From London and the south of the country, all the way to the Highlands of Scotland. Next up is a small station with a lot of character.
The small-yet-gorgeous Scottish town of Aviemore sits in the Highlands, not too far from Loch Ness, and it is surrounded by sprawling countryside and huge, rolling green hills. The station reflects the beauty and charm of the town, and it is all the more romantic for hosting a steam railway, but more on that later.
The station sits on the Highland Mainline, and services run to and from Inverness, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Long-distance services also run to London, via both King’s Cross and Euston (the Euston service is the Caledonian Sleeper). Aviemore’s current incarnation opened in 1898, though the original version opened on the 3rd of August, 1863.
Aviemore Station sits at a junction, and at one point there was a route serving a number of small towns in the area. This branch line fell victim to the notorious Beeching Axe of the 1960s, leaving only the main line to Inverness. However, as is sometimes the case among rail enthusiasts, efforts were made to preserve the branch line, and a small, dedicated station existed several hundred yards north of Aviemore, to service this heritage railway. Refurbishment work at Aviemore in 1998 meant the Strathspey Railway (the heritage service) could use the third of three platforms at the station, and I had the pleasure of using the line a few years ago.
There are few more picturesque stations on the UK network!