This beautifully restored heritage railway puffs through stunning countryside, quaint villages and historic towns.
The East Lancashire Railway is a 12-mile heritage steam railway line through the Irwell Valley in northwest England. With its scenic blend of rolling countryside and post-industrial landscapes, the journey gives a taste of what train travel was like in Victorian England.
The route stretches between the towns of Rawtenstall and Heywood, stopping off at six stations and skirting the edge of the West Pennine Moors.
The original track opened in 1846 at the peak of England’s ‘railway mania’ and is today preserved by more than 600 volunteers. It has access to the mainline too, allowing for a constant turnover of celebrated steam and diesel engines.
Journeys for the Railway depart from Bolton Street station in the town of Bury, 10 miles (16km) north of Manchester. To get there, it’s a 30 minute tram journey from Manchester Victoria station. Manchester is 2 hours 10 minutes by train from London.