Shorter days, squally weather, colder temperatures. Not everyone likes to be out on the fells during the winter. Or the rest of the year for that matter! A seat on a train is like a window on the world, a chance to relax and watch the views pass you by.
Here is our guide to fabulous train journeys in Cumbria. Whether you are planning to arrive at one of our self catering Lake District cottages via train, or just indulge in a relaxing journey once you are here.
Lakeside and Haverthwaite railway was saved from dereliction in the late 1960’s and resorted to its former steam powered glory in 1973. Located in the charming Leven Valley at the southern end of Windermere, the line runs for 3.5miles, along the banks of the River Leven to connect with Bowness and Ambleside on the Sail & Rail deal.
The Carlisle to Settle line is often called the most scenic line in the country. Who could argue? The countryside is simply stunning. Take in the awe inspiring Cross Fell, the Three Peaks of Yorkshire – Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Whenside, then Wild Boar Fell and the beautiful Eden Sandstone landscape. In the distance are the Lake District fells of Haweswater and Ullswater.
The line covers 72 miles and passes through 12 tunnels and across 20 viaducts. The railway and its stations are part of a huge regeneration to ensure the continued use of the line, and are a designated conservation area.
The Cumbrian Coast Line traces thousands of years of history as it hugs the scenic coastline between Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness. There is a strong Roman heritage, evidence of Viking settlements and several mysterious stone circles.
Nature lovers are drawn to the SSSIs, bird sanctuaries, salt marches and the beautiful miles of sandy and shingled beaches. It can be difficult to decide which window to look out of - the shimmering sea on one side and the dramatic Lake District fells on the other. Sunsets along the coast are dramatic. Enjoy a magical evening walk on one of the beaches. Allonby has a quaint ice cream parlour and St Bees, an old style beach café. Trains run regularly making it easy to hop on and off where you please.
At Threlkeld Quarry near Keswick, a seasonal train operates during summer holidays, weekends and seasonal holidays. Sir Tom pulls passengers uphill through the quarry taking you on a tour of the workings.