7 Days Out Ideas Just for Grown-Ups

14 September 2021

Now the kids are settled back in school, it's time to have some me time and enjoy a child-free day out. Whether you want to step into the pages of Jane Eyre in the Peak District, break the code at Bletchley or let your hair down with a gin tasting cruise along the River Avon, you'll find some great days out by rail suggestions below.

So grab a cuppa and read on for the inspiration you need to get out and about exploring Britain by train, because you can!

You will find ideas for day trips, short breaks and staycations on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels so be sure to follow us for daily travel inspiration.

Train times are subject to change. Please check your route before you set off and allow extra travel time. We strongly suggest you travel outside of busy periods and book in advance where possible. Many train operators have capacity checkers or provide advice on when services may be quieter, check their websites for details. We can't guarantee low prices on your particular route so please check with the train operator. The advice on our website is given in good faith.

Days out by rail in Hartlepool

Discover the history of maritime in Hartlepool

Step back in time and head to Hartlepool Marina. Here you'll find the award-winning Historic Quay – a faithful reproduction of an 18th century seaport and the fascinating Hartlepool Royal Navy Museum. Experience the Fighting Ships exhibition for a powerful insight into the tough lives of sailors from around the time of Admiral Lord Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar, see what life was like on board HMS Trincomalee, the oldest warship still afloat in the UK, and don't miss the P.S.S. Wingfield Castle, a restored Paddle Steam Ship moored in Jackson Dock.

The museum is less than a 10-minute walk from the railway station. Did you know Hartlepool Station is the only location in Britain to have been awarded tow Red Wheels? These striking plaques commemorate two key parts of Hartlepool Station's history and is thanks to the inspiring work of the local Friends of Hartlepool Station group. Find more about the network of community rail partnerships and groups here.

Days out by rail in the Peak District

Take a film & literature walk through the stunning Peak District

Step into the pages of Jane Eyre and discover where author Charlotte Bronte got her inspiration for one of the world's most famous romance novels with a walk along the Jane Eyre Hathersage Trail.

Take the train, along the scenic Hope Valley Line, to Hathersage Station to start this circular film & literature trail. Recreate the famous scene from Pride & Prejudice on location at Stanage Edge, overlooking the breath-taking landscapes of the Peak District before paying a visit to the grave of Little John, Robin Hood's righthand man. Local legend claims Little John's bow, hat and shirt once hung inside the nearby church. Download the full route here.

Days out by rail in North Staffordshire

Explore the legacy of pottery making in North Staffordshire

North Staffordshire is known for its pottering making heritage and there's plenty to still explore today. Visit the only complete Victorian pottery factory from the days when coal burning ovens made the world's finest bone china at Gladstone Pottery Museum, located less than 15 minutes' walk from Longton Station. Please note the museum is closed until November for a site project, check website before visiting after re-opening.

Nearby you can explore the award-winning Middleport Pottery, home to world famous Burleigh pottery that's been created on this site using traditional methods since 1889. Here you can explore the mould store which houses Europe's largest collection of ceramic moulds, browse the original Victorian offices and learn about the people and events that have shaped Burleigh pottery.

Days out by scenic rail in Heart of England

Enjoy your favourite tipple & become a connoisseur in the Heart of England

Calling all lovers of good food, good drink and the English countryside. Join GoCotswolds on an organised day tour departing from Stratford-upon-Avon Railway Station, supported by Heart of England Community Rail Partnership. During the day you'll enjoy a tour and tasting session at the award-winning rural craft beer brewery, Purity Brewing Co., a traditional pub lunch, leisure time to explore the 'wool' town of Chipping Campden and more! Find out more and book here.

If gin is more your thing, why not have a day out with a difference and join a Gin Tasting Cruise along the beautiful River Avon through Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare Distillery has partnered with Avon Boating to offer this unique 1 hour experience, tasting craft gins as you sail past riverside sights including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church, Shakespeare's burial place.

Bletchley Park. Photo: Julie Clarke from Pixabay

Code-breaking in Bletchley

Take the picturesque Marston Vale Line from Bedford to Bletchley to reach the iconic Bletchley Park, once home to top-secret World War II codebreakers. Pick up a free multimedia guide to hear stories of people as you explore this fascinating estate.

Understand the origins of computers we use today with a visit to The National Museum of Computing or learn about the development of radio communications technology at the National Radio Centre, both located inside Bletchley Park. Extend your trip and explore our Romans to Codebreakers itinerary here.

Days out by scenic rail in Derbyshire Derwent Valley Cable Cars

Ride the cable cars in the Derwent Valley

Nestled in the heart of Derbyshire, the picturesque Derwent Valley Line provides easy access to Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and the historic cable cars at Matlock Bath.

You can also enjoy the valley on foot via the Derwent Valley Heritage Way, the scenic station to station walks or the picturesque Cromford Canal which runs parallel to the railway between Ambergate and Cromford.

Days out by scenic rail in Sussex

Marvel at panoramic views from the top of coastal cliffs at Seaford

Take the train from popular seaside resort of Brighton with its Grade II* listed pleasure pier and Royal Pavilion to the charming town of Seaford with its fascinating history and maritime connections.

From here you can marvel at the iconic Seven Sisters chalk cliffs and there's easy access to explore the beautiful South Downs National Park from here too.

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We encourage you to explore these journeys safely by adhering to the latest government advice. Before planning any journey, please check the government guidance on travelling on public transport, relevant to where you are: England, Scotland, Wales. Please research your journey in advance as timetables can change and check for disruptions before you set off.

These scenic railway routes are supported by community rail partnerships, you can find out more about each partnership on the individual line pages linked above. Community rail is a growing grassroots movement made up of community rail partnerships and groups across Britain. They engage communities and help people get the most from their railways, promoting social inclusion and sustainable travel while working alongside train operators to bring about improvements. Learn more about community rail across Britain and how you can get involved through the Community Rail Network website.

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