Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A very different day out in Cumbria

Question:  What do you do when you've got the beginnings of a nasty cold and should be tucked up in bed?  Answer: hop on the Cumbrian Coastal railway for a day out indoors.  (And make sure you pack Lemsip!).


The train from Grange to Carlisle around the coast takes a little over 3 hours and affords some of the most spectacular views of the Cumbrian Coastline and inland towards the fells.  As you head around the coast from Ulverston one of the first major landmarks is the wonderful Black Combe - looking particularly stunning with its fresh covering of snow.





There are plenty of opportunities to spy on the wildlife, from the window I saw Buzzard, Oystercatchers and this lovely collections of...erm... Cormorants or Shags - I never can tell from this distance!


The views around the north stretched out across the Firth to Scotland, which also looked as if it had had its fair share of snow.



The last part of the run from Maryport to Carlisle offers a very different landscape of open fields and streams; less dramatic perhaps but no less beautiful.


And then there's Carlisle itself, a lovely town with a wonderful cathedral which manages to retain the feel of a holy place despite being open to the public.  There's no entry charge and there are always a couple of vergers around to answer any questions or explain some of the history.




Talking of history, all along the line are reminders of the history of this vital communication route: disused platforms, extra long platforms dating back to a time when rail travel really was for the masses and modern platforms built on top of the originals to raise them up to conform to modern train requirements.

Old and New

If you buy a Round Robin ticket I'm pretty sure you can come back the quick way via Lancaster, but why do that when you can head all the way back around the lovely coastline again?

Whitehaven

Near Workington

Beautiful Cumbrian Beaches

Fells near Askam

Three hours later and I was nearly home; the sun was setting behind the Hoad, my flask was empty and I really could claim that I'd spent almost the entire day tucked up in the warm with plenty of fluids.  Honestly, who'd stay at home watching daytime TV when you could be sat on a train looking at this?