A Journey Back In Time

A trip aboard a steam train takes passengers back to a simpler time, and allows them to relax, take in the views, and explore some fantastic locations. From breath-taking sights such as the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales to the iconic feat of engineering of the Glenfinnan Viaduct, “The People’s Friend” Travel team look at four fantastic steam breaks, all offering a perfect short break away that’s still close to home.

Scenic England At Its Best

A magnificent voyage through the Yorkshire Dales, the journey from Settle to Carlisle takes you through 14 tunnels and over 19 viaducts along its 72 mile stretch.  The line stands as not only a tribute to the genius and determination of the engineers and workers of the 19th century but, with its splendid views of the Dales en route, serves as a stunning showcase for scenic England at its best.

Read more about the Settle – Carlisle Railway & Pennine Waterways

Settle 2016

From Hill To Sea In Wales

Travelling along The Vale of Rheidol Railway, you journey through open fields, woodland and mountain scenery, where the train twists and turns as it clings to the hillside. Nearby, the town of New Quay provides the perfect chance to take a trip around Cardigan Bay. This protected area is home to a host of sea life including Dolphins and Atlantic Grey seals, and the local sea skippers are experts at providing visitors with perfect views without disturbing these beautiful creatures.

Read more about the Cambrian Mountains to Cardigan Bay

Cambrian Bay

Scotland By Steam

Combining the wonderful scenery of Scotland and steam locomotion provides the perfect – you might even say romantic – holiday escape.  One of the longest steam-hauled rail journeys in Britain today, The Jacobite Steam Train, from Fort William to Mallaig takes you from close to the country’s highest mountain and via its deepest lochs, crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct -a famous feat of Victorian engineering, now known to film fans worldwide from its appearance in the Harry Potter movies – on the Iron Road to the Isles.

Read more about the Classic Scottish Steam Break

Classic Scottish Steam Break

The Isle of Man

Formerly a complex network of narrow gauge tracks that faithfully served most of the island, the Isle of Man Steam Railway remains as a single route line. Connecting Douglas with Castletown and connecting the traveller with an age of Victorian transport, it takes passengers through woods, past tiny stations, and offers splendid sea views. In the seaside village of Port Erin, we recommend taking some time to visit the Railway Museum, while just over 20 miles away lies Laxey, site of the world’s largest working waterwheel.

Read more about the Historic Railways of the Isle of Man

Historic Railways of the Isle of Man

The journeys we’ve highlighted are all ideal for anyone seeking a different way to explore parts of Britain, but for those looking to venture further afield discovering Europe by rail is the perfect alternative to flying. Here are just some of the fantastic 2016 & 2017 departures you might enjoy.

Want to explore more? To view our complete holiday collection, visit our travel site here.


Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.