Brief Encounter

Visit the station that provided the backdrop for David Lean's ever-popular romantic film, which was accompanied by Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto

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This Valentine's Day forget the overpriced restaurant option. Instead, relive one of the most enduringly popular romantic films of all time.

As ‘Milford Junction’, Carnforth Station is where Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) and Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard) meet up in Brief Encounter for their series of liaisons, all accompanied by the lush harmonies of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto (plus, briefly, Moszkowski’s Spanish Dance No. 5).

Though the passing of the steam age means that sooty-eye inspections by dashing doctors are no longer likely here, you can still watch the film, as it is shown daily. Better still, the station is a mere ten minutes’ journey from Lancaster, where the University Great Hall is home to an excellent concert series.

Where: Carnforth Station is just over an hour’s train journey north from Manchester Piccadily
Visitor centre: Open 10am to 4pm, Tue to Sun
Entrance fee: Admission is free, but donations are welcome
Website: www.carnforthstation.co.uk

Audio clip: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 – First Movement
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano); Berlin Philharmonic/Antonio Pappano
EMI 474 8132