RR List of Walkable Disused Lines

RR maintains a list of publicly accessible walks over disused railway lines. Join RR for the opportunity to walk many of these, and other walks including private land, organised and led by a well-informed guide. Click here for the list of Upcoming RR Club led walks


East Midlands. Newstead – Hucknall (Nottinghamshire; ‘Linby Trail’)
An extremely picturesque woodland walk with spectacular views along the ex-Great Northern Leen Valley line which runs alongside and at one point beneath the ex-Great Central Main Line
Suitable for: Walkers
Distance: 3.5m
Start Point (Google map): GPS: 53.069611, -1.218556
Surface: A well established trail with chalk paths, crosses one main road
Link: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk - The Linby Trail and Hucknall
East Midlands. Ashbourne - Parsley Hay (Derbyshire; 'The Tissington Trail')
This superb path through the Derbyshire Dales is deservedly popular. A well established and well-surfaced trail, the Tissington Trail is the perfect introduction to exploring old railways, safe, level and ideal for walkers and cyclists of all ages and abilities. Do not miss the stunning village of Tissington along the way
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 13m
Link: peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/places-to-visit/trails/tissington-trail
East Midlands. Northampton – Market Harborough (Northants, ‘The Brampton Valley Way’)
This well maintained and popular path has been built on the former London & North Western Railway route between the two towns in question. Highlights are two tunnels on the route, Kelmarsh (322 yards or 294 metres) and Oxendon (462 yards or 422 metres). The tunnels are unlit and so can be quite an experience to travel through, Part of the trail runs adjacent to the Northampton & Lamport Railway
Start/Finish points: North of Mill Lane, Kings Heath, Northampton (1½ miles north of Northampton Station and Market Harborough Station, Rockingham Road, Market Harborough.
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 14m
Link: northamptonshireparks.co.uk/brampton-valley-way
South West. Yatton - Axbridge (Somerset: 'The Strawberry Line')
A delightful path across the northern part of the Somerset Levels, with distant views of the Mendip Hills. This is a well established and popular trail which includes the short but unlined Shute Shelf Tunnel and a heritage centre with a small museum at Sandford and Banwell Station
Suitable for: Walkers
Distance: 8m
Link: thestrawberryline.org.uk
South West. Lydford – Okehampton (Devon; ‘The Granite Trail’)
This superbly scenic trail follows the line of part of the former Southern Railway Main Line, from Lydford, where the castle and gorge are well worth a visit, towards Okehampton via Lake Viaduct, the Stunning Meldon Viaduct and Meldon Quarry from where it runs alongside the existing railway for its last two miles. It combines spectacular views of rural Devon, with the ruggedness of Dartmoor
Start/Finish points: Okehampton Station and School Road, Lydford (heading north west out of village)
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 11m
Link: https://visitdartmoor.co.uk/get-active/cycling-on-dartmoor/the-granite-way
South West. Sturminster Newton – Spetisbury (Dorset ‘The North Dorset Trailway’)
This delightful trailway is largely made up of sections of the old Somerset and Dorset Railway which linked Bristol and Bournemouth until the 1960s. It includes the superbly restored station at Shillingstone where a small museum and café may be enjoyed en route
Start/Finish points: Sturminster Newton Station, Station Road, Sturminster Newton and just south of Junction of A350 and B3075 ½ mile south east of Spetisbury Village
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 12m
Link: northdorsettrailway.org.uk
Chilterns/Eastern. Braintree – Start Hill near Bishops Stortford ( Essex/Hertfordshire ‘The Flitch Way’)
This popular path takes you from Braintree through Hatfield Forest and the town of Great Dunmow to Start Hill, where footpaths can be followed to reach Bishops Stortford, a couple of miles further west. Highlights include several well-preserved stations dotted along the path, including Rayne where there is a café and display of railway memorabilia, deer in Hatfield Forest Country Park and views of the River Chelmer near Great Dunmow
Start/Finish points: Braintree Station, Station Approach, Braintree and Start Hill; Tilekiln Green, south of B1256 close to M11 Motorway Junction 8
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 15m
Link: friends-of-the-flitch-way.org.uk/flitch-way.html
Eastern. Aylsham – North Walsham (Norfolk, Weaver’s Way (part) )
Named after the once important weaving industry, which flourished in the Middle Ages around North Walsham, this stretch of the former Midland & Great Northern Railway Weavers’ Way offers a rich contrast of scenery, from the woodlands and mixed farmland of north Norfolk to the grazing marshes beside the Blackwater Beck. Along the way can be seen a range of historic railway infrastructure including station buildings, bridges and crossing cottages.
Start/Finish points: Blickling Road, Aylsham, 700m North West of Aylsham Town Centre and Junction of Station Road and Skeyton New Road, 500m north west of North Walsham Station.
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 6m
Link: norfolk.gov.uk/out-and-about-in-norfolk/norfolk-trails/long-distance-trails/weavers-way/about-weavers-way-and-points-of-interest
Wales. Barmouth - Morfa Mawddach – Dolgellau (Gwynedd, ‘The MawddachTrail)
A stunning path along the multi-use path following the old railway line along the edge of the beautiful Mawddach estuary in Southern Snowdonia. From Barmouth you take the footbridge section of the river bridge, alongside the active railway, then the rest of the route is almost free of road crossings. Enjoy a break at the George III pub along the way.
Start/Finish points: North end of Barmouth Bridge, (or Morfa Mawddach Station) and Dolgellau Bridge, (South side of river, though railway, now bypass was on north side) Ffos-y-Felin, Dolgellau
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 9.5m
Link: mawddachtrail.co.uk
Wales. Caernarfon – Bryncir (Gwynedd, ‘Lon Eifion’)
This superb trail was originally part of the line was that of the Carnarvonshire Railway (later the London & North Western Railway, joining with the Cambrian Coast line at Avon Wen, south of Pwllheli. Running alongside for part of the way is the trackbed of the old Nantlle Tramway, along which horse-drawn trams carried slates from the quarries in the Nantlle Valley to the port at Caernarfon from where they were exported. From Caernarfon to Llanwnda Station the Lôn Eifion now runs alongside that of the Welsh Highland Railway.
Start/Finish points: Caernarfon (Welsh Highland Railway) Station, St Helens Road, Caernarfon and Bryncir Village centre, just west of A487.
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 11m
Link: sustrans.org.uk/find-a-route-on-the-national-cycle-network/lon-las-menai-lon-eifion
North West. West Kirby – Hooton (Merseyside ‘The Wirral Way’)
One of the first official rail trails in Britain, a stunning coastal path running along the Wirral Peninsular. The Wirral Way, which incorporates the Wirral Country Park, provides an excellent day out, covering virtually all of the trackbed from West Kirby all the way to Hooton, north of Ellesmere Port. A highlight is Hadlow Road Station, kept in its original Victorian style to this day.
Start/Finish points: Grange Road, 200 yards east of West Kirby Station and Hooton Station (west side).
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 12m
Link: merseyrail.org/destination-merseyside/locations/wirral-way
North West. Penrith to Threlkeld Railway Path (Cumbria)
Now reopened after major storm damage in 2015 washed away two of the route’s original bridges, this superb and popular path in the northern Lake District reuses part of the former Penrith – Workington line. Also notable is the former Keswick Station, partly preserved and now part of the Keswick Country House Hotel.
Start/Finish points: Keswick Station, now Keswick Country House Hotel and Car Park off B5322 at Birkett Mire, 600m south of Threlkeld Village.
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 5m
Link: keswick.org/what-to-do/walking-routes/keswick-to-threlkeld-railway-path
Yorkshire. Scarborough – Whitby (Yorkshire, ‘The Cinder Tack’)
A long and spectacular trail giving frequent superb views of the North Sea coast. It enters Whitby over the wonderful and surprisingly slender 120ft high Larpool Viaduct. Stop off on the way at Cloughton, where the former station has been restored with a tearoom in the old waiting room and an old carriage between the platforms
Start/Finish points: Scarborough: North of Wykeham Street (opposite Sainsburys), 500m west of Scarborough Station and Whitby, Southend Gardens, West of A174, 400m west of Whitby Station
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 21m
Link: discoveryorkshirecoast.com/discover/things-to-do/the-cinder-track
North East. Alston – Haltwhistle (Cumbria/Northumberland, ‘The South Tyne Trail’)
Built on the former Alston branch line, the South Tyne Trail makes its way through the northern pennines following roughly the river of that name. With a narrow-gauge railway now running from Alston as far as Slaggyford, you have the choice of riding the train or striding the trail! Highlights include Lambley viaduct, crossing the river on nine slender arches with views of trees below and possibly a red squirrel.
Start/Finish points: Haltwhistle Station (south side) and Alston Station (east side).
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 13m
Link: northpennines.org.uk/location/south-tyne-trail
Southern. Polegate – Heathfield (East Sussex, ‘The Cuckoo Trail)
The Cuckoo Trail is one of the most popular routes in the South East. It got its name from an old Sussex tradition of releasing a cuckoo at the Heathfield Fair. Formerly part of the direct route from London to Eastbourne, this trail offers a superb, peaceful, traffic-free route ideal for cyclists and walkers of all ages in delightfully green and rural surroundings.
Start/Finish points: North of School Lane, off Station Road, 300m north of Polegate Station and South East of Newnham Way, off Station Road, Heathfield.
Suitable for: Walkers, Cyclists
Distance: 11m
Link: eastsussex.gov.uk/leisureandtourism/discover-east-sussex/countryside-sites/cuckootrail