Saturday, June 22, 2024

The beautiful train journeys that you can get direct from on of UK’s best cities

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Views across Longridge Fell (Image: Peter McDermott | | (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Manchester serves as the gateway to numerous stunning train journeys.

Opting for rail over road offers a stress-free way to discover the picturesque villages and rugged landscapes that lie beyond the city limits.

A number of direct routes from Manchester’s central stations traverse some of the most scenic parts of the British countryside, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination itself, the Manchester Evening News reports.

So why not leave the car at home, sit back, relax, and let the train whisk you away from the urban sprawl to enjoy the awe-inspiring views en route?

Manchester – Crewe

Oxenholme countryside

The view of the hillsides on the way into Oxenholme (Image: Anthony Parkes | | (CC BY-SA 2.0))

This scenic route sees the urban landscape give way to endless stretches of countryside. The journey begins in the city, crossing the Stockport Viaduct with its panoramic views across the town.

The train then ventures into the suburbs before speeding through the vast Cheshire plains, passing quaint traditional villages and the iconic Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank before arriving at Crewe, one of the world’s most historically significant railway towns.

Why not alight at one of the stations between Alderley Edge and Sandbach for a classic pub lunch, or stop at Goostrey to visit the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre?

Direct trains to Cheshire depart from Manchester Piccadilly or Stockport.


Northwich area Northwich Marina Ltd in the town centre tourist landmark Boat canal, canals narrowboat river stream waterway, narrow boat, club stoppages canalside list owner British waterways chandler,engineer, history, boat, river, rivers, cruiser, builder, ,owners marina mooring berth sail sailing cruising transports UK Great Britain British United Kingdom Europe European island England English isle northern northwest UK Gtr greater Manchester Lancashire Cheshire city centre town (Image: Mark Waugh Manchester Press Photography Ltd)

Cost: Return tickets start from £9.40.

Distance: 28 miles.

Journey time: The express service takes 32 minutes, while a local stopping service takes approximately an hour.

Manchester – Clitheroe

the Manchester Evening News

The Ribble Valley Line, as it’s locally known, offers a stunning journey that connects the city centre with the market town, traversing some of Lancashire’s most picturesque landscapes.

Departing from Manchester, the route heads north along the Irwell Valley to Bolton, then ascends over the West Pennine Moors and across the Ribble Valley, offering breathtaking views towards Longridge Fell, the Yorkshire Dales and Pendle Hill.

The journey itself is an awe-inspiring experience, but there’s also plenty to explore at the various stops along the way.

Consider taking one of the walks near Entwistle, the gateway to the West Pennine Moors, or pack your walking gear and venture out to the Ribble Valley and Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from Clitheroe.


image of The Torrs at New Mills. Picture of the Day, MEN. Taken by Norman Wall from Stockport (Image: Manchester Evening Newws)

Start your journey at Manchester Victoria for direct trains down the Ribble Valley Line. The cost starts from £12.20 return, covering a distance of 37 miles.

Most services take around 75 minutes.

The Mid Cheshire Railway Line, connecting Manchester to Chester, meanders through the beautiful Cheshire countryside and several bustling towns and villages including Knutsford, Northwich, Hale and Altrincham.

Hop on and off to experience some of the county’s most scenic areas, where you can delve into Cheshire’s rich history and culture while soaking up the spectacular scenery.

Stockport Viaduct

Northern las 319 local train crossing Stockport landmark Viaduct on rout to Manchester (Image: Mark Waugh Manchester Press Photography Ltd)

Consider stopping at Northwich to visit the Anderton Boat Lift, one of only two working boat lifts in the UK. Alternatively, head to the Salt Works and discover how this tranquil town was once the world’s salt capital.

Alternatively, disembark at Delamere and explore its 972 hectares of forest, meres, tracks and trails.

Or perhaps alight at Knutsford, the birthplace of renowned author Elizabeth Gaskell, and take a step back in time at the Heritage Centre.

End your journey in the historic city of Chester, England’s best-preserved walled city, with its ancient streets and two-tier medieval shopping galleries.


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Direct routes are available from Manchester Piccadilly and Stockport.

Prices start from £13.40 for a return ticket.

The distance is 33 miles.

The quickest route takes 55 minutes, while the slowest takes 1 hour and 46 minutes.

The Buxton Line

The Buxton Line travels through the picturesque Peak District (Image: Alan Murray Rust | | (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Manchester – Buxton

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in the Derbyshire valleys with a scenic trip along the Buxton Line.

Despite being a relatively short journey, the service passes through some of the UK’s most stunning landscapes.

The route stops at several quaint towns and villages before climbing six miles up a steep hill to reach the ancient spa town of Buxton.


Hope Valley (Image: Neil Theasby | Wikimedia Commons)

Stop at New Mills for a breathtaking view of a natural rocky gorge, known as The Torrs, and cross the River Goyt via the Millennium Bridge.

Alight at Dove Holes for some of the most spectacular walks around.

Or embark on a full journey to Buxton and delve into the rich history of what was once one of Britain’s leading natural thermal spa towns, boasting grand Georgian and Victorian architecture.

Begin your journey at Manchester Piccadilly for a direct train ride out of the city and into Derbyshire.


Pendle Hill. Photo by Colin Lane (Image: Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo)

Cost: From £11.30 return.

Distance: 20 miles.

Journey time: Average duration is about an hour.

Manchester – Sheffield


Grindleford (Image: Graham Hogg | | (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Venturing south from Manchester, this breathtaking route is renowned as one of the most picturesque in Britain, traversing lush green valleys and rugged hillsides through the scenic Hope Valley.

The line splits into two branches, both passing through the suburbs of Greater Manchester before converging again at the High Peak village of Chinley.

From here, it travels through the two-mile long Cowburn tunnel, emerging into the stunning landscape of the Hope Valley.

The route halts at several quaint and historical villages, all serving as gateways to some of the finest and most famous walking and hiking trails in the Peak District, before passing through the three-and-a-half mile long Totley Tunnel and arriving in Sheffield.


Delamere railway station opened on 22 June 1870. It serves both the village of Delamere and Delamere Forest in Cheshire, England. The station is 9A12 miles (15 km) east of Chester on the Mid-Cheshire Line.The station marks one end of the Baker Way footpath.The station was used as a location in an episode of the popular UK TV series ‘Survivors’.Norther rail local service 150 sprinter unit in purple livery branch line under bridge Railways station hub central trains locos units coaches commuters peak off passengers luggage baggage carry platforms tracks sleepers bags ticket br British beaching inspector guard timetable railroad trains local crosscountry trams light rail transit rapid subway underground overground route diversion speed locomotives departure departing arrivals arriving Travel Travellers Traveling tourist tourism destination holiday location attraction location place view landmark break (Image: Mark Waugh Manchester Press Photography Ltd)

Make a pit stop at the small village of Edale for popular walking routes up Mam Tor and the formidable Kinder Scout, or embark on The Pennine Way.

Embark at Grindleford for a diverse range of landscapes, including open moorland, wooded river valleys (including Padley Gorge) and several gritstone escarpments. No matter where you disembark, you’re guaranteed to find a cosy country pub and some breathtaking scenery.

Begin your journey at Manchester Piccadilly for direct trains along the Hope Valley line.

Cost: Starting from £14 return.


Rolling country at Chinley Churn (Image: MAC UGC)

Distance: 33 miles.

Journey time: The duration varies between 50 minutes and 75 minutes depending on which branch you travel on.

Manchester – Oxenholme

Set off to the stunning Lake District National Park on a direct train from Manchester to Oxenholme, the gateway to the Cumbrian countryside.


The Jodrell Bank Observatory (originally the Jodrell Bank Experimental Station, then the Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories from 1966 to 1999; /EdEEdrETMl/) is a British observatory that hosts a number of radio telescopes, and is part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. The observatory was established in 1945 by Sir Bernard Lovell, a radio astronomer at the University of Manchester who wanted to investigate cosmic rays after his work on radar during the Second World War. It has since played an important role in the research of meteors, quasars, pulsars, masers and gravitational lenses, and was heavily involved with the tracking of space probes at the start of the Space Age. The managing director of the observatory is Professor Simon Garrington.The main telescope at the observatory is the Lovell Telescope, which is the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world. There are three other active telescopes located at the observatory; the Mark II, as well as 42 ft (13 m) and 7 m diameter radio telescopes. Jodrell Bank Observatory is also the base of the Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN), a National Facility run by the University of Manchester on behalf of the Science and Technology Facilities Council. UK Great Britain British United Kingdom Europe European island England English isle northern northwest UK Gtr greater Manchester Cheshire city centre town landmark farmers filed crops (Image: Mark Waugh Manchester Press Photography Ltd)

Leaving the city behind, this route heads north towards Preston, passing through miles of lush countryside and around the outskirts of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, through the historical city of Lancaster before skirting Morcambe Bay.

It then continues through Carnforth, past picturesque Arnside and Silverside before arriving in Oxenholme, just outside the popular tourist spot of Kendal and at the very edge of the Lake District.

Start at Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Airport for direct routes to Oxenholme, Kendal.

Cost: Starting from £21.30 return.

Distance: 60 miles.

Journey Times: Direct trains take around 70 minutes.

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