The Bentham Line (Leeds to Lancaster & Morecambe) often referred to as the ‘Little North Western’ is a gem of a line but it is often eclipsed by its more well known neighbour the Settle Carlisle line. Crossing three rivers the Lune, Wenning and Ribble, the line is very picturesque with excellent views to the Dales, Ingleborough and towards the Forest of Bowland.
At Morecambe stroll along the promenade, with its stunning views across the Morecambe Bay towards the Lake District fells, visit the TIC located in the former Promenade Railway Station and take in the recently restored Midland Hotel. From Morecambe the line passes through Bare Lane on its way to the historic town of Lancaster. From Lancaster the line reaches Carnforth made famous by the film ‘Brief Encounter’. Spend some time here looking around the excellently restored visitor centre and enjoy refreshments in the café. Carnforth is also the junction for trains to the Furness area and Barrow in Furness.
From Carnforth the line crosses the River Lune before reaching Wennington. From there it is a short distance to the delightful market town of Bentham close to the banks of the Wenning. Bentham is a good centre to explore the area and is only three miles from Ingleton and its famous caves and waterfalls and is very close to the three peaks.
Both Clapham and Giggleswick are on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and are a good starting point for walks. The Community Rail Partnership has produced a guide setting out a selection of walks and this can be downloaded.
From Giggleswick the line joins the main Settle Carlisle route for the journey into Skipton, Keighley and Leeds.
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Click on the interactive map to find out more about the Community Rail lines of Lancashire.
To see maps of how the railway network looked in your area in the past click HERE.
Each April the Office of the Rail Regulator publishes figures showing how many passengers use every station. Click HERE to look at the latest figures (2011/12) for stations on the Bentham Line.
‘Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and and remember more than I have seen’ – Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881)