7 reasons why your next short break should include a rail adventure

20 November 2019
Lake Windermere

1. Picturesque destinations

Escape the city by train and experience the best of the British countryside. Visit Windermere (pictured) in the Lake District in just 1hr45 from Manchester. Other gems include Matlock Bath in the Peak District with its breathtaking cable car (just 1hr20 from Birmingham) and Calstock in Cornwall, reached via the towering viaduct over the River Tamar (4hr from London).

Discover other beautiful countryside destinations to explore by train.

West Highland Line - photo by Denis Hardley

2. Epic views from the train window

Make your journey part of the adventure with some amazing views to be had from the train window. Pictured is Scotland’s West Highland Line. Other must-see routes include Settle-Carlisle in the north of England and Wales’ Conwy Valley Line.

Read about other epic British train journeys.

The city of Bath

3. Quick journey times

See a whole different side to Britain in no time at all. Visit the historic cities of Bath (pictured) in 1hr30 or York in 2hr direct from London. Branch out to the charming villages and waterways of the Norfolk Broads in just 2hr30 from London, or visit the rugged Peak District in 1hr from Manchester.

Forth Bridge - image under license from Shutterstock

4. Historic wonders

Travel on engineering marvels like Scotland’s Forth Bridge (pictured), opened in 1890, or Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge between Devon and Cornwall. Cross the Penistone Line’s four Victorian viaducts with superb views of the South Pennines, or try some of the world’s first rail routes like the Bishop Line.

Explore more of the country’s rich railway history by train.

GWR train on St Ives Bay Line

5. A unique view of the coast

Get unparalleled views of the glorious British coastline on routes like Wales’ Cambrian Coast Lines (pictured top), Cornwall’s St Ives Bay Line (pictured above) and the Cumbrian Coast Line nestled between the Lake District and the Irish Sea.

Discover other coastal routes.

A couple travelling on the Tarka Line in Devon

6. Save money with advanced tickets

For longer UK journeys (over 50 miles / 80 km as a rough guide), save money by booking tickets before you travel. Cheap tickets are available up to 12 weeks in advance, sometimes even earlier. On some services you can even book a seat, choose the window seat to take advantage of the views!

Visiting from overseas? Travel stress-free with a Britrail Pass. For a single fixed price, you can make unlimited train journeys around the whole country, or a region of your choice.

Over 60s get a third off and there are great savings for families. Available to non-UK residents only. T&Cs apply.

Get more money-saving rail tips for Brits and visitors alike to help you plan your adventure.

Pullman dining on GWR train

7. Travel in style

Treat yourself to a truly memorable experience. Upgrade your Britrail Pass or regular ticket to First Class. Try Great Western Railway’s Pullman Dining service (pictured). Or speed through the night on the newly refurbished Caledonian Sleeper between London and Scotland.

Feeling inspired?

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