If you don’t want to get on a plane this summer, don’t panic. There are plenty of beautiful and wonderful places to visit by train – at ease, and on a budget. Get booking to see the best, practically on our doorstep…
An easy journey from London, come for a day of fun, with independent clothes and records boutiques, cool coffee shops and a huge night life – and of course, the infamous pier. Plenty of people relocate here from London for good reason.
Margate may be where your grandma wanted to take you for tea, but these days, it’s super trendy with plenty of hipsters moving here. With an annual June jazz festival, gorgeous beaches and a tidal pool – not to mention new health food stores and the like – it’s well worth a visit.
OK, it’s a longer train journey than the others, but you won’t regret it. Five hours and you can be in a charming seaside town, with amazing walks, gorgeous scenery, and some of the best and freshest food around. Rick Stein changed the foodie scene here, and it’s only continuing to innovate.
If it’s quant shops, cobblestoned streets and just a hint of Jane Austen you’re after, it’s Bath for the win. Visit the old Roman Baths and make sure you stop for tea somewhere charming – the Royal Crescent is gorgeous.
Bourton on the Water
Pretty much all of the Cotswolds is dreamy, but having been to Bourton on the Water, I can safely say I think it’s one of the most chocolate box towns in England. Pretty streams, lovely views, one-off shops, old buildings, stunning scenery – it has it all. Just avoid August for the flocks of tourists that pour in.
Fun fact: Liverpool is home to Britain’s oldest cathedral and loads and loads of Grade I listed buildings, so the city is much more beautiful than you may expect. Named European City of Culture back in 2008, there’s nowhere better for a great music scene and The Beatles memorabilia.
The train from London to Edinburgh is only about four hours, and it’s well worth it when you get there. A hopping city, the foodie scene is out of this world. Visit the castle and Museum of Childhood, and the cafe where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter. Of course the Fringe Festival is a great time to go, but there’s plenty to explore year-round.
The opening of the University Arms hotel last year was an excellent addition to the Cambridge hospitality scene, but it’s always been a great place to visit. Explore one of the most prestigious universities in the world, take yourself for a punt and snap up some fudge in town. It’s really near to London, making it an easy day trip.
If you make it to Bath, pop over to nearby Bristol. Home to famed grafitti artist Banksy (you’ll see several of his murals), an edgy music scene, quirky cafes and a growing hipster scene, it’s creative, full of culture and even has its very own Bristol Pound currency. What’s not to love?
The Lake District
Not for nothing were some of our most famous authors inspired to write here: the Lake District is stunning. This is the place to grab some mates, rent a house, and spend the weekend walking, sitting around in pubs and eating Kendal Mint Cake. Do make sure you actually go on the lake, too.
Main photo: @visitbristol
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