Travelling by railway undoubtedly has a certain romance to it. Without the stress of driving, the view unfolds outside the carriage window for you to enjoy. There is also less of the feeling of being treated like livestock that flying can engender. Several rail routes through Europe are stunningly beautiful, with much to recommend them.
Mountains and More
One of the most picturesque rail journeys in the United Kingdom runs from London to Fort William in the Highlands of Scotland. Take a sleeper train which leaves around 8.00pm in the evening and you can wake to startled red deer running away from the train in the most dramatic mountain scenery in Britain. The buffet car can usually provide an excellent Scottish breakfast, as well as a nice dram for later in the day.
One place where you can see mountains which are much higher than those in Scotland is on the Zermatt to St Moritz route in Switzerland. This alpine line will take you along a 180-mile route which encompasses the Rhine gorge, Mattertal valley and the Oberalp pass at a height of more than 7000 feet. Panorama seats face the windows on many of the trains along this route, allowing for even more enjoyment of the spectacular scenery.
Of course, the most famous route of them all is that followed by the Orient Express. Running from the English Channel to Bucharest in Romania, this is one of the most iconic rail journeys in the world. It’s a fascinating trip to take and as a way of seeing Europe without having to worry about roadside assistance it is hard to beat.
When it comes to adventure, it can be a good idea to leave the car behind and use the railway. Sit back in your seat and enjoy some of Europe’s best views while the train does all the work.