Unusual places to stay by train

29 February 2024

Britain is home to a variety of places to stay, from countryside mansions and cosy cottages to city centre apartments and hostels by the sea, there’s plenty of choice no matter your budget.

However, do you long for something different, off the beaten track and away from the crowds? Uncover Britain’s hidden gems, make new memories and have a night (or a few!) at some of these amazing and unique properties, all within reach of a railway station to ensure your trip is greener.

Consider waking up to the sounds of the sea at the Old Coastguard Station, reach for the stars with an overnight stay at The Observatory, get closer to nature with a tipi in the countryside or step into the role of railway signaller with a stay in the Signal Box.

Take a look at some of our suggestions below and consider extending your scenic rail adventure to a with a stay at some of these unusual accommodations. Many of the properties on this list have been repurposed and transformed, yet another way to make your short break or holiday more sustainable.

Thanks to our community rail friends for providing their local insights and knowledge to help compile this list of unusual places to stay near railway stations. Find out more about community rail and the wonderful work they deliver connecting communities to their railway here.

The Windmill, Scarborough

5 minute walk from Scarborough Railway Station

Railway: Yorkshire Coast Line

The Windmill is an 18th century Grade II listed Windmill that has been transformed and is now one of the most unique places to stay in North Yorkshire, offering self-catering and bed and breakfast accommodation. Find out more...

The Old Coastguard Station, Filey

10 minute walk from Filey Railway Station

Railway: Yorkshire Coast Line

Wake up to views across beautiful Filey Bay and out to the North Sea with a stay in the Old Coastguard Station. The building has been a prominent feature on the Filey seafront since the mid 1700’s and is ideally situated for exploring the beach and town centre while still offering a peaceful location. Find out more...

Image of Windmill with blue sky
The Windmill, Scarborough

Luxury Glamping Pods & Tipis, Shildon

20 minute walk from Shildon Railway Station

Railway: Bishop Line

Stay overnight in a luxury tipi located in the world’s first railway town. Explore the local area including the nearby Locomotion Museum, home to an incredible collection of railway vehicles and don’t forget a trip on the Bishop Line, part of the first public passenger route that’s still in use today. After a busy day discovering the railway heritage, you’ll be ready to put the outdoor fire pit on and take a dip in your private heated hot tub, before heading inside your tipi for an overnight stay with a difference. Find out more...

The Observatory, Pitlochry

Less than 5 minute walk from Pitlochry Station

Railway: Highland Main Line

Reach for the stars as you stay overnight at The Observatory. The Observatory was built for astronomy in 1906, taking advantage of the wide open skies and lack of light pollution in the area. The location also features panoramic views over Loch Faskally and the surrounding Grampian Mountains and is available for self-catering holiday rental. Find out more...

The Station Masters House, Ribblehead

Located at Ribblehead Railway Station

Railway: Settle to Carlisle

The beautifully restored Station Masters House offers excellent accommodation for those with an interest in the railway, the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales and the Three Peaks country of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent. Find out more...

The Station Masters House, Ribblehead

The Signal Box, Newtonmore

Located next door to Newtonmore Station

Railway: Highland Main Line

Built in 2004, the signal box style building fits in perfectly with the railway located just next door. To make the most of the panoramic views towards the River Spey and Cairngorm Mountains, you’ll find a spacious open plan living area on the first floor, with the ground floor being home to the double bedroom and sauna. Find out more...

The Old Waiting Rooms, Hunmanby

Located on the station at Hunmanby

Railway: Yorkshire Coast Line

The Old Waiting Rooms used to form part of the railway station, built in 1846. More recently they have been restored and modernised while still retaining the original Victorian features and character. Located on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds and only 1 hour from Hull or 22 minutes to Scarborough by train, Hunmanby Station provides an ideal base to enjoy a greener, more sustainable holiday – you can’t get more convenient than staying at the station! This self-catering property id tun by members of the Friends of Hunmanby Station Adoption Group who live in the main station house. Find out more...

1950’s Railway Coach Harvey, Hayle

Located next door to Hayle Railway Station

Railway: St Ives Bay Line

Step back in time as you enjoy a nostalgic overnight stay in Harry Potter style corridor carriage, that just oozes charms of the golden age of travel. Spend time indoors or out with a large enclosed garden with swings, signal box play house, butterfly garden and nature area. Located within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site on the North Coast, Harvey Railway Coach is only a twenty-minute walk from St Ives Bay. Find out more...

Signal box next door to a railway with blue sky
The SIgnal Box, Newtonmore

Railway Rooms, Kingussie

Located on the station at Kingussie

Railway: Highland Main Line

The Railway Rooms offer comfortable, characterful and environmentally friendly self-catering accommodation with 12 ensuite bedrooms for groups of up to 24 people. The Railway Rooms is a converted Victorian railway station building, originally built in 1893 and offers stunning view to the nearby Highland mountains. Find out more...

Tamar Belle, Bere Ferrers

Located next to Bere Ferrers Railway Station

Railway: Tamar Valley Line

Conveniently located along the picturesque Tamar Valley Line providing an easy connection from London via Plymouth, the Tamar Belle offers a restored sleeping carriage that recreates the comfort and style of the golden age of railway travel. Sample the cuisine in the dining car, browse the exhibits in the heritage centre and visit the signal box. Find out more...

Brunel Holiday Park, Dawlish Warren

3 minute walk from Dawlish Warren Railway Station

Railway: Riviera Line

A selection of unique and quirky boutique railway carriages awaits you at Brunel Holiday Park. These carriages, renovated to a high standard, provide beautiful sea views and due to the proximity of the main line railway, they allow for some brilliant train spotting opportunities. Find out more...

Pullman Camping Coaches, Ravenglass

Booking Office and Platform Cottages, Kirkby Stephen

Located at Kirkby Stephen Railway Station

Railway: Settle to Carlisle

Originally built in 1875, the station building is now home to two self catering properties, perfect for those with a love of the railway and interested in exploring the beautiful Upper Eden landscapes. The spectacular valley of Mallerstang and Wild Boar Fell are on your doorstep and this makes an ideal base for walking the fells or exploring further the stunning Settle to Carlisle Railway. Find out more...

Pullman Camping Coaches, Ravenglass

Located at Ravenglass Railway Station

Railway: Cumbrian Coast Line

Originally built in 1917 as part of a World War One Ambulance Train, ‘Elmira’ and ‘Maid of Kent’ are the UK’s oldest railway ‘camping coaches’ still in their original location, uniquely situated at Ravenglass. Many of the carriages’ original highly-crafted features have been painstakingly preserved and makes for a charming base to explore the Lake District, car-free. Go from rail to trail and take on part of the Cumbrian Coastal Way, step back in time with a trip along the Ravenglass and Eskdale Heritage Railway or enjoy the spectacular views from the train window along the Cumbrian Coast Line – just be sure to bring your camera! Find out more...

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