January 19th, 2011

Settle-Carlisle a “high-speed art gallery” [The Times article]

We stumbled across a fascinating article in The Times online where a reporter took a journey on the Settle to Carlisle railway and wrote up a detailed article of his trip – it was the writer’s first time travelling on the S&C.

He described the line as “a high-speed art gallery: there’s a new Turner landscape outside your window every minute”, which is a pretty evocative and accurate description of the stunning landscapes on show throughout the journey.

Here is an extract:
“From here on up, you’re in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and, blimey, it’s lovely. Tracking the sparkling River Ribble along its lush green valley, you climb steadily out past the tree line onto the wide, high moors.

Up here, it’s all huge skies, rushing clouds, waving grass, constantly changing light. To the left, the peaks of Ingleborough and Whernside were frosted with snow on a cold, clear winter’s day. They’re splendid, but not in a flashy way: no ostentatious precipices or soaring summits for them, just noble contours and reassuring bulk. This is Yorkshire, and you don’t get above yourself, even if you’re a mountain.

Far off to the right, isolated stone farms huddle under the dark mass of Pen-y-Ghent. In our dreams, most city-dwellers fantasise about living somewhere as wildly beautiful as this, but in reality we’d have to eat our children before the first winter was out, so it’s probably just as well that we stick to the train, where it’s warm and dry, and the tea trolley is just coming round.

The country gets still wilder, higher and hillier. There’s a desolate beauty here, and an intangible air of menace too — you’re in the middle of overcrowded England, but every windblasted rock and tussock makes it clear this isn’t a landscape that people were meant to inhabit.”

To read the whole account then click HERE

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