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Top five rail trips this summer

From coastal routes to heritage treasures, our railway offers a wealth of striking journeys.

Here are our top five places to visit:

The Scottish Highlands

Click on the gallery to see more images of the Highlands

Take the West Highland Line from Glasgow Queen Street to some of Scotland’s most famous scenery.

ScotRail runs a train service all the way through Fort William, Glenfinnan and the old fishing port of Mallaig – today a popular tourist destination.

Bonnie Prince Charlie put Glenfinnan on the map in 1745 when he arrived in Scotland from France to raise an army against the Scottish government.

Today, Glenfinnan attracts swathes of visitors – particularly Harry Potter film fans – to see the iconic viaduct next to Loch Shiel.

The Jacobite steam train runs from Fort William to Mallaig via Glenfinnan from April to September.

Passengers can hop off at the classically restored Glenfinnan railway station, which now houses the Glenfinnan Station Museum, leave their luggage with staff and explore the local area.

The Conwy Valley line

Click on the gallery to see more images of the line.

The Conwy Valley line remains a firm Welsh favourite.

The line, which runs between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog, takes in the North Wales Coast and the heart of Snowdonia. Sites include Conwy Castle, Dolwyddelan Castle and the World Heritage Town of Conwy.

The National Railway Museum

Click on the gallery to see more images. Image credit – The National Railway Museum.

Take a trip to the historic walled city of York and discover some of Britain’s most important railway artefacts at The National Railway Museum, including what was once the country’s busiest signal box.

Network Rail donated original bricks from the foundations of Borough Market Junction signal box, which moved from London to the National Railway Museum in 1976.

Our donation helped with the box’s restoration and highlighted our commitment to conserving railway history.

Settle-Carlisle line

The Ribblehead viaduct

The Settle–Carlisle line is one of the world’s most stunning stretches of railway. Enjoy views of the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbrian Fells. You’ll see Victorian architecture, remote station buildings and imposing bridges like the Ribblehead viaduct (pictuted).

Summer events along the line can include festivals, an open day at Appleby station in Cumbria and a weekend celebration of vintage vehicles, fashion and entertainment.

The Borders Railway

The Borders Railway. Picture credit – Bruce Ball.

When the Borders Railway opened in 2015 it reconnected local communities with Scotland’s capital by rail for the first time since 1969.

The 30-mile route – the UK’s longest new domestic line in more than 100 years – reversed a controversial closure that had left “a profound sense of sadness” in its wake, according to Bruce Ball, author of The Spirit of the Borders Railway.

Today, the scenic line takes passengers between Tweedbank and Edinburgh in less than an hour. The Borders Railway describes direct transport links as integral to tourism in Scotland, linking the south east of Scotland with rail and air travel across Britain.

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