In a recent Superbreak survey, 26% of people that were asked said that they like to travel by rail when taking a short break. It’s quick, easy and takes a lot less hassle than driving from one end of the country to the other. It’s definitely my preference whenever I go away as my map reading skills are almost non-existent and my irrational fear of flying means that option isn’t even considered! With so many train stations dotted around the UK, wherever you plan on heading there’s a great chance you’ll be able to find a stop nearby. In this post, I’ve mentioned some of the most popular UK short break destinations as well as some key landmarks that you just can’t afford to miss along the way!
The Scottish capital has two main train stations: Edinburgh Waverley, which is in the heart of the city centre and Haymarket which lies a mile or so west of Princes Street. Welcoming thousands of visitors to the city each week and with a travel time from London of only 4 and a half hours, travelling by rail is the easiest way to arrive. In the morning you can be enjoying the bustling sights of London’s city centre and by lunch time you’ll be slipping on your walking boots and taking in the crisp Scottish air. Our brilliant two night rail breaks to Edinburgh start from around £100pp including a hotel. Not only do you arrive there quickly and feeling refreshed but you’re also saving money on petrol and parking! Once in Edinburgh, you can enjoy the likes of Arthur’s Seat, Holyrood Palace and of course, the stunning Castle sitting proud in the centre of the city.
York to Edinburgh by car: 4 hours
York to Edinburgh by train: 2 hours 20 minutes
Let’s face it, with the congestion charges and thousands of cars that pass through the city each day, driving to London isn’t the most appealing option when you’re hoping for a relaxing break. Thankfully, due to a brilliant underground system, arriving into London by train means you have connecting transport ready and waiting for wherever you need to go. A year ago I visited London for the first time in my life, and the thought of jumping on the underground and trying to find somewhere I’d never been before scared the life out of me. But, I managed it and now love travelling around the capital, so I guess it’s not too hard! If you buy one of our Oyster Cards it takes even more stress away, as it’s pre-loaded with £15 credit so you can just jump on and off the tubes, trains and buses as you wish.
London is the starting/ending point for most major train routes across the country, so just sit back, relax and wait for your arrival. As travelling around London really is as easy as it gets, you can enjoy any of the major sights and attractions that draw millions to the city every year. Jump on the EDF London Eye for stunning views, or see your favourite stars at Madame Tussauds.
York to London by car: 4 hours 30 minutes
York to London by train: 2 Hours
Unless you’ve visited York, it’s hard to comprehend just how beautiful the historic city is. I’ve lived here my whole live and I still find myself in awe of the striking Minster or gazing out across the River Ouse on a sunny day and admiring the view. The nearest airport is Leeds/Bradford and although the road links are brilliant, it’s much easier to arrive in true Yorkshire by train. That moment where you can see the City Walls as you pull into the station never fails to make me smile. York Station is right in the heart of the city, so as soon as you step off the train you’re holiday’s begun, and the public transport links are brilliant too so getting to your hotel is simple. Located approximately half-way up the country means that travelling from both London and Edinburgh takes just over 2 hours, and with a stunning range of hotels in the city you can enjoy the perfect, romantic short break. Check out our York guide for more information on travelling to the city by rail.
As one of the busiest cities in the UK for shopping and a fabulous bar scene, Manchester is a great place to head on a short rail break. Manchester Piccadilly is the most central of the stations and has the majority of trains passing through, with great links around the city to take you wherever you need to go. Our Manchester guide can give you great tips on what to do whilst you’re there. Whether you’re visiting the city for a special occasion night out, seeing your favourite performer in concert or enjoying a weekend of retail therapy, travelling to Manchester by rail is the best way. Even if you’re in search of a little history and culture, Manchester could be the perfect choice for your next short break. From the Lowry Theatre out near the Docks, to the many monuments of former monarchs, there’s plenty of fun to be had in this city.
York to Manchester by car: 2 hours 30 minutes
York to Manchester by rail: 1 hour 30 minutes
Do you enjoy travelling by rail? Let us know where you like visiting the most on your rail breaks!