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Journeys worthy of a window seat!

4 November 2021

10 of the best scenic bus and rail journeys in West Yorkshire, and slightly further afield…

Who doesn’t love a great view? But if you’re driving you tend to miss out on some of the beautiful vistas this county has to offer, especially with the changing of the seasons. So, we’ve put together some of the best scenic bus and rail routes in West Yorkshire (and some that are slightly further afield) that offer some of the most majestic scenery for those of you who want to capture that perfect Instagram snap or just want to sit back and enjoy the wonderful Autumnal colours. 

From the untamed Moorland of Marsden to the lush landscapes of Holme Moss, these rides offer some spectacular sights. 

West Yorkshire scenic routes

Get your MCard Mobile App loaded up and away you go!  

Huddersfield – Holme via Holmfirth

Service: 314

Journey time: 46 minutes

The 314 bus service offers stunning views across the Holme Valley, Castle Hill and even gets you to the edge of the Peak District National Park. The route passes through several vibrant towns and villages with a wealth of rural beauty. Most famous of all being Holmfirth, which was the filming location of Last of the Summer Wine – the world’s longest running sitcom. Several wonderful views line the journey, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled.


Halifax - Hebden Bridge

Service: 590, 591 and 592

Journey time: 46 minutes

Head out to Hebden Bridge with its eclectic mix of friendly shops and cafes and take the 590. 591 or 592 bus service to Halifax. Along the way you will very rarely lose sight of the tranquil River Calder and Rochdale Canal. Hardcastle Crags and Heptonstall are only a short uphill stroll away from Hebden Bridge and are most definitely worth the walk.  


Keighley – Hebden Bridge via Haworth

Service: Brontë Bus B3

Journey time: 59 minutes

Hop on the aptly named Brontë Bus B3 and take a beautiful journey steeped in natural beauty and riveting history as you discover the amazing stories of the famous Brontë sisters all from the back of a bus. There is an abundance of activities to do on the Brontë Bus services including walking the cobbled streets of the picturesque village of Haworth to discovering what ignited the inspiration to Wuthering Heights as the bus climbs along the moors. Make sure to sit on the right-hand side to fully appreciate the untamed landscapes that enriched us all with the brilliance of the sisters. If time is on your side, hop off the bus and check out the Brontë Parsonage museum where the sisters lived and the enchanting Brontë Waterfalls.


Leeds – Ilkley via Otley

Service: X84

Journey time: 1 hour 12 minutes

Views of the Wharfe Valley await you on this journey. The X84 bus service has double-deckers offering you sublime views of the Washburn Valley in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Otley Chevin Forest.  As you descend into Otley, keep an eye out for Red Kites along the way. Once you arrive In Ilkley, The Cow and Calf viewpoint is only a short walk away and offers up one of the best views in the region, one not to miss. Ilkley is also home to a Bettys Café Tea Rooms where you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea.


Huddersfield – Hebden Bridge

Service: 901

Journey time: 1 hour 10 minutes

You are guaranteed to see a wealth of scenic beauty on this route. Highlights of the 901 bus service start from Ripponden, which is well worth a stop, and include the heather soaked Norland Moor and its pockets of woodland and wildlife. As you head further along the journey, soak up the scenery as you head down the Cragg Vale, with its Cragg Vale Coiners history, to Mytholmroyd, the longest continuous gradient in England. The area plays host to a number of great walks which can be found on the Calderdale Council Weaver to Web website page.

And scenic routes that are slightly further afield….

You may not be able to use your MCard for the full proportion of these journeys, but they all can be started in West Yorkshire and make for a great adventure.

Huddersfield – Oldham via Marsden

Service: 184

Journey time: 1 hour 15 minutes

The 184 bus service from Huddersfield to Oldham takes you over the very tops of Marsden Moor and the huge swathes of rugged moorland that stretch as far as the eye can see. The area offers an abundance of walks to explore this remote but beautiful landscape with more than 5000 acres to discover. Spectacular views unfold as you get to the top of the South Pennines looking across the Moorland.


Leeds – Whitby via York 

Service: 840

Journey time: 2 hours 39 minutes

The 840 Coastliner service was famously crowned the “the most scenic” bus route in Britain in 2018 and it won that title for a reason. Passing through the North York Moors National Park, the journey is littered with incredible views of the eastern edge of the National Park and stunning sea views as the journey reaches the coast at Whitby where the renowned Abbey ruins overlook bay.


Bentham Line

Leeds – Morecambe

Journey time: 2 hours 6 minutes

One of Britain’s earliest railway lines, this journey starts in West Yorkshire and spirals through the valleys passing a range of must-see sights including the World Heritage site of Saltaire Village and the Keighley and Worth Railway.  As you get further along the line, glorious views of the Yorkshire Dales National Park await you. 


Penistone Line

Huddersfield – Sheffield via Barnsley

Journey time: 1 hour 15 minutes

The Penistone Line offers charming rolling countryside as well as a doorway to a wide range of great walks, check them out here. First built in 1850, the line includes spectacular viaducts and offers fantastic examples of Victorian engineering showcasing the South Pennines.  Starting in Huddersfield, the line goes all the way to Sheffield passing through many rural communities along the way. The timetable for the route can be found here.


Settle – Carlisle line

Journey time: 2 hours 30 minutes

So, we know this one isn’t exactly in West Yorkshire but it’s easily accessible from Leeds, Shipley Keighley and Skipton. Plus, we couldn’t really leave it off the list, could we? It is one of the world’s great rail journeys as it carves through the magnificent Yorkshire Dales and plays host to jaw dropping views of wild and undisturbed countryside. Characterful Victorian Stations dot the line before the jewel in the crown arrives in the form of the Ribblehead Viaduct. The Settle to Carlisle line was the last main railway in Britain to be constructed primarily with manual labour with the Ribblehead Viaduct requiring 2,300 men alone to build it.

Information correct at the time of publishing – 04/11/2021

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