Days out in Yorkshire: Settle to Carlisle via The Ribblehead Viaduct

The Waverley steam train crosses the Ribblehead viaduct just over the border from Cumbria into North Yorkshire, on the Settle-Carlisle Railway.

The Waverley steam train crosses the Ribblehead viaduct just over the border from Cumbria into North Yorkshire, on the Settle-Carlisle Railway.

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A 73-mile train journey may not strike you as a great way to spend an afternoon, but bear with me. This is something a bit special.

With trains originating in Leeds, there are plenty of access points to the Settle-Carlisle line, but the showpiece entertainment doesn’t really start until you’ve departed Settle rail station.

Before you know it, you’re gliding through rural Yorkshire, heading northwards via magnificent viaducts and incredible tunnels – both stunning feats of engineering.

The Ribblehead Viaduct is famous for its 24-arch construction that sits slap bang in between Yorkshire’s three highest peaks. As amazing as it is to see the bridge from the ground – and it is amazing – there’s something even more special about being atop the 440-yard-long, Grade II*-listed masonry.

And if you like huge bridges, you must like massive tunnels too, right? Right.

Blea Moor Tunnel is an unbelievable 2500m long, and as you barrel through the gloom, you are mere minutes away from pulling into Dent, the highest mainline train station in England.

If gazing out of the window isn’t enough for you, there are cheery volunteers on hand on selected services to help you out with any questions, plus an incredibly good smartphone app tells you everything you need to know about a line that has survived almost 150 years and two attempts to close it.

The Settle to Carlisle line is widely regarded as one of the prettiest in the country, and it is right on your doorstep.

FACTFILE

Prices: Return journey from £23.90

Car Parking: Parking at Settle Railway Station

Attraction Website: www.settle-carlisle.co.uk

Tickets: www.nationalrail.co.uk

For more days out see www.yorkshire.com

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