby Stephen, Appleby, Langwathby, Lazonby & Kirkoswald, Armathwaite, with its final stop in Carlisle.
The route is championed by customers, who are blown away by the gorgeous journey.
Taking to TripAdvisor, one pleased passenger said: “Breathtaking scenery. This railway line crosses the wild and beautiful limestone uplands of Northern England. The enjoyment of the journey was massively enhanced by the lovely people who work on this railway. THANK YOU ALL!”
Another passenger added: “The countryside in general was stunning, though, and we thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Rather than taking it all the way to the end, I’m SO glad we got off at Appleby because the town is absolutely stunning and the people are friendly and wonderful. Had some great food and spent the entire afternoon strolling around town shopping and taking pictures.”
Construction started in 1869 and the route took seven years to build, with 6,000 men all working towards the mammoth track.
Sadly many of them died during the construction, with the majority catching smallpox. As a result, there are memorials in Chapel-le-Dale to remember those who lost their lives.
The line was due to be closed in 1989 by British Rail, but after campaigns and widespread concerns by enthusiasts, residents, local councils and rail groups, it was announced by the Government that it would be saved, and has been running ever since.
Since then, passenger numbers have skyrocketed and several formerly closed stations have been reopened along the scenic train route, with passengers still able to enjoy the historic line as it carves its way through the magnificent scenery of the Yorkshire Dales and then travels down to Cumbria’s beautiful green Eden Valley with unreal views of the Pennines and Lakeland Fells.
One passenger said: “After forty years of waiting I finally did this run yesterday with my family. It was as good as I’d hoped.”
And a second said: “The Settle & Carlisle railway arguably runs through some of England’s impressive scenery on the route from Carlisle to Settle Junction and then onto Leeds.
“Threatened with closure in the 1980s it was eventually saved after an orchestrated public campaign and now makes for a scenic train ride through some spectacular scenery of deep valleys and high mountains enabled by some impressive tunnels and bridges along its length.”