More and more people are discovering that the United Kingdom has plenty of excellent holiday destinations to offer, and are ditching the package deals to Spain and Greece for getaways in Scotland, England and Wales.
We’ve put together our list of the top five places to go that can all be reached by train. Take out the hassle and stress of the road or the airport, and hop on a train bound for one of these brilliant British holiday hot spots.
1. Take a City Break to Edinburgh, Scotland
Scotland is full of fantastic holiday destinations you can get to by train, but our favourite has to be Edinburgh.
Travelling to Edinburgh by train is a real treat, no matter where you begin your journey. You will travel on either the West Coast Main Line or the East Coast Main Line as you head North, and both cover stunning views of the English and Scottish coasts.
Edinburgh itself has plenty of things to see and do, including some great restaurants and cafes if you are looking for a bite to eat. Walking the Royal Mile has to be high on your to-do list, as does a tour of Edinburgh Castle.
2. Get your Summer sun on the beaches of Penzance, Cornwall
Believe it or not, you can get all the sunshine and sand that you would expect from the Costa-del-Sol in the Southwest of England.
Well, maybe not the consistent scorching temperatures, but you can certainly get a good tan and enjoy some of the UK’s best beaches in the summer. Even in spring, the weather can be balmy and the sun keeps shining through to late September.
There is plenty to discover in Penzance itself, with a couple of fascinating museums and an excellent art gallery, but it is also perfect to use as a base to explore more of Cornwall. The Scilly Isles are a great day trip, and only a two hour ferry trip away with some glorious views of the Cornwall coastline.
3. Make a getaway for some retail therapy in Chester, Cheshire
This beautiful city is just a little off the beaten track, but worth making a change of trains for in cities such as Liverpool or Manchester. By going just a little bit further you can find this hidden gem.
If you love to shop, Chester has your back. There is a picturesque pedestrianised retail area at the heart of the city, with much of the architecture from the Tudor-era giving it a unique look you won’t find anywhere else.
The central market has shops and cafes on multiple levels, and at night it comes alive with some excellent bars and restaurants. A mid-week break for some shopping in Chester, followed by a delightful evening meal, should be on everyone’s calendar this year.
4. Take a family trip to the unique Isle of Anglesey, North Wales
The train is a great way for families to travel. There is space to move, things for kids to see and do, as well as a handy bathroom on some train services. If you are looking for a family holiday destination in the UK, you should definitely consider taking a trip to the ancient and awesome Isle of Anglesey.
Anglesey lies off the northwest coast of Wales and is full of great places for families to visit, with cheap and easy transport links across the island to help you get around.
There is a huge range of clean beaches to choose from and you will also find castles, forests and parks to explore, and the amazing Anglesey Sea Zoo. The Sea Zoo has a massive collection of sea creatures to see, and balances fun and education in a way that keeps kids enthralled.
5. Discover the Highlands and Islands of Scotland by train
For an all-year-around UK holiday destination, look no further than the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. While it isn’t the quickest place to reach, the scenic views and stunning sites are worth going an extra mile for.
You can approach the Scottish Highlands from the east or the west, and slowly make your way from one coast to the other stopping at places like the Cairngorms, Mallaig, or the unofficial capital of the Highlands; the town of Fort William.
Across the Highlands, you can find stunning views, centuries of Scottish history, and take day trips to the Outer Isles from Mallaig or Oban.
Taking a trip on the train can be incredibly convenient and cost-effective. So if you are looking for a way to enjoy some of the UK’s best holiday destinations, consider hopping on the train to one of the places on our list.
ARTICLE BY Benjamin Spencer.