Widely known as England’s most picturesque line, the enduring Settle – Carlisle Railway crosses the north Pennines between Yorkshire and Cumbria, traversing stunning scenery from the Dales through the lonely and lofty fells to the limestone pavements of Westmorland, and on into the lush, green Eden Valley. The line was built by the Midland Railway company in the 1870s, to forge an independent route connecting its English network with Scotland. Uniquely for a railway in the UK, the entire infrastructure is a Conservation Area in its own right – comprising viaducts, stations, bridges, tunnels, trackside structures and railway workers’ cottages. By walking all or parts of the route from Settle to Carlisle, you get the chance to get up close to this iconic railway’s magnificent architecture. And in the company of a knowledgeable guide, you’ll also discover centuries’-worth of local history and traditions: Roman remains, medieval castles, the annual Appleby Horse Fair gathering, and much more besides.
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