10 wonderful ways to travel by train in the British Isles – Good Housekeeping

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travel by train in england, scotland and wales

Belmond

To travel by train is to experience one of life’s simple yet greatest pleasures. Relaxing, sustainable and an utter joy, we can’t praise train travel enough.

We’re not talking stuffy commuter trains though. We’re thinking about about the historic steam trains, scenic railways and Hollywood-worthy rail experiences you can take in England, Scotland and Wales.

Travelling by train isn’t only about getting from A to B and we’ve rounded up the wonderful ways you can combine Britain’s railways with terrific activities and attractions.

Whatever your age or holiday style, whether you like to go solo or try active adventures, we think you’ll agree that there’s something truly special about boarding a train and sitting back to enjoy the sights and sounds of a relaxing journey.

If you’ve always wanted to ride the Highlands’ Jacobite like Harry Potter, we’ve got a steam-themed staycation you’ll want to know about. And if it’s something utterly indulgent, such as brunch on a train fit for royalty, you can splurge on a fabulous day trip on the Belmond British Pullman with a festive twist.

From the Scottish Highlands to Devon, here are the best ways to travel by train in England, Scotland and Wales.

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1

Step back to the golden age of rail travel on board the Belmond British Pullman

Epitomising 1920s glamour, a ride on the gorgeous vintage Belmond British Pullman is a wonderful excuse to dress up and spend a lavish yet leisurely day gliding through the English countryside while you’re wined and dined.

Travel from London Victoria to Bath, enjoying a three-course brunch with a Bellini cocktail in the morning, before stepping off to peruse Bath’s magical Christmas market. Then a champagne reception welcomes you back on board before you return to London over a delicious four-course meal, complete with wine, to finish an extra-special day.

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2

Taste the flavours of Norfolk with Delia Smith and ride the Bure Valley Railway

One of the prettiest regions of Britain, Norfolk is packed with beautiful sights, from the Norfolk Broads to its majestic stately homes. It’s also a terrific spot for foodies, home to Delia Smith’s official restaurant and the location where an exclusive gourmet trip to meet the legendary cook takes places this year.

If that wasn’t enough, you can travel by train in Norfolk on a number of historic railways. The Bure Valley Railway is one of them, offering a nostalgic trip on Norfolk’s longest narrow gauge railway. The 18-mile round trip runs from the historic market town of Aylsham and bustling Wroxham, taking you through pretty Bure Valley.

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Alternatively, you can experience more of Norfolk’s rail rides as you travel by train on the Bittern Line, Poppy Line and Bure Valley Railway as part of an exploration of Norfolk and Sandringham with acclaimed historian, Lucy Worsley.

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3

Feel the magic of the Scottish Highlands on board the Jacobite

For a train ride that’s straight out of a Hollywood film, look no further than the Jacobite, also known as the real-life Hogwarts Express. Featured in the Harry Potter films, this breathtaking train runs from Fort William to Mallaig in the Scottish Highlands. The 84-mile trip takes you past some of Britain’s most impressive scenery and over the impressive Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Experience the Jacobite with Scottish native and weather presenter, Carol Kirkwood. Carol grew up in Morar and will tell stories of life in the region on a four-day journey through the Highlands, which includes a ride on the Jacobite and two memorable cruises on the lochs.

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4

Experience the charming villages of the Yorkshire Dales by rail and on foot

A rejuvenating trip to Yorkshire requires long walks to full appreciate the rural surroundings and historic market towns. Bronte fans will also be in their element as you can explore the world of Wuthering Heights at Haworth and during a Bronte-themed walk across Yorkshire’s wild moors.

The picturesque railways include the Heritage Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and Settle Carlisle Line, and you’re in for a treat if you walk the Penine Bridleway, a scenic trail with dramatic views.

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5

Hit the Jurassic Coast and travel by train on the historic Swanage Railway

Famed for its fossil foraging and craggy cliff faces, the spectacular Jurassic Coast runs 95 miles from Exmouth in Devon to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in Dorset. A coastal escape here is the perfect way to visit charming villages and rock formations that you can see by train and boat.

The Swanage Railway is a highlight for its full-size steam and diesel passenger trains that run along the five and a half mile line. It’s the perfect way to see Dorset, taking you from Norden to Corfe Castle and down to the seaside town of Swanage.

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6

Take to new heights in Snowdonia and wander around pretty Portmeirion

North Wales is a gorgeous part of the UK that those who like to travel by train will adore. The Snowdon Mountain Railway lifts passengers 1,085 metres above sea level, for a relaxing ride up to England and Wales’ highest peak. When you’re not reaching new heights by train, the Llanberis Lake Railway offers marvellous lake views. Then there’s the charming Ffestiniog Railway, the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway.

Train rides aside, North Wales is packed with enchanting places to visit. Take Portmeirion, which looks like a scene out of Italy, and impossibly pretty Betws-y-Coed, a quaint village you won’t want to miss.

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7

Walk the Peak District and experience the picturesque Ecclesbourne Velley Railway

The Peak District is the ideal spot for both walkers and train-lovers. Here, you can walk along the River Dove and its spectacular valley, enjoy a stroll along the Monsal Trail, taking in old stations, railway tunnels and the Monsal Viaduct, and hike from Chatsworth to Bakewell as you pass the home of the Duke of Devonshire.

When it comes to sitting back and relaxing on the train, the lovely Ecclesbourne Valley Railway from Wirksworth to Duffield is perfect for enjoying Peak District scenery by rail.

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8

Explore the Cotswolds and Avon Valley by heritage railway

The Cotswolds is a much-loved pocket of Britain with plenty of luxury hotels and bijou B&Bs to choose from. But a relaxing train ride reveals far more of the scenery than staying put in one location. The Gloucestershire and Warwickshire railway carves a route through the Malvern Hills from Cheltenham to Broadway.

Join a four-night trip to the West Country and you’ll also have the chance to board the Avon Valley Railway for afternoon tea served at your seat. True railway fans will enjoy the opportunity to visit the collection of steam engines at Didcot Railway Centre.

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9

Take the coastal route in Somerset and Devon

Southwest England has scenic railways that take advantage of the region’s varied landscapes, from rolling moors to glistening seashores. Gaze out of the train window on a journey through the Quantock Hills in Somerset, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and join the Dartmouth Steam Railway to Paignton, a spectacular seven-mile route that clings to the Torbay coastline.

Try five railway lines over five days on an escape to England’s southwest corner, using pretty Tiverton as a base for the adventures.

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10

Enjoy the views from an electric mountain railway on the Isle of Man

While it’s not part of the UK, the Isle of Man’s proximity to England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland makes it easily accessible for a rail break from these countries. The Isle of Man is a unique place. It’s the only entire nation in the world to be a designated UNESCO Biosphere, so as you can imagine, the nature here is fabulous.

A brilliant way to see the delights of this island is on the Snaefell Mountain Railway, an electric mountain railway. This special railway is only five miles long but will take you up to 2,000 feet above sea level where you’ll get jaw-dropping views.
You can ride it on a five-day tour trip to the Isle of Man in October 2022 or 2023, where you’ll also ride the Isle of Man Steam Railway on an hour-long journey through the Manx countryside.

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This page was created programmatically, to read the article in its original location you can go to the link bellow:
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/lifestyle/travel/g35912540/travel-by-train/
and if you want to remove this article from our site please contact us

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