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Hills of the North


Saturday 28 July 2018

The Ullswater Cruise option is now full.

The magnificent Settle & Carlisle Railway will surely need little introduction, a dramatic main line railway carved through the awe-inspiring Pennine Hills. This classic day out also offers an optional cruise on Ullswater, regarded by many as the most beautiful of the English lakes.

Our journey north is via the West Coast Main Line. We pass Crewe and Lancaster, entering the Lake District at Oxenholme. The train climbs through the Westmorland hills to Shap Summit before descending to reach the ‘border city’ of Carlisle. Here you have a break of around two and a half hours; the station is close to the heart of the mostly pedestrianised city centre and its distinctive red sandstone cathedral.

After our break we return south via the magnificent Settle & Carlisle Railway. Once we are through Appleby the scenery for which this line is famous really comes to the fore, with one magnificent sight following another as we climb to Ais Gill Summit.

Look out for famous landmarks such as Wild Boar Fell, Mallerstang Edge and of course Ribblehead Viaduct. This was the last main line in Britain to be built with bare hands and basic tools; indeed many 19th century engineers opined that it would be impossible to construct the line through such hostile terrain. It survived a closure attempt in the 1980s and its future is now secure for ourselves and future generations to enjoy.

Once through Settle, our homeward journey is via Hellifield and down the peaceful Ribble Valley to rejoin our outward route just south of Preston.

Ullswater Cruise: Alternatively for a small supplement you can alight from the train on the northbound journey at Penrith. Here coaches will be waiting for the short transfer to Pooley Bridge at the head of Ullswater. We have specially chartered ‘Raven’ for a one-hour cruise along this tranquil lake. The surrounding mountains have led to comparisons with Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.

After a leg-stretching break the coaches are rejoined for a journey through very agreeable Cumbrian scenery to Appleby. Here you are welcomed back on to the train for the homeward run via the dramatic Settle & Carlisle Railway.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

StationDepartArrive
London Euston07.1022.10
Watford Junction (for M25)07.2521.45
Milton Keynes Central08.0021.10
Rugby08.3020.35