Planning your next group adventure? How about travelling by rail and offering your members something a little bit different with these lesser known railway lines.
1. Bentham Line: Leeds to Morecambe/Lancaster
Providing easy access to scenic walking routes across pennine peaks, through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and even the Forest of Bowland AONB, this railway is said to be ideal for those looking to explore these dramatic landscapes by rail and on foot.
2. Seven Shores Line: Cheltenham to Newport in Wales
Skirting the western shore of the Severn Estuary, this rail journey promises to treat you to breath-taking views of the River Severn no matter what time of year you’re travelling.
3. Bittern Line: Norwich to Sheringham
This gem of a railway connects the city with the coast by travelling through the beautiful Broads National Park. Make sure you tell your members to look out for a glimpse of the North Sea from the train window.
4. Darent Valley Line: Swanley to Sevenoaks
You’ll be surprised at what there is to discover nestled in the Kent countryside. Groups can explore historic houses, take a tour of local vineyards, walk through colourful lavender fields, and discover an outdoor solar system model all by train.
5. Tyne Valley Line: Newcastle to Carlisle
Leaving Newcastle, this journey crosses the iconic Tyne Bridge as you head along to Wylam, the birthplace of railways. Highlights include Hadrian’s Wall as well as Hexham with its history and shopping as well as being used as a gateway to the countryside.
6. Arun Valley Line: Gatwick to Bosham
Often overlooked due to the area’s busy international airport, this route has a lot more to offer than just a gateway to overseas. A highlight is the town of Arundel with its charming shops, galleries and gothic cathedral, not to mention the imposing Arundel Castle.
7. Cumbrian Coast Line: Barrow-in-Furness to Carlisle
You may opt to leave the train at St Bees for the start of Alfred Wainwright’s famous coast-to-coast walk. History lovers can also explore the legacy of the line at Millom Discovery Centre or enjoy a trip on the Ravenglass and Eskdale heritage railway.
Scenic Rail Britain, which highlights the benefits of responsible travel through itineraries and railway journey plans, has more inspiration and group itineraries at ScenicRailBritain.com/group