Days Out: Settle to Carlisle Railway

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THERE are few sights more glorious than that of Pen-y-Ghent, one of Yorkshire’s famous Three Peaks, covered in a blanket of crisp, white snow and bathed in the warm glow of the winter sun.

It is especially glorious when seen from the comfort of a warm railway carriage while drinking an ice cool bottle of Wyvern Anniversary Ale, brewed by the Eden Brewery to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the reprieve of the Settle to Carlisle Railway.

The 72-mile Settle-Carlisle line is arguably the most scenic railway route in the UK, taking in 20 viaducts and 14 tunnels as it winds its way through the Yorkshire Dales towards Cumbria, stopping at a number of beautifully restored Victorian railway stations on the way.

With cheery volunteers on selected services and drinks and snacks aplenty – the specially brewed ale is a must – passengers can sit back, relax and enjoy the view. Make sure you download the brilliant smartphone app that tells you everything you need to know about a line that has survived almost 150 years and two attempts to close it.

Beginning in the pretty market town of Settle, although many travellers start from Leeds station, with its 24 arches and a height of 100ft, the Ribblehead viaduct is a stunning feat of engineering, and the conveniently placed station provides an easy stop-off point for keen photographers wishing to capture it in all its glory.

Continuing north, the highest mainline station in England at 1,150ft, continues towards Carlisle.