Walking Old Railway Tracks

There are many old railways line in the country and they can make very tempting walks. Apart from the historical interest, the views from an embankment or viaduct can be quite exceptional, the wildlife abundant, and sometimes you can get to parts of the countryside not accessible by road. However, since the lines have always been private property - either that of the railway authority of the day, or of individual landowners - it has often been difficult to access them legitimately, not least because it has sometimes been difficult to find out who the actual owner is, in order to seek permission.

Nowadays, however, many abandoned railways are being turned into attractive public footpaths, with good surfaces for walking - and often also for cycling or horse riding. For finding which of these tracks are open to the public and for what purpose, the excellent Ordnance Survey Explorer series of maps is highly recommended.

As an example of just how many lines of this type are now accessible to the public, here is a list of those in just one county. This list may not be complete! New paths are being added from time to time, and some existing paths may have been overlooked.


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