Step aboard ‘The Viking Venturer’ as we head south taking in the spectacular North Sea views of the East Coast Mainline as we cross the border, and on to the historic city of York. The return journey promises to be a real rail adventure as we take the scenic route over the Settle and Carlisle Railway and Beattock Bank with world famous steam locomotive Tornado at the head of the train.
Tuesday 20th July
Join us from: Linlithgow*, Haymarket and Edinburgh
Book online below, or call our booking office on 01325 488215
Route and Destination Summary
Passengers are invited to take their seats aboard the historic 1950s carriages, as a diesel locomotive hastens the journey out of the capital and south towards the Scotland-England Border. This stretch of railway is renowned for its panoramic views as the track runs along the coast affording wonderful views over the North Sea. Just over the border, the train will cross over the River Tweed via the 28 arch span of the Royal Border Bridge as we pass through Berwick-upon-Tweed where the raised railway offers views across the town and out to sea. A little south of Berwick there are wonderful views of the small town of Alnmouth, whilst further on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is visible from the train as we continue our journey along the Northumbrian coast. The train will pass through Newcastle, crossing King Edward Bridge over the Tyne, and thunder its way on via Durham where the Norman Cathedral can be seen towering above the city. Onward up the ECML, we pass Darlington, where just north of the station we cross the Stockton and Darlington Railway, renowned as the birthplace of the railways. Darlington is also special as our return motive power, the new build steam locomotive Tornado was built and completed there in 2008. After Darlington, at Croft, we cross the River Tees and enter North Yorkshire with the expanses of lush green farm land all around. To the east we see the rising edifice of Sutton Bank, famous for its white horse, before we are soon slowing for the city of York, our destination.
Passengers will have around 3 and a half hours to explore the city which proudly presents its Viking and Roman histories, when it was known as Jorvik and Eboracum respectively. Most of York City Centre is accessible by foot from the station, and there are sight seeing buses near by (and even boat rides on the Ouse) for those preferring a guided tour. The beautifully ornate Minster dominates the skyline and the craftsmanship displayed in its stonework, carpentry and stunning stained glass makes the cathedral a must see. A visit to Jorvik Viking Centre brings York’s past to life, while its more recent history as a Victorian railway hub can be explored at The National Railway Museum, where you will also find famous locomotives such as the steam speed record holder, Mallard. York boasts many museums, galleries, shops, pubs and restaurants making this the perfect destination to explore!
We may be slightly biased, but we believe that the best way to travel is by steam train and that is what we promise for our return journey! From York and all the way to Edinburgh, the train will be hauled by Tornado. Crossing through Leeds and on to Skipton, the train will then traverse the ‘Roof of England’ and the world famous Settle to Carlisle Railway. With its long climb to the stunning Ribblehead Viaduct, it’s many tunnels and views across the Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley, the Settle and Carlisle is rightly said to be one of the greatest railway journeys in the world. From Carlisle we strike out and are soon passing Gretna Junction and entering Scotland. We dwell for a short while at Lockerbie to take on water before setting off for the run to Edinburgh. In our way is the 10 mile long climb of Beattock Bank, steep and winding and made famous by W.H. Auden in his poem ‘Night Mail’. It is one of the sternest tests anywhere in the UK for an express steam locomotive. Once over the top, and hopefully ‘running on time’ we rush down towards Carstairs and on towards the Scottish Capital.
*For passengers for Linlithgow, return is via service train from Haymarket or Waverley, and the ticket price for this is included.