Heritage railways celebrate everything that was great about the UK's rail network of yesteryear and still draw in visitors from all over the country.
Seeing the mighty steam trains once again gallop along the tracks is a sight to behold and special heritage routes provide a great day out for all the family. Not only is there the opportunity to ride some of the most iconic steam engines to grace the track but there are also a host of special events that take place all year round.
These routes give people the opportunity to venture out and see a part of the country they would not usually think of and its always a welcome relief from not having to take the car out. Here are a selection of the best heritage lines the UK has to offer.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Yorkshire is a great hub for steam engines, after all York is home to the National Railway Museum. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a brilliant way to weave through the hills and on to the coast.
Setting off from Pickering the route passes through the likes of Newton Dale Halt, Goathland and Grosmont before reaching sea at Whitby. It provides the perfect chance to buy some famous fish and chips and sit looking out to the ocean.
The railway also puts on regular events with the end of July seeing performances from the Hunmanby Silver Band.
Fares start from £14 for adults and £7 for children.
East Lancashire Railway
The East Lancashire Railway (ELR) is ideal for people visiting nearby Manchester. By hopping on the Metrolink to Bury visitors can jump on a steam train that will take them to the market town of Ramsbottom and into the heart of Lancashire, reaching as far as Rawtenstall.
Running all year round, the ELR holds a host of events through the year ranging from Thomas The Tank Engine weekends and War Memorial weekends to ale and whisky trails.
People can jump off at picturesque villages such as Summerseat or sample the famous Bury black pudding sold all over the region.
Prices start at £10.50 for adults and £6.70 for children for a full line return.
Severn Valley Railway
Snaking its way through the Midlands and into Shropshire, the Severn Valley Railway is one of the most popular heritage lines in the country.
Setting off from Kidderminster the steam train makes its way through the likes of Bewdley, Arley and Hampton Loade before reaching Bridgnorth where people can enjoy the bustling Saturday market.
The area also boasts the steepest inland railway which connects both High Town and Low Town, a must for all visitors.
Prices start at £9 for adults and £6 for children.
West Highland Railway Line
Although the line itself is still used by a number of commercial railway services it is also home to The Jacobite.
This magnificent steam train sets off from Fort William in the Scottish Highlands and passes through the hills and tranquil villages such as Arisaig before reaching the busy fishing port and ferry terminal of Mallaig.
It also crosses the Glenfinnan viaduct, a truly epic structure made famous by the Harry Potter films and overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument.
Trains run between May and October with prices starting from £33 for adults and £19 for children for a day return.