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Mountain Moor and Loch
The Way to the Highlands


"IT'S a far cry to Lochaber," but in these days of luxurious locomotion the traveller is carried from London into the very heart of the 'Western Highlands with almost as little exertion as if he were going from the City to his suburban home. Leaving late in the evening, he finds the long journey accomplished in the course of the night and early morning, and the through carriages of the great trunk lines are nowadays so comfortable that it is simply a case of being whisked along at lightning speed in bed or in an armchair. For those who prefer to travel by day, the beauty of the scenery, and the interest attaching to the places 'which are passed on the railway route to Edinburgh or to Glasgow, renders the trip a strong attraction in itself, although it cannot compete with the fascination of the Highland tour that has drawn them to the North, and which culminates after the two great Scottish cities are passed.

The EAST COAST route from the Metropolis to Scotland- 393 miles to Edinburgh, whence it is a run of 47 miles to Glasgow, which lies at the door of the Western Highlands— links together three of the great railways; the Great Northern, from King's Cross to Doncaster; the North Eastern, from Doncaster to Berwick-on-Tweed ; and the North British, from Berwick to Edinburgh and Glasgow. The ordinary carriages on this route are well nigh perfection in all the appliances for the comfort of the traveller, while corridor dining saloons and sleeping cars bring in the luxuries of railway transit. Through travellers may break their journey at Peterborough, Grantham, York, Durham, Newcastle, Berwick, or any station further north on the direct route.

On speeding from under the roof of King's Cross terminus, the northern suburbs are traversed, London being left behind when the Alexandra Palace is passed. Hatfield House, close to the line, is next noted. Soon after, there is seen on the left Knebworth House, the seat of Lord Lytton, and, passing through Hitchin and Biggleswade, we reach Huntingdon (58 miles from London). The famous fen country is now entered, and level plains are traversed, wrested by skilful drainage and tillage, from Whittlesea Mere. Peterborough (76k miles), which may be called the capital of the fens, presents a striking appearance, rising with its noble cathedral out of the flat lands around it. The cathedral is a magnificent specimen of Gothic architecture, and is recognised as being one of the most impressive ecclesiastical piles in Great Britain.

After a short stoppage, the train resumes its course, and at Essendine, Lincolnshire is entered. Soon after, the handsome tower of Caseby Church is seen on the right, and a little beyond we see Grimsthorpe Castle, the beautiful residence of Baroness Willoughby d'Eresby. Soon after passing Corby, and the church of Burton Coggles on the right, the highest point of the Great Northern system is reached, about 400 feet above the sea-level. We are now approaching Grantham (105 miles), which is the first stopping-place of the "Flying Scotchman" and the other famous East Coast expresses. The ordinary main line trains stop here for a few minutes. Grantham has a striking parish church in the Gothic style, with a crocketed spire 280 feet in height; but the town is mostly notable for the gigantic ironworks of Messrs. Richard Hornsby & Sons, which cover nearly seventeen acres and employ about I,5oo hands.

Newark (120 miles), the next prominent point, is a town that has had a large part in the making of history. Its ancient castle has seen rough work since its foundations were laid by the Saxons, and in the civil war of the seventeenth century it was thrice besieged by the Roundheads, surrendering at last to the Scotch army of the Parliament. Leaving Newark behind, we pass through one of the finest fruit-growing districts in England, the country on both sides being almost continuous orchards. Passing through Retford (138 miles), we come to Scrooby, a famous meeting-place of the "Pilgrim Fathers" before they sought asylum in America: At Doncaster (156 miles)—a name familiar to everybody—attention is attracted by the fine parish church (a splendid example of pointed architecture, but dating only from the middle of the present century), with a tower 170 feet in height dominating the town. Soon after leaving Doncaster, Shaftholm Junction is passed, where the train changes from the metals of the Great Northern to those of the North Eastern. Then Selby is reached, and the Ouse is crossed.

York (188 miles from London) is the first point at which there is a stoppage of any duration, an interval of twenty minutes for refreshment being given to the day trains. It is one of the most interesting cities in the kingdom, with its wonderful Minster and its ancient walls. The walls date from 1280, when they were built by Edward the First, and the city gates stand now as then, although more than six centuries have passed over them. The beginning of the glorious Minster was early in the seventh century, but the
present edifice is said to have been commenced in 1171.

After leaving York, we pass Thirsk Junction (210 miles) and Northaflerton Junction (218 miles), the name of the latter reminding us that there the "Battle of the Standard" was fought in 1138, when the Scots were defeated by the English army under the Archbishop of York. Crossing the Tees, we enter Darlington (233 miles), "the cradle of English railways," and a centre of the worsted industry. It was from Darlington to Stockton, a few miles distant to the north-east, that in 1825 George Stephenson constructed the first railway ever opened for passenger traffic.

We are now in the great iron and coal district, but a pleasant change from the industrial character of this part of the country is afforded by the city of Durham (254 miles), with its noble cathedral towering on a height that rises from the waters of the Wear. The architecture is of the Norman period, and the lantern tower, 214 feet in height, dates from the thirteenth century. The town is also notable for its fine
Castle, now forming part of the University.

Gateshead (267 miles) is the next town of importance, lying on the southern bank of the Tyne, facing Newcastle. Like the latter, it is a centre for collieries, iron works, and other grimy industrial necessities, and although it is not beautiful, it is decidedly interesting. The Tyne is crossed by Robert Stephenson's mighty High Level Bridge (1,337 feet in length and 112 above the water), which cost nearly half a million to build. Newcastle (268.4 miles) has many claims to interest—especially the remains of the eleventh-century Castle,—whence the name is derived, but they are all dwarfed by the importance of the town as a coaling centre.

Leaving Newcastle behind, the coal districts are gradually lost to view, and by the time Morpeth (285 miles) is reached, the scenery is charming again. Soon glimpses of the sea may be had, and presently Bamborough Castle is seen on a commanding rock, four miles from the shore, while on a clear day may be detected the Fame Islands, where Grace Darling performed her heroic rescue. Skirting the cliffs, we reach the Tweed, the boundary between England and Scotland, which is crossed by a bridge of twenty-eight arches, 2,160 feet in length and 126 feet above the water. The opening of this bridge, in 1850, by the Queen, was aptly described as "the last act of the Union."

Berwick-upon-Tweed (33 miles) is in a curious position, inasmuch as it is a part of neither England nor Scotland, but is a separate county and free town to itself. In the olden days the Scots and the English were continually contending for its possession, and its sixteenth century ramparts and gates are still in good preservation. At Berwick-upon-Tweed, where there is a stoppage of a few minutes, the North Eastern Railway ends and the North British begins. The line continues to follow the curve of the coast, and skirting Halidon Hill on the left, the train enters Scotland at Lamberton, at one time an east coast Gretna Green. Thence the first important point is the ancient town of Dunbar (364 miles), where Cromwell gained his great victory over the Scottish Army in 1650. Opposite Dunbar may be seen towering out of the sea to a height of over 400 feet, the Bass Rock, whereon an old State prison used to stand. Following the Firth of Forth, and looking across to Fife, we pass through Prestonpans, where Prince Charlie in the '45 defeated Sir John Cope; then comes Portobello, which serves as a seaside suburb for Edinburgh. Three miles further and the Scottish capital itself is entered miles from King's Cross), the sight of Arthur's Seat rising over the city, bringing home to the traveller the agreeable fact that he has really reached the land of hills. The short run from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and thence to the Western Highlands, is described in a subsequent section.

Another route is by the Midland Railway, via Leeds, Settle and Carlisle, and thence to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and all places in the North, by the North British.

On leaving St. Pancras, a short run of eighteen miles brings us to the cathedral city of St. Albans, whence the great Lord Bacon took his title, and where he lies buried. Passing through Chiltern Green and the "Chiltern Hundreds," so familiar in Parliamentary life, we reach Bedford (4 miles), with Elstow close by, associated with the name of John Bunyan. Wellingborough follows, a town with the ruins of Croyland Abbey near, and presently Kettering (72 miles) is reached, both towns centres of the Northamptonshire boot and shoe industry. It was in Kettering that the first missionary meeting was held in England. Leicester (9 miles), the focus of a great wool-growing country, is the next note worthy point, an ancient town celebrated for many things, but perhaps most of all for the introduction of the stocking-frame. Passing through Loughborough (iii-a miles), Trent (120 miles), and Ilkeston (126 miles), we come to Chesterfield (146 miles), where attention is riveted by the church of St. Mary and All Saints on the hillside, with an extraordinary leaning spire, curiously twisted in a most singular fashion. We are now in the heart of the Midland coal and iron fields. In the church of the Holy Trinity at Chesterfield lie the remains of George Stephenson, to whom the neighbourhood owes so much of its prosperity. At Ilkeston this route is joined by trains going northwards viii Kettering by way of Melton Mowbray and Nottingham.

Sheffield (158 miles), the renowned scat of the cutlery and implement trades, is the next town of importance, and although placed amid beautiful surroundings, it would be difficult to imagine a more unlovely town, it being wholly devoted to that metal working which has made the name of Sheffield steel known the world over. To turn the eye from the mass of smoking chimneys that represents Sheffield, to the environments of the city is one of the most abrupt contrasts afforded anywhere in Great Britain. Five rivers converge where Sheffield has been built, and from their banks rise well- wooded hills, forming a most picturesque setting for such a "black diamond." Leeds (198 miles), the centre of the woollen trade, is the next considerable city, and close by, on the banks of the Aire to the right, a view is obtained of the beautiful ruins of Kirkstall Abbey. A little further on' we pass through the model village of Saltaire, built by Sir Titus Salt, the philanthropist and manufacturer, for the use of his workpeople.

From Settle (236 miles) onwards to Carlisle the scenery is magnificent, the railway threading for seventy-two miles a mountainous district presenting almost insurmountable engineering difficulties in the construction of the road in 1869. Settle itself is a pleasant little market town surrounded by romantic scenery, some of the most picturesque scenes in the West Riding being within easy reach. We proceed onwards through Yorkshire, Westmoreland and Cumberland, piercing the Pennine range, and winding in and out amongst its numerous spurs, through country so rugged that the construction of the seventy-two miles of railway involved an expenditure of over three millions, while seven years were spent in the task, the principal engineering features being nineteen viaducts and thirteen tunnels, with innumerable deep cuttings and high embankments.

Proceeding up Ribblesdale, we note on the right Pen-y-Ghent, a fell 2,273 feet in height, while a few miles further north rises Ingleborough (2,374 feet) on the left, and on the right Whernside (2,414 feet). Batty Moss is crossed by a gigantic viaduct, 1,328 feet in length, and 165 feet above its foundations; and Blea Moor is traversed by a tunnel 2,640 yards in length and 500 feet below the surface. From the Dent Head viaduct a fine view is obtained of lovely Dentdale on the left, and, later, Garsdalc is seen on the same side. North of Hawes Junction, Aisgill Moor is crossed, standing 107 feet above sea level, and Westmoreland is entered between Wild Boar Fell (2,323 feet) on the left and Shunnor Fell (2,346 feet) on the right. The way is now along the romantic Eden Valley, and after passing Appleby (277-41" and leaving behind, on the right, Cross Fell (2,901 feet), the highest of the Pennine Hills, we reach Carlisle (308 miles).

Here we are on the borders of Scotland, and, owing to its situation, Carlisle has seen much of war in the days when the English and the Scots were two nations. It was besieged by the Parliamentary Army during the Civil War, and had to surrender, and it is associated in the memory with the march into England of Prince Charlie in the '45. Picturesqueness is given to the town by the cathedral and the castle on the high ground overlooking the River Eden.

If Edinburgh be taken as the starting point for the Western Highlands, the passenger traverses the land of Scott. Through Eskdale we go, passing Netherby Hall, the scene of the ballad of "Young Lochinvar," cross the line of the Cheviot Hills and next the River Teviot, reaching Hawick 353 miles), an important seat of the Scotch tweed manufacture. Skirting the Tweed valley, which lies on the right, we pass close to the ruins of Melrose Abbey. Crossing the Tweed, the Gala Water is followed to Galashiels, another centre for tweeds and tartans, and presently Edinburgh is reached-406 miles from London.


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