The top ten: Most beautiful British railway journeys
John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.
Sunday 03 November 2013
Andrew Adonis asked, on his way to the Cheltenham Literary Festival: 'Is the North Cotswold Line – Kemble, Stroud etc – the most beautiful in England?' He said it was 'on a short shortlist', so I asked readers to help me compile the best, including the rest of the UK...
1. Edinburgh to Aberdeen Continuing northwards, "none can compete with the Forth and Tay bridges", says Bob Reid.
2. Settle to Carlisle Especially the Ribblehead viaduct, reckons Rupert Greenhalgh.
3. Barking-Gospel Oak on the London Overground. "This journey looks at the urban landscape, but not the showy, award-winning portion," says Paul T Horgan. Nice new rolling stock, too.
4. Cambrian Coast Line in West Wales. Thanks, Mike Ion.
5. Hope Valley in Derbyshire. Suggested by John Taylor and others.
6. West Highland Line from Mallaig to Oban in Scotland. Nominated by Stephen Mann.
7. East Coast Main Line. The view of Durham is prized, but many vote for the "glorious" stretch from Newcastle to Edinburgh (Maeve Sherlock), especially Alnmouth to Berwick when the tide is in (Chris Sharp).
8. North Cotswold Line Nominated by Andrew Adonis.
9. Kendal to Penrith on the West Coast Line. "Stunning," comments Mike Ion. Although I also love the Carstairs to Lockerbie section.
10. Taunton to Penzance Including Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash (Ruth Muirhead) and the Dawlish coast (Stephen Mann).
Next week: Anagrams
Coming soon: Ways in which Doctor Who saved the universe, to mark the TV show's 50th anniversary (suggested by my colleague Rogan Dixon). Send your suggestions (by 12 November), and ideas for any future Top 10s, to firstname.lastname@example.org
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