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kelsey22 May 5th, 2011 02:28 AM

scenic train journey
Has anyone taken a particularly scenic train journey north towards Glasgow or Edinburgh?

I have been told that the route Settle to Carlisle is a beautiful means to go north?

bilboburgler May 5th, 2011 02:32 AM

it is and the ride from Newcastle to Edinburgh is good too

qwovadis May 5th, 2011 03:25 AM

Up to the highlands via Cumbria Edinburgh

to Inverness most scenic for me.

Usually stop at Blair Castle my ancestral home.

Butte/Argyle very scenic birthplace of my grandfather

Glasgow or Glas"cow" as it is known ugly mostly euroindustrial

Not too touristic for me more of a way station.

Happy Journey,

janisj May 5th, 2011 10:04 AM

quovadis -- none of your routes are on the way up to Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Kelsey: The Settle to Carlisle route is world famous.

But then the next best is over on the east side - that bilboburgler mentions the east coast run between Newcastle and Edinburgh. How many days do you have, or are you just wanting to get to Edinburgh or Scotland by the most scenic direct route? The North Yorkshire Moors railway is terrific but it is over NE of York and is really an excursion train

PalenQ May 5th, 2011 12:38 PM

If you are going direct London to Edinburgh then incorporating the Carlisle to Settle train would make it a much much longer day travel I believe. And the mainline via the East Coast is one of Britain's most scenic trains above Newcastle as it hugs the rugged coast much of the way - watch out when it passes thru
Durham as you can see the world-famous cathedral and college buildings right along the tracks. Actually one magazine's readers named this stretch Newcastle to Edinburgh Britain's most scenic railway though I would myself say the West Highlands line Glasgow to Maillag takes that title without doubt.

But the east coast mainline above Newcastle is very very scenic.

For lots of British trains check out as well as and - these are fantastic info-laden sites that may have word on other scenic trains. Carlisle to Settle I enjoyed but it is not IMO dramatically scenic - the railway architecture of its long viaducts are its signature feature but on the train itself you cannot always appreciate these.

historytraveler May 5th, 2011 01:29 PM

Personally, I think PalenQ's take on the East Coast route is somewhat of an exaggeration. While it is a pleasant journey, I would hardly consider it one of Britain's most scenic and certainly not <I> "very,very scenic."</I> You can catch a glimpse of Durham Cathedral if sitting on the <I>right</I> side, but a glimpse is about it. Not at all sure about the rugged coast as the train is usually a bit too far to see much of the coastline, and what one is able to see isn't really all that rugged. But maybe I'm a bit jaded having done this trip several times.

The most scenic routes are in Scotland.

kelsey22 May 5th, 2011 02:16 PM

Thank you all for your suggestions. I am aware the trip would take longer. I feel a nice leisurely train journey might be nice as I won't be able to see much of the countryside otherwise. Thank you so much for all your imput and links.

MaineGG May 5th, 2011 02:33 PM

Quite a few years ago, we used a Britrail pass to travel around Britain. A book, See Britain by Train, by Paul Atterbury was very helpful in finding scenic train routes. This book was published in 1989 by the AA and is now apparently out of print. Some of the routes they recommend and describe are:

Settle-Carlisle (which we did and enjoyed)

FYI, there is a copy on eBay for $2.99 if you're interested.
Again, though, this book was published in 1989, and we used it in the mid 1990s, so can't vouch for its accuracy at the present time. The scenery can't have changed too much, though, and the Settle-Carlisle route was splendid.

kelsey22 May 6th, 2011 03:42 AM

Good to hear this information. I have never taken a rail journey and look forward to it.

PalenQ May 6th, 2011 07:00 AM

Whether drmatically scenic or not the East Coast mainline IMO is as scenic as the Carlisle to Settle railway - taking that will take all day vs 4.5 hours on the mainline via the East Coast.

And on the East Coast line if you want to break up your journey York, fabulous York is smack half way or so - put your bags in a station locker and stroll the short distance to the famous York Minster (cathedral) and stroll around what many consider to be England's loveliest town - a walled town and you can walk on top of the walls at many parts. a great way to break up the day and see one of England's most sterling attractions.

janisj May 6th, 2011 09:25 AM

"<i>the East Coast mainline IMO is as scenic as the Carlisle to Settle railway</i>"

The east coast line north of Newcastle is certainly nice enough and for a direct point A to point B routing -- it is a pretty respite to some of the not so nice earlier bits.

But Carlisle to Settle is unique.

PalenQ May 6th, 2011 10:34 AM

unique but not more scenic IMO and I have taken each several times. the coastal scenery on the East Coast line is fantastic. What dramatic scenery does Carlisle to Settle offer - lots of sheep-dotted hills - not saying Carlise to Settle is not pretty but I would not spend a whole day on trains to incorporate it in an already lengthy London to Edinburgh rail trip.

alanRow May 6th, 2011 11:02 AM

"Not at all sure about the rugged coast as the train is usually a bit too far to see much of the coastline"

Heading north from Berwick the line is right on the cliff edge for several minutes

Personally I prefer the view of Alnmouth from the train and the section between Bamburgh & Lindisfarne

historytraveler May 6th, 2011 12:20 PM

alan, I do remember the Berwick portion as being the most scenic part of the journey. I just don't remember the cliffs, although I have done the trip several times. Oh well, next time I'll be sure to have a good look.

PalenQ May 7th, 2011 05:57 AM

I have walked along the train tracks just north of Berwick and they do indeed go right along the cliffs for some miles and the approach to Edinburgh is impressive as the firth or whatever it is called appears and you follow it to Edinburgh.

PalenQ May 7th, 2011 07:11 AM

Anyway it takes about 3 hours from Leeds via Settle to Carlisle and a few hours to get to Leeds and then probably another few hours with changing time included to Edinburgh - say 7 hours vs 4.5 on the East Coat mainline, which also offers the great option to stop off a few hours in York.

PalenQ May 7th, 2011 01:55 PM

Glasgow or Glas"cow" as it is known ugly mostly euroindustrial>

wow what sheer misinformation this is by someone who obviously have never been to Glass cow - the city centre has some real gems of Victorian architecture and the university area is sweet - a nice park and all.

Parts of Glasgow - the surroundings are industrial but to say the whole city is ugly means that the poster has indeed never been there or he/she would never say that. Glasgow to me was a fascinating city in many ways and with some really sweet museums and areas.

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