Take a Trip on the Settle-Carlisle Railway

Ribblehead Viaduct

There’s always something to do in the Yorkshire Dales, even if the weather is a little bit inclement. Taking a trip on a train can be thrilling for children of all ages. Most little ones will love the journey itself, especially if they don’t travel by train very often.Paddington Bear was found at a train station, so you never know what you might find in a rural train station in the Yorkshire Dales! For adults, a trip through breath taking countryside might just be the ticket.

Just 3 miles from Layhead is the start of the Settle-Carlisle railway line. Part of the journey crosses the famous and historic Ribblehead viaduct. The area around the viaduct was home to a thousand navvies and their families who built it between 1870 and 1874, establishing shanty towns named after Crimean War victories, well-to-do districts of London and biblical names.

There are 11 stations along the Settle-Carlisle Railway, so if you didn’t want to do the full journey to Carlisle, you could hop off at one of the towns on route. The line and its stations have been designated a conservation area ensuring its continued use and work continues to regenerate the line and preserve its future.

Carlisle Castle (photo English Heritage)

Carlisle,where the train terminates, is a 2000-year-old border city between England and Scotland. It is full of rich heritage and has become a popular shopping destination with something for everyone. Carlisle is also famous for Hadrian’s Wall, the Cathedral and Tullie House.

Cursing Stone (photo by Tuille House Museum)

Carlisle cathedral is open daily from 7:30 to 6:15. Surrounded by history,this makes for a fascinating visit, with stained glass windows, painted ceilings and medieval paintings.

Tullie House Museum is wonderful for young and old alike. There are stunning galleries, replicas of a Roman street and an Edwardian railway carriage.  Underground is the Millennium Gallery which opened in 2001. It has a beautiful collection of local crystals and there is also a granite walkway which links Tullie House to Carlisle Castle.

Standing strongly in the city it has dominated for nine centuries, Carlisle Castle was a constantly updated working fortress until well within living memory. Now its rich and varied visitor attraction reflects its long and eventful history. Today the castle still plays a prominent role in Cumbria as one of the best-loved landmarks. With Border Reivers tours, the picnic area, a unique gift shop and being so close to Hadrian’s Wall, the Castle makes for a full family day out.

Hadrian’s Wall (photo by http.hadrianswallcountryco.uk)

Hadrian’s Wall, the famous Roman barrier,is one of Britain’s most popular long distance paths. It extends 118km (73 miles) across the beautiful North of England, from the North Sea to the Irish Sea. A trip to Hadrian’s Wall might inspire you to plan an adventure walking the length of the wall.  We can highly recommend this if you fancy a trip through history, visiting the ruins of roman villas and forts and some jaw-dropping scenery on the way.


If you just fancy a shopping trip, the Carlisle centre is only a five minute walk from the train station with an extensive range of shops to choose from and there are plenty of café’s restaurants and pubs to dine out in.

At the end of the day, you can hop back on the train and watch the beautiful scenery as you rest your weary legs after a full day out.

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