10 popular attractions you can get to by train (outside the capitals)

30 October 2022

Everyone has heard of Blackpool Pleasure Beach or Hadrian's Wall or Blenheim Palace but did you know just how easily you can get there by train and sometimes bus, making it a greener day out with the family?

We've gathered a list of 10 well-known family attractions across Britain and highlighted how you can easily get there by train. Those listed below are outside of London, Cardiff and Edinburgh so it's a great chance to explore away from the capitals. Most of the suggestions feature a journey along a scenic route that is supported by community rail so you're not only helping the environment by taking the train you're supporting local communities too.

Share your favourite trip by train with the family over on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. And don't forget to sign up to our newsletter for more days out ideas direct to your inbox every month.

South Fylde Line with Blackpool Pleasure Beach and train
South Fylde Line

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Nearest train station: Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Did you know Blackpool Pleasure Beach is considered to be the UK's favourite amusement park and has its very own train station, delivering you straight to the thrills? From Blackpool Pleasure Beach Station you're also within easy reach of Sandcastle Water Park, boasting the world's longest indoor rollercoaster waterslide and the attractions on the South Pier home to the UK's fastest spinning wild mouse ride. The journey along the South Fylde Line from Preston takes you past picturesque Lancashire countryside, stopping off at the seaside towns of Lytham and St Annes on Sea along the way. Find out more...

Blenheim Palace in the sunshine. Image by Jenny Bowden from Pixabay
Blenheim Palace. Image by Jenny Bowden from Pixabay

Blenheim Palace

Nearest train station: Hanborough
The World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace is known as Britain's Greatest Palace featuring over 300 years of fascinating history and is easily accessed from the train station with a short bus journey (just over 5 mins). There's plenty of space to stretch your legs and get some fresh air with over 2000 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens to explore. If you're a film fan be sure to pay a visit to the Harry Potter Tree! Going by train makes for a greener day out, you can experience the charming Cotswolds Line and enjoy 30% off entry tickets when you visit car-free! Plan your car-free journey with Good Journey here.

Chessington World of Adventures

Nearest train station: Chessington South
Located only 20 minutes from the train station (or just over 10 minutes by bus), Chessington World of Adventures is known as Britain's wildest family adventure. Whether you're ready to jump on the adrenaline-fueled rides in the theme park, looking to do some wildlife watching in the zoo or learn about the conservation of our oceans at SEA LIFE aquarium, there really is plenty to do for all the family.

Conwy Castle

Nearest train station: Conwy
While travelling along the scenic Conwy Valley Line you won't be able to miss the impressive Conwy Castle, towering over the town for over 700 years. Leave the train and after a short 5 minute walk you'll be ready to explore one of the most magnificent and well preserved medieval fortresses in Europe.

Cambrian Coast Lines, Wales on Rails
Criccieth Castle along the Cambrian Coast Line

Criccieth Castle

Nearest train station: Criccieth
Walk 10 minutes from the station towards Cardigan Bay and discover the historic Criccieth Castle towering over the Welsh landscape. You'll soon understand why Turner felt moved to paint it. A visit to the castle would be a great addition to your train journey along the spectacular Cambrian Coast Line, considered to be one of the most scenic railway routes in Britain. Find out more...

Hadrian's Wall

Nearest train station: Hexham or Haltwhistle
Built to guard the wild northern frontier of the Roman Empire in AD122, Hadrian's Wall sprawled almost 80 miles long from the North Sea to the Irish Sea, and is now a World Heritage Site. Take a scenic journey by train from Newcastle or Carlisle along the Tyne Valley Line. Leave the train at either Hexham or Haltwhistle and hop onto the AD122 bus. Be sure to visit The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre. The Sill is the perfect place to start exploring Northumberland National Park, and a fantastic location to connect with nature and the National Park's unique and special landscapes.

Sirling Castle peeking above the trees
Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Nearest train station: Stirling
Considered to be one of the finest and best-preserved Renaissance buildings in the UK, Stirling Castle is bursting with history. Families can enjoy a delightful day out uncovering secrets from the area's rich heritage. Reach the castle on foot within 15 minutes from Stirling Station, a stop along the picturesque Strathallan Line. Find out more...

The Box

Nearest train station: Plymouth
Experience the South West's major new museum, art gallery and archive, The Box, where you take a journey through time, diving into fascinating collections and exploring the area's creativity. Travel the world in 100 journeys, learn about the Mammoth creatures who roamed the pre-historic landscapes, test your news reading skills in the Media Lab and discover the Figureheads with tales to tell of life at sea. Make the most out of the short 10 minute walk from the station and take the train for a greener day out. From Plymouth you can take the picturesque Tamar Valley Line, crossing the impressive Calstock Viaduct. Find out more...

The Deep

Nearest train station: Hull
A short 20-minute walk from Hull Station (or a few minutes bus ride) and you'll reach the iconic building overlooking the Humber estuary. The Deep is one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world and is home to magnificent sharks, turtles, penguins and the UK's only green sawfish. Get there by train for a greener day out, plus Hull links up with the scenic Yorkshire Coast Line that connects the seaside resorts of Bridlington, Filey and Scarborough. Find out more...


Great Tapestry of Scotland
Great Tapestry of Scotland

The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Nearest train station: Galashiels
Explore Scotland's history like never before with a visit to The Great Tapestry of Scotland, located a short walk from Galashiels Station. Scotland's past comes vividly to life through the Tapestry with 160 panels and 140 meters of linen, depicting stories of Scotland's people and landscapes unfolding over thousands of years from prehistoric to the present day. Easy to reach by train from Scotland's capital makes this a great family day out by rail. Simply take the train direct from Edinburgh, sit back and enjoy the scenery as you travel an hour along the picturesque Borders Railway to reach Galashiels. Find out more...

Scenic Rail Britain is the tourism initiative from Community Rail Network, the umbrella organisation for the community rail movement. Community rail is a grassroots movement spanning Britain that is made up of community rail partnerships, which work along railway lines or across regions, and volunteer station 'friends' groups, to connect communities with their railways. There are over 75 community rail partnerships and 1,200 station friends volunteer groups across Britain. Find out more: www.communityrail.org.uk

More from our blog

Subscribe to our blog posts. We are planning to post about once a month. We will never share your details and you can unsubscribe with a single click.