The UK’s Best Train Journeys With a View

27th January 2014

Here at Cotton Traders there’s nothing we like more than an adventure, especially one that includes marvelling at the UK’s spectacular scenery. In a recent blog post we shared with you some of the UK’s hidden gems but this time round we’re putting our walking boots aside and eyeing up a warmer way to explore the UK’s natural beauty - by train!

Whilst train travel might not appeal to everyone – especially if your perception is a cramped commuter carriage – time it right and it can be one of the most relaxing and awe-inspiring ways to explore the UK. From Scotland to the southern corners of England – we’ve compiled our favourite places to sit back and watch as our wonderful country unfolds before our eyes.


1. Inverness – Thurso - Wick

Scotland is home to some of the most remarkable scenery and this historic journey on the UK’s northernmost railway line certainly won’t disappoint. The further north you travel from Inverness, the view from your window will change from city and industrial sites to rolling hills, deserted sandy beaches and picturesque villages.

2. Edinburgh – Newcastle

If there’s one journey that you need to make sure you don’t hit peak times - it’s this one. The East Coast line is one of the busiest lines in the UK as thousands of commuters take advantage of the ease of travelling between some of the UK’s biggest business centres. The train journey between Edinburgh and Newcastle hugs the coast allowing you to gaze out over the North Sea before stopping off in charming Berwick-Upon-Tweed.

3. Snowdon Mountain railway

This is definitely a well-trodden tourist attraction - if you don’t fancy hiking the steep climb this is a perfect way of taking in the sites without getting out of puff. This tourist train takes you up from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon – and what a view you’ll have as you ascend!


5. St Erth – St Ives

St Ives is a popular beach destination in Cornwall, which means one thing – no parking spaces and lots of tourists! Why not take this short but sweet thirteen minute train journey which gives you a sneak peek of Cornwall’s spectacular scenery that you wouldn’t see by car - and it will only cost you around £3!

6. Carlisle - Settle

It’s known as one of the most scenic railways, and for good reason! The Carlisle-Settle train transports you through two of the UK’s most popular and stunning national parks as it sweeps past the Lake District and arrives in the Yorkshire Dales. Top tip: make sure to bag yourself a window seat as this is one view you cannot afford to miss!


7. Exeter – Newton Abbot

Claimed to be one of the most spectacular train journeys in the UK, the Great Western Railway along the South Devon coast was envisaged by famous engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The Exeter-Newton Abbey train journey is one of the most photographed sections of track in the UK as the train travels along the sea front and weaves in and out of a series of tunnels to reveal astonishing view after view.

Last minute train etiquette tips:
  1. Don’t forget your railcard! If you’re eligible for a senior railcard you can save 1/3 on train travel but you’ll need to make sure you have it with you on your journey otherwise you’ll be charged the full amount.
  2. Have a jumper handy for the journey – if you’re heading for a weekend’s adventure we’re sure you will have packed all the right gear, but make sure to have a jumper handy in the carriage as they can get chilly!
  3. Keep your valuables near you at all times – if you’re taking a big bag that needs to go in a storage compartment at the end of the carriage make sure you keep your personal and valuable belongings with you.
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