Railway line makes British top ten

Joseph Bulmer

Tarka Line listed as Britain’s “most idyllic” rail journey

NORTH Devon’s Tarka Line has made it into a new Top 10 list of the best rail journeys in Britain.

The Barnstaple to Exeter line is listed as the “most idyllic” and is one of 12 great British railway journeys to feature in the book, On the Slow Train Again.

Other lines to feature include the “Deerstalker Express” from Euston to Fort William and Mallaig in Scotland, and the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth and Pwlleli line in Wales, described as the “most scenic”.

Author Michael Williams describes the Tarka Line as “the country railway of old as we like to remember it”.

He goes on to say: “A slow train gently rolls through little unspoilt stations amid the rich Devon pastureland of the Taw Valley. If you’re quick, you might spot an otter or two on the riverbank.”

The leading railway writer spent two years researching and travelling tens of thousands of miles around the network as part of a commission to coincide with the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the infamous Beeching report.

He said: “Many of the loveliest railway journeys across the most scenic and historic landscapes of Britain can be enjoyed for the price of an often inexpensive ticket.

“The nation that invented the passenger train still offers some of the most superb railway journeys in the world. You just need to seek them out.”