A series of new ‘Rail Trails’ have been unveiled by Cumbria Tourism to help inspire more people to get out of their cars and explore some of the county’s hidden coastal gems by train.
The eight downloadable Rail Trails all start and finish at a train station and feature an array of highlights along Cumbria’s west coast, including one of Wainwright’s lesser walked fells – Black Combe – which has some of the best long-distance views in the county.
Historic Roman forts, wide open sandy beaches, nature reserves bustling with rare wildlife and dramatic red sandstone cliffs are among the coastal features waiting to be explored.
All the routes are accessed from the Cumbrian Coastal line, with easy train connections through from Manchester, Lancaster and Carnforth.
The aim is to open people’s eyes to the range of possibilities offered by train travel, giving them practical ideas and inspiration to incorporate more sustainable forms of transport into their travels around the county this autumn.
Cumbria Tourism’s Managing Director, Gill Haigh, says, “Using the train is about more than just getting from A to B. It’s about enhancing the overall experience, helping people to kick back and relax while they soak up Cumbria’s glorious scenery and letting someone else take care of the driving, navigation and parking. It’s also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help protect our world-class landscape at the same time.
“What’s more, these Rail Trails show how much there is to see and explore as soon as you step onto the train platform. Our visitor research clearly shows that walking, spending time near or on the water and exploring safe, quiet and captivating landscapes are some of the main reasons people visit our county. As 2021 is also Cumbria’s Year of the Coast, it’s the perfect time to download one of these new Rail Trails and explore our stunning coastline in all its autumnal glory!”
The new Rail Trails have been supported by Cumbria’s Tactical Visitor Management Group, to help manage the flow of visitors around the county. Chaired by Cumbria Police, TVMG is a collaboration between a range of organisations including the county’s local authorities, the Lake District National Park, Cumbria Tourism, The National Trust, Cumbria County Council, Cumbria LEP and Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association.