Extreme Railway Journeys presenter Chris Tarrant is backing the Days Out By Rail campaign, hailing train travel as the perfect way to explore the best Britain has to offer.
Days Out By Rail, co-ordinated by the Community Rail Network, aims to inspire and encourage people to jump on board to discover and enjoy parts of England, Scotland and Wales by not only travelling on the main lines but also discovering the lesser-known railway lines.
“The campaign will hopefully encourage people to take the train more this summer,” says adventurer and veteran broadcaster Tarrant.
“What’s not to like about sitting back and watching the scenery roll by? Britain has some of the most stunning scenery in the world and a rail journey is part of the adventure.”
The campaign, launched by Community Rail Network’s tourism arm Scenic Rail Britain, promotes travelling by train as a sustainable and enjoyable way to travel into the heart of a city, into the countryside or off to the coast.
Over the summer, Scenic Rail Britain will share ideas and suggestions of how to explore Britain by community rail with a range of themes including: off the beaten track, spectacular views, purse-friendly days out, reconnecting with family, doorstep discovering; days out with friends, scenic walking and cycling routes, and days out for grown-ups.
Those wanting scenic landscapes would be wise to try out the Hope Valley line through the Peak District, for example, while the while the Bishop Line in County Durham is the ideal opportunity to learn about the region’s industrial history.
Meanwhile the Derwent Valley line, nestled in the heart of Derbyshire, provides easy access to Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and the historic cable cars at Matlock Bath.
Alice Mannion, heritage and tourism officer at Scenic Rail Britain, said: “Days Out By Rail offers a prime opportunity to explore England and Scotland this summer.
“With many people opting for summer staycations, the community rail network is the perfect way of exploring parts of Britain you may never have seen before – from heritage sites, to the seaside and the rolling countryside.”
Community Rail Network is a unique and growing movement comprising more than 70 community rail partnerships and 1,000 volunteer groups across Britain.
It works with train operators, local authorities and other partners to improve rail services and stations and help communities have a voice in rail and transport development.
Days Out By Rail also aims to restore public confidence in travelling by train during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw passenger numbers drop by 78% between 2019-20 and 2020-21 (April to March period), according to figures from the Office of Rail and Road.
To discover itineraries and days out near you, visit the Scenic Rail Britain website. You can also send or email a friend a postcard of some of the most scenic lines at the site.