My 2023 new year adventure-by-train list

I was going to call this my 2023 bucket list but I’ve every hope I’ll avoid kicking any buckets (messy business) and make it through to 2024. As you might have noticed, I’ve become in 2022 slightly obsessed with outdoor adventures by train. Not only that but I’ve also been writing about train adventures for a few clients too.

Which has led to plenty of research.

Really fun research as it happens.

I now know where to find England’s highest and the UK’s most remote main line train stations. I know which out of the Ribblehead and Glenfinnan Viaducts is the longest, and that neither of these wins the UK-long-viaduct prize. I know that the Heart of Wales Line starts in England, and that the Settle to Carlisle Line has 14 tunnels.

I also know that I have a lot more train adventuring to do.

Bucket train ride list 2023

Bucket lists (or not bucket lists) can either be a spur to action or an excuse for disappointment. On one hand having a list might be just the encouragement I need to get moving. On the other I might start to feel the pressure should the moving not happen.

I’m not undertaking this list task lightly.

Although I’ve had plenty of adventures, during 2022 my train travel has been limited by both time and finances. However, it’s paid ample dividends in enjoyment, discovery and satisfaction (as well as some actual work). I can’t say for sure whether or not I’ll complete my new-year train-adventure list in 2023 but I’m having fun compiling it.

Are you ready to hop on board?

Adventures by train 2023

A Yorkshire adventure by train

Flickr, Alison Tomlin

I would like to take a photo of a train travelling across the Ribblehead Viaduct then walk up onto Blea Moor to see the tunnel ventilation shafts. After that I would continue to England’s highest main line station, Dent Station and stay the night there in one of the converted snow huts.

I’ve checked the booking for the Dent Station snow huts. The first availability is November 2023. I’ll need to book soon, or it might be another wild camp by train for me!

A Scottish adventure by train

Flickr, Shirokazan

If I play my tickets right, this could be my first adventure by train for 2023. I would like to experience the West Highland Line from Mallaig, hop off for a photoshoot (another viaduct) at Glenfinnan, then continue to disembark again at super-remote Corrour Station and walk the track to Rannoch Station.

I’ve had a look at the timetables. To pull this one off in December/January with  under 7-hours of daylight is going to take some impressive planning skills (and a good torch!)

A Welsh adventure by train

Flickr, Jeremy Segrott

I can feel the Heart of Wales Line calling me. With its stations managed by local volunteers and its tiny pottering trains, the Heart of Wales Line also has its own walking route that allows you to walk from station to station enjoying the highlights as you go.

The more I read about the Heart of Wales Line, the more I like it. With its own impressive viaducts at Cynghordy and Knucklas and one of Wales’ least-used stations, I can’t wait to meet this quiet giant.

A European adventure by train

Flickr, Maria Eklind

To be honest, I’d be thrilled to go anywhere on the Eurostar, just the thought of embarking at elegant St Pancras Station and sliding on through to another country thrills me. I’m not sure where passport control comes into the plan but I’m more than willing to find out.

My dream train ride to Europe would be Stockholm (mainly because I want to cross the wonderful Oresund Bridge). The journey’s going to take more than one train but that’s fine because it’ll give me opportunities to explore cities along the route. Thanks to the fantastic Man in Seat 61, who does this type of research far better than me, my first option would be London-Cologne-Brussels-Hamburg-Stockholm.

But if you have a spare train ticket to Europe, please take me anywhere!

Main image – Flickr, Dave Collier


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