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Settle to Carlisle Line

The iconic Settle to Carlisle Railway was the last mainline railway to be built in the UK and was completed in 1876 by the Midland Railway Company after six years of work. Widely accepted as being one of the best-engineered mainline tracks in England, the line is visually dramatic and offers a truly great rail journey.

On some of our tours we begin in Leeds, where our journey takes us through Airedale and the towns of Shipley and Saltaire, the latter being famous for the huge Salts Mill, which today houses a large collection of paintings by the Bradford-born artist David Hockney. From Saltaire we travel to Keighley, home of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway and then to the North Yorkshire market town of Skipton. On leaving Skipton, the train begins a gradual 15 mile (24 km) climb and stops in Settle, the starting point of our journey on some tours. We then continue along a narrow valley into the Yorkshire Dales National Park. As the valley broadens and the landscape becomes wilder, we enjoy views of two of the Three Peaks - Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough - before reaching the most famous landmark the route: the magnificent 24-arched Ribblehead Viaduct.

The train's 15 mile climb comes to an end as we enter Blea Moor Tunnel and continue across the Dent Head Viaduct. We catch a glimpse of the Whernside, the third of the Three Peaks as we travel towards Dent, the highest mainline station in England at 1,150 feet (350 metres). From Dent we continue on the Settle to Carlisle Line   to Garsdale, once a junction with the Wensleydale Railway to Northallerton, and then across the Moorcock Viaduct. We leave the Yorkshire Dales National Park behind and continue through Cumbria and the rolling hills of the Eden Valley to the towns of Kirkby Stephen, Appleby, Armathwaite and our final destination, Carlisle.

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Lake Windemere
3.9 stars(56 reviews)
5 days from
£379 pp
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5 days from
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  • DestinationEngland
  • Starts / EndsCarlisle
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
Our customers love our Settle to Carlisle Line tours
Lakes and Dales by Steam
Mr Stretton
4 stars
“Most of this trip was excellent, from booking, postponing and rebooking, the day-today programmes and particularly our Tour Manager Nicky. The Hotel was convenient, next to the station and right in the middle of Carlisle, and individual staff were friendly and helpful. The reasons I only gave 4 stars were a) The food. For the Welcome Dinner on first evening the chicken was dried out and the potatoes undercooked. Breakfasts - a good selection but the cooked elements left open and were frequently dried up. Bedroom tea tray. We understood why daily full cleaning of bedrooms was on hold due to Covid restrictions, but why was it necessary to have to fill in a form to replace every tea-bag or milk portion? b) bedrooms. The original antislip pattern in the bath had worn a bit thin, so a note by the bath advised 'If you can't find your bathmat please ask'. Why not leave it IN the bathroom and not hide it in the wardrobe? The toilet needed 5 go's to make it flush properly The hot water was not as hot as it should be. c) Cleanliness. A note outside the lift said 'This lift is cleaned regularly'. It clearly wasn't. the same bits of rubbish and marks on the wall were present for 4 days. We could sympathise with the slightly worn stair carpets in several places but, but again they did not appear to have been hoovered for a week. Overall it fell short of our expectation of an AA 3 star hotel
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