Bedale to Scruton, Yorkshire


The Wensleydal­e Railway cuts right through the Yorkshire Dales National Park from the quaint market town of Leyburn to the charming village of Redmire. This railway line serves both the local community and internatio­nal tourists alike. Mary, Queen of Scots once roamed this landscape: she stayed at nearby Bolton Castle for six months after she fled from Scotland, defeated by the English.

The entire line was 40 miles long when it was completed in the 19th century. It ceased to be a passenger line in the 1950s, and has only recently reopened. At present, the only service running regularly is between the picturesqu­e market town of Bedale and the diminutive village of Scruton, once a 6th- or 7th-century settlement.

This part of the Yorkshire Dales is sparsely populated with tiny villages springing up sporadical­ly, and grey-stone farmhouses peppering the valleys. This is also James Herriot country. Herriot was a veterinary surgeon who wrote stories about animals: this journey takes passengers into this innocent, rural world.

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